Cleaving to the King
‘ The men of Judah clave unto their king.’—2 Sam. xx. 2.
FOR it is not a matter of course that coming is followed by cleaving. Even when the King Himself, in His veiled royalty, walked and talked with His few faithful followers, ‘ many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.’^ There was no word of indignation or reproach, only the appeal of infinite pathos from His gracious lips, ‘ Will ye also go away ? ‘
Let this sound in our ears to-day, not only in moments of temptation to swerve from truest-hearted loyalty and service, but all through the business of the day ; stirring our too easy-going resting into active cleaving; quickening our following afar off into following hard after Him rousing us to add to the blessed assurance, ‘Thine are we, David !’ the bolder and nobler position, ‘ and on Thy side ! ‘
1 Esth. V. 2; iv. II ; viii. 3, 4. ” Heb. iv. i6. 3 Heb. x. 22.
^ Esth. V. 2. ^ John vi. 66. 5 John vi. 67.
For this cleaving is not a mere terrified clinging for safety,—it is the bright, brave resolution, strengthened, not weakened, by the sight of waver-ers or renegades, to be on His side, come what may, because He is our King, because we love Him, because His cause and His kingdom are so very dear to us.
We cannot thus cleave, without loosening from other interests. But what matter ! Let us be noble for Jesus, like the men of might who ‘ separated themselves unto David,’ and who ‘held strongly with him in his kingdom.’ Shall we be mean enough to aim at less, when it is our Lord Jesus who would have us entirely ‘ with Him ‘?
It is, after all, the easiest and safest course. The especial friends and ‘ the mighty men which belonged to David,’ not only did not follow the usurping Adonijah, but they were never tempted to do so. ‘ But me, even me thy servant, . . . hath he not called.’ There is many a temptation, very powerful and dangerous to a camp-follower, which the enemy knows it is simply useless to present to one of the body-guard. Our Father leads us ‘ not into temptation’ when He leads us closer to Jesus.
1 Matt. xxvi. 58. 2 Ps. Ixiii. 8. 3 i Chron. xii. 18.
* I Chron. xii. 8 ; i Chron. xi. 10, marg. 5 Cant. iv. 8.
6 I Kings i. 8. 7 i Kings 1. 26. 8 Matt. vi. 13; i Sam. xxii. 23.
The Bible never speaks of ‘ good resolutions, but again and again of ‘ purpose.’ And this is what we want, that ‘with purpose of heart’ we should ‘ cleave nnto the Lord. ‘ Have we this distinct purpose to-day ? Do we really mean, God helping us, to cleave to our King to-day ? Do not let us dare to go forth to the certain conflicts and temptations of the day with this negative but real disloyalty of want of purpose in the matter. And ‘if our heart condemn us’ let us at once turn to Him who says, ‘I have caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel.’ His grace shall enable us to cleave unto our King.