Following the death of King Saul, David, at Second Samuel chapter two, was annointed the new King in Israel. Though Saul had hated David and had tried to kill him, David still respected Saul as the annointed one of God.
Realizing David’s esteem for the King, he was informed that it was the men of Jabesh Gilead who had taken up the body of Saul and buried it. David then thanked the men of Jabesh Gilead for their patriotism, and promised them they would receive kindness both at the hands of God and himself.
To be sure, the men of Jabesh Gilead had no reward in mind when they buried Saul, for the scriptures describe them as valient men, not vain ones. Yet, reward came to them openly for what they had done privately. Such is the promise and principle of Matthew chapter six, where Jesus advised us that the working of any otherwise good deed simply for the sake of being seen doing it was a deed that would receive no further reward other than whatever pleasure was received by being seen doing it.
On the other hand, those doing good while not expecting an audience will be openly rewarded by the Father Himself for what they have performed in His name. And, while David had been annointed King in Israel, some of his countrymen had preferred one of Saul’s surviving sons to reign over them. Such disagreement over who should lead them caused great and deadly warring factions, and those getting the worst end of it were those who chose to follow the wrong king.
Though it may for a time seem to be good idea to follow someone other than God’s designated Leader, the passing of time will reveal just how poor a choice such would be. Three hundred sixty men died trying to defend the wrong King in Israel, while only twenty lost their lives defending David.
How many of this generation will lose their souls defending those and the doctrines of those whom God has not ordained to be the spiritual leader of the people? How many will rebel against the ordination of Jesus Christ as the sole and only Head of the church?
It was observed by those in Israel who sought to follow the wrong leader that their strife would only end in bitterness, though they believed so strongly in their false leader and his cause, and perhaps it was the experiences of that particular strife in Israel that caused David to observe at the one hundred thirty-third Psalm that it was a good and pleasant thing for the brethren to dwell together in unity.
Such unity can never be achieved unless all men are following the same Designated Leader.