Unintended Consequences

“And that day Doeg the Edomite killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys, and sheep.” 1 Samuel 22:18-19

Have you ever done something that had unintended consequences?  And maybe it wasn’t something you wanted to do, or had even planned to do, but when the time came it had to be done that way?  And then things went from bad to worse… And you felt responsible, even though it maybe wasn’t your fault at all?

Yea, it’s been that kind of week.

Do you know what happened in the town of Nob in 1 Samuel 21?  David (not yet king, but commander of a big chunk of Saul’s army) and his soldiers were running away from King Saul.  They barged into town, met the head priest, and talked him out of some consecrated bread and a sword.  The priest was terrified, but I don’t think he had much choice.  Then a spy in the town went a told King Saul, who was furious and ordered his men to wipe out all the priests and the town of Nob.  His soldiers refused to touch the men of God.  So the spy killed everyone with the king’s blessing.

When the news got back to David, he claimed responsibility for their deaths.  He didn’t make any excuses, or blame the spy who totally caused the whole drama, or even blame King Saul who was acting crazy.

Leadership is rather tiresome sometimes.

It can be a great challenge to separate out in your mind what needs to be done from the behavior of others and unintended consequences.  I remain in awe of David’s ability to seek God, hear Him clearly, and carry on with the weight of leadership and its responsibilities clearly on his shoulders.



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