We each know one. That person who always seems to be “sucking up” to the boss. It’s worse when the boss enjoys their overtures. In I Samuel, a book in the Old Testament, we learn that King Saul dies at his own hand. The enemy kills his son Jonathan and Saul is badly wounded during the battle. Rather than allow himself to be captured and killed by his enemies, Saul falls on his own sword.
Saul treated David badly many times and even tried to have him killed. But David, knowing that God anointed Saul as king, behaved in an exemplary manner. Several days after Saul’s death, a young man stumbles into David’s camp. The office brown-nose arrives. He knows David is likely to replace Saul as king so he’s going to suck up. To get David to feel sorry for him, he tears his clothes and covers himself with dirt.
But there’s more. Falling on his face, he pays homage to David. I can see him, on the floor, peeking up at David and waiting for just the right moment to tell the new king the news. “King Saul is dead.” Pressing him for details, David asks how he knows this. The messenger lies, like many suck ups do, and says, “Saul told me to stand beside him and kill him. So I did as he asked. I killed him.” In other words, I was obedient to him and I will be just as obedient to you…Dave.
David, overcome with grief at the loss of his king, mourns and weeps until evening. He then asks the young man why he wasn’t afraid to destroy “the Lord’s anointed king?” At this point in the story, I think the young man is wishing he’d thought of a different way to suck up to David.
“Go, execute him for killing the Lord’s anointed.” So they did.