II Samuel 18:1-3

1Then David mustered the men who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2And David sent out the army, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the men, “I myself will also go out with you.” 3 But the men said, “You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that you send us help from the city.”

When David was being opposed by Absalom (II Samuel 18) and wanted to go out with his army to defend his kingdom and kingship, his soldiers prevented him saying
“You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that you send us help from the city.” Whether this advice was right or not is open to debate, but I believe their assessment of the value of their king was right. Leadership is crucial to the battle. The defeat of the one at the helm has a powerful debilitating effect upon those who follow him and a powerful encouraging effect upon those who oppose him. Evil wins a battle when godly leaders fall. The fall of a pastor into sin or even discouragement, depression that prevents him form accomplishing his work … accomplishes much more than just the damage done to the man. It effects the while church, the church’s effectiveness in its outreach and care … . How crucial it is for all leaders, especially spiritual leaders and especially pastors/elders to keep themselves “unspotted form the world.” And how crucial it is for them and their families to be prayed for. That leaders families are part of the evil one’s attacks is not surprising. Many great leaders, especially in the church, struggle with issues at home. This was certainly true of David. His enemy in the episode before us today was his own son.