2 Samuel 18:1 And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.
2 And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also.
3 But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city.
4 And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
In spite of the rebellion of others, David’s men remained loyal to their king. David’s followers honoured him with their loyalty despite Absalom’s rebellion which caused David and his men to flee from Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:13-15). David’s men wanted to protect the true king so much that they wanted him to avoid endangering himself by going into battle. David’s men were ready and willing to sacrifice their lives for him but wanted his life preserved at all costs. Their loyalty to David caused them to elevate his desires and needs far above their own needs, wants, and even safety. Unlike many kingdoms of the world, the soldiers were more concerned about the life of the king and the preservation of his kingdom.
- (For children): One time when the Philistines warred with Israel, David went to battle but felt faint. When one of the sons of the giant attacked him, Abishai came to his rescue. His men reminded him that he was too important to perish in battle (2 Samuel 21:15-17).
- (For everyone): How did the loyalty of David’s followers cause them to honour him? How would your loyalty to the Lord cause you to honour Him?
- In what ways would it be proper for your loyalty to cause you to honour others? How could this be taken too far and become a problem? To whom is your priority in loyalty?
- Thank the Lord for the example given by David’s men.
- Ask the Lord to help you see the importance of loyalty.
SONG: CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS