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How to Win the Least Likely

September 3, 2018

When they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,” David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead. 2 Samuel 2:4-5

The task before David was to bring people from every tribe under the blessing of his rule, and the first to be invited were the people of a town called Jabesh-gilead.

These people were hard-core, intensely loyal supporters of Saul. When Saul died on the field of battle, the Philistines put his body on display in one of their temples. And when the people of Jabesh-gilead heard about this, they organized a “commando raid,” going into enemy territory and retrieving the body of their fallen king in order to give him a proper burial.

The people of Jabesh-gilead were Saul’s people. Whatever Saul was for, they were for. Whoever Saul was against, they were against. And for years, Saul had been against David. So these hard-core supporters of Saul were the least likely to accept David as their king. And when David was told it was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul (2:4), he sent messengers to them.

David gives us a marvelous example here of winning the least likely with grace. He goes to the people most opposed to him and says, “May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him. Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing” (2:5-6).

Think about the people in your life who are the least likely to embrace King Jesus. How would you approach them? How would you try to win them?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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