1 Samuel 30 and 31 each depict a king handling a similar predicament, but with two completely opposite outcomes.

The good king (chapter 30) suffers the loss of everything (1-6a) and strengthens himself in God to act righteously and decisively (6b-8). The results are what every Christian citizen of every nation longs for. The results include rest for the weary (9-10), kindness to strangers (11-15), restitution for the deprived (16-20), joy for the entire nation (21), fairness in the courts (22-25) and financial integrity (26-31).

The bad king (chapter 31), also suffers the loss of everything (1-3) but finds a way of escape, the extreme form in this case (4). The results speak for themselves. This is the sad product in every nation where the leaders do not fear the Lord. Death (5-6), despair (7), dishonour (8-9), and disunity in the once-united kingdom (11-13) were the four dismal D’s that described the end of the bad king’s rule.

The difference lies in the strength of the LORD sought by the good king, but rejected by the bad king. Pray this day for a good ruler of your nation (1 Timothy 2:1-2) , and as you await God’s answer, commit to being a good citizen (Romans 13:1-7).