1 Samuel 26:6
“Then David answered, and said…
‘Who will go down with me to Saul in the camp?’
And Abishai said, ‘I will go down with you.’”
This passage gives some very interesting insight into leadership. David searched for men of faith who would be willing to take risks for the kingdom. Abishai rose to the challenge and joined David on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the camp of the king. Under the cover of darkness, they made their way past the guards, and all the way to Saul. It was at this point that Abishai suggest they take the opportunity to kill the king, and bring an end to the difficulties he has caused. The exchange between David and Abishai is priceless in the lessons it illustrates.
1 Samuel 26:8
“Then Abishai said to David, ‘God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!'”
1 Samuel 26:9
“But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?'”
1 Samuel 26:10
“David said furthermore, ‘As the Lord lives, the Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.'”
Notice, that while Abishai was a man of great, even heroic faith, he was still capable of losing sight of God’s calling. He saw this as an opportunity to kill he king, while David saw it as a time to show all of Israel how much he truly trusted in the sovereign hand of God.
Leadership often involves helping those who walk alongside us, to keep focussed on the big picture. While it is important to be surrounded by those who are fearless for the furtherance of the Gospel, we also need people who are willing to stay true to the proper methods.
This may be particularly applicable today. I recently heard an apologist say, “In the past, people were mostly concerned whether or not something was true, but today they seem to be more concerned whether something will work.” As the church moves forward to reach the world and make disciples, we must remain true to the ways of Christ as much as to the message of Christ.