Day 115

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2 Samuel 8:15-18, 2 Samuel 9:1-10, 19, I Chronicles 6:16-48, 50-53, I Chronicles 18:14-17,
I Chronicles19:1-19 (NIV)

Mark Blow, Men’s Ministry

Specifically 2 Samuel 9:1-10, I Chronicles 19:1-9

We are now coming to the part of God’s story where David is finally establishing his rule over Israel. 2 Samuel 8 notes that David did what was right and just. He was clearly following the heart of the Lord.

Remembering his good friend Jonathan, he showed kindness to his son Mephibosheth; elevating him to a place at the king’s table and restoring his estate. Moving over to 1 Chronicles, Chapter 19, David is even showing respect to the passing of a distant king. What does David get for his gesture of respect? His envoys have the backside of their robes cut out and their beards shaved off! In Middle Eastern culture a beard is the symbol of wisdom and honor. To shave a man’s beard was about as humiliating as you could get (next to cutting out the posterior of their robe!). These men represented David their king, so in essence the humiliation fell on David as well. What did David do to deserve this? Nothing!

Now, let’s apply this to our daily walk with the Lord. Ever heard the saying, “no good deed goes unpunished?” Well, David would have identified with that saying, and, if you serve the Lord long enough, there will be a time when you think it is true for you as well. Here you are, sacrificially serving the Lord, and your efforts and good intentions are returned with the indifference of ungratefulness. Let’s be honest–sometimes that hurts! The lesson in all of this is when you count on the gratefulness of other people to validate your service or acts of kindness, you will surely set yourself up for disappointment.

Remember that your service is for the Lord! He never forgets. He is never ungrateful. You can rest assured that even the smallest task done in His name will not go unnoticed.

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4 responses »

  1. Thanks Mark,
    I have experienced that saying several times in my life. When it does, I have to remember that I’m not doing what I’m doing for their gratitude, I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Some people are so used to evil that they think the worst in every situation. Always thinking that your working some kind of angle with ulterior motives. It’s sad that they are so unaccustomed to love & kindness that they don’t know how to trust. We must remember that nonbelievers are watching us for our reaction to these situations too. I don’t take it personal, in fact I am usually able to see it for what it is, a symptom of their brokenness and pray for them.

    Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
    Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

    Note that it says “proper time” & “if we don’t give up” not every time we try.

  2. In today’s reading again we have a list of names. Just a list. Just names. I’m tempted to think that these men (and their siblings and wives, who aren’t even recorded) are just cogs in God’s Great Machine, that the most significant thing they ever did was to father a child. That concept sounds awfully de-humanizing. However…

    First, when God wrote the Bible He was not composing an Exhaustive History of Every Human Ever Born. He has that book (see Revelation 20:12), but the Bible’s not it. The fact that anybody other than Jesus is mentioned at all in the Bible is a high honor. And just because events are not mentioned in the Bible does not mean they never happened. Each of these men may have done noble, even significant deeds in each of their lifetimes. They may have made foolish mistakes or shocking failures. They may have been loyal to God or may have abandoned Him. God knows, and that’s what’s important.

    Second, let’s consider D-flat. It’s not a very common note in contemporary music, but it exists. Even when it’s used it only sounds once in a while and the rest of the time it’s quiet. Just one note in the range of 12 possibilities, and rather dull all by itself. But worked together with a bunch of other notes, it can be part of exquisite beauty and sometimes it can be foundational to that beauty. So… are we willing to be a D-flat? or a G-sharp? or an E-natural? Are we willing to do our job and let God orchestrate it into His glorious composition?

    Father, thank You for lessons in humility. May I faithfully accomplish the task You set before me. I trust You to use me for Your glory.

  3. Mephibosheth – I love this story! Being lame in both feet, he was likely not highly valued, no matter to whom he was related. But David was after God’s own heart. He did what God would do & what God did for me. God didn’t heal Mephibosheth of his lameness yet David invited him to his table to be fed and cared for forever as an honored guest for the rest of his days.
    Father, thank You that You have invited me to You royal table all because of Your Son Jesus. It is not because I have earned it or deserve it in any way. It is only because Jesus is worthy to make me acceptable in Your sight. Whole or lame, weak or strong, rich or destitute, Lord Jesus, You cover it all. Thank you for my seat at Your table. And as I am seated there, receiving all the riches of Your abundant bounty, my lameness is hidden under Your table, never to be seen or detected again because I have all I need right there with You. Thank You, Father for Your unfailing grace, Your endless mercy and Your reckless extravagance on my behalf all because of Jesus, all because He paid my debt in full, defeated my sin completely and death once and for ALL and rose again so that we could sit at Your table forever. Who is like our God? No one and nothing!

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