By Tom Wiles | For The Times-Post
But one day when Saul was sitting at home with spear in hand, the tormenting spirit from the Lord suddenly came upon him again. As David played his harp, Saul hurled his spear at David. But David dodged out of the way, and leaving the spear stuck in the wall, he fled and escaped into the night. — I Samuel 19:1-24
With three of the four wheels in the air, it simply didn’t matter that the vehicle had four-wheel drive.
The snow pile in the parking lot bested my foolish attempt at joyriding over and through the freshly created mounds.
As I sat there perched in the air, I reflected on all that led up to the decision to launch into these piles of snow in the first place.
As it turns out, I hadn’t thought much at all before I did it. So, there I sat…stuck.
King Saul’s story is a tragedy by any reckoning.
Wow, here was a guy out of nowhere elevated to the first king of God’s people.
He launched into his reign in lockstep with the Lord only to quickly and repeatedly disobey his commands.
He became jealous of the blessing of God that was once his when he saw it in the life of David.
He tried to kill David with his spear that ended up as stuck in the wall as Saul was stuck in his foolishness.
Jesus didn’t temporarily leave heaven, become a man, live a perfect life, die on the cross for our sins, be buried and then raise again on the third day for any one of us to live life stuck.
Stuck in sin.
Stuck in fear.
Stuck in loneliness.
Stuck in bitterness.
Stuck in addiction.
Stuck in worry.
Stuck in bad habits.
Stuck in self-pity.
Stuck in judgment.
Stuck in hopelessness.
No, he came to set us free.
“This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” — Jesus
That was the beginning of a long war between those who were loyal to Saul and those who were loyal to David. As time passed, David became stronger, while Saul’s dynasty became weaker and weaker. — 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39
Even though it was something that happened in high school, I still remember it vividly.
Betrayal, disloyalty or whatever name we assign to it tends to stick with you.
I thought Dave was a friend. I hoped he would say positive things behind my back, but at the very least he would say nothing.
Wow, was I wrong.
He took some truth, added some extra cargo and sunk my ship.
I was genuinely shocked.
The intrigue in today’s reading is truly head-spinning.
Abner’s for Saul. No, he’s for David. Joab’s for David. No, he’s for Joab.
In the midst of this back and forth, people are literally dying.
Civil war at first.
David ends up being stuck with the skin-deep loyalty of his general.
David, however, never turned his back on Saul even as Saul tried to kill him.
David found the freedom to be loyal in his faith in God to work everything out.
Who or what are you loyal to today?
Does our spouse, our family, our friends, our co-workers/employer, our church family, our neighbors, etc. know us to be a person of great loyalty?
What does that even mean?
How do we know when we’re being loyal to the wrong person, place or thing?
Truthfully, none of us are that smart.
However, if our primary loyalty is to Jesus and God’s word, the Holy Spirit will enable us like he did David to navigate all our other loyalties.
Tom Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.