April 2

2 Samuel 19-21, Psalm 92

As we have grown up, many friends have come and gone. Especially in our younger years, friendships were out of convenience (for instance living on the same street) and similar interests (for instance playing the same sport). When those things no longer existed, the friendships dissipated. Though some friends might have remained, for the most part these friendships when we were immature are gone. As we mature, our relationships take on a more mature level such as with our spouse and children. No longer are these relationships based on circumstances, but instead out of a deep and selfless love for the other. As we grow in our relationship with Christ, we must all ask ourselves which type of relationship do we have with Him? Is it like the younger one where we throw our list of requests at Him, and like Him if and when we feel He is attentive to us? Or, is it the mature one, where our love for Him is not based on circumstances, but on a deep love for who He is, what He has done, etc., whether or not our circumstances are good or not? The questions really is do we care more about the gifts we receive or the Giver of these gifts?

We first read of Ziba's lie about Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 16:3-4, "Then the king said, "And where is your master's son?" And Ziba said to the king, "Indeed he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, "Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me." So the king said to Ziba, "Here, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours." And Ziba said, "I humbly bow before you, that I may find favor in your sight, my lord, O king!" Ziba wanted the goods and he got them from David. Once the rebellion is squashed and David is returning home we read of the encounter of Mephibosheth and the returning David. Mephibosheth had not shaved, cleaned himself, or changed his clothes since David fled due to the despair and love he felt for King David (2 Samuel 19:24-25). He then went on to defend his actions, stating that his name had been slandered by Ziba (19:26-28). Faced with this dilemma of who was telling the truth, David concludes in 2 Samuel 19:29-30, "So the king said to him (Mephibosheth), "Why do you speak anymore of your matters? I have said, 'You and Ziba divide the land'." Then Mephibosheth said to the king, "Rather, let him take it all, inasmuch, as my lord the king has come back in peace to his own house." Mephibosheth showed his true allegiance and honesty in that he desired the giver more than the gifts. This encounter revealed the true wisdom of David. Realize at this time, probably standing and watching was the young son of David, Solomon, probably around 10 years old at the time. When Solomon becomes king in 1 Kings, we see a similar situation where he had to decipher the truth. Many are familiar with the story of the two harlots fighting over the one live child as opposed to the child who died. When he threatened to carve the live child in two (1 Kings 3:24), the true mother is revealed who offers the live child to the other in order to spare the life of her son in 1 Kings 26-27. Solomon was watching and gathering wisdom from his father, David.

Two things we must ask ourselves when reading of this encounter. When considering our King, Jesus, Do we like Mephibosheth say, "I don't care about gifts. I just want You?" This is the honest relationship that God desires from us, a deep heartfelt love which is not dependent on circumstances, but based on who He is. If we honestly care more about the things it is time to reflect on this relationship and realize just who He is and who we are. Also, do we take every situation seriously before a world that is constantly watching. Absalom, Amnon, etc looked on at the poor actions of David in his adultery and murder and both wound up dying young rebellious deaths. Solomon saw David acting wisely, and desired the same thing when he became king. Paul wrote in Colossians 4:5-6, "Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." Our opportunities daily are endless. Do we squander these God-given opportunities or make the most of them to the glory of God?

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster