When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, bearing two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a skin of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” 3 And the king said, “And where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.’” 4 Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” And Ziba said, “I pay homage; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.”
God blesses loyalty. Do what is right, follow Jesus, and you will be rewarded, far beyond what you could imagine or even hope.
And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.”
It took 4 years, but Absalom was able to sow dissension against David the king. Every person who heard that King David didn’t care about their concerns should have checked for themselves, but most didn’t, and David’s reputation became that he wasn’t there for his people, but he was. Don’t take anyone’s word about someone else, you find out for yourself. What a better response to “I heard David won’t see people…” “that’s funny, he saw me…”
9 When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. 10 The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11 And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”
Having a strategy is not discounting the Lord’s sovereignty. We’re all gifted differently and have had different levels of success in different situations. To divide up the task the Lord has given you is a wise thing. No one can do it all, and we each play our role in the overall plan of God. Find your niche and work at it… but don’t forget your brothers and sisters, they may need your help from time to time.
Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.”
Jonathan had lived most of his life in his father’s shadow, that’s how it goes for sons of powerful kings. Jonathan felt the draw to follow the Lord’s leading, and he had those with him who were faithful. Wherever Jonathan would go, his armor bearer would follow. It wasn’t just a duty, his heart was with Jonathan’s heart, and Jonathan’s heart was the Lord’s. Whether you find yourself a Jonathan following the Lord’s will, or you are following someone you know has God’s mission as their core, it makes no difference. Both of you will be on the winning side.
And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What evil is this that has taken place among you? 13 Now therefore give up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and purge evil from Israel.” But the Benjaminites would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the people of Israel. 14 Then the people of Benjamin came together out of the cities to Gibeah to go out to battle against the people of Israel.
Benjamin was more concerned with protecting their own than justice. Seek what is right, don’t worry about “who’s team” anyone is on. We make ourselves look wicked when we defend someone simply because they are “one of us.” We should hold our own “tribe” to an even higher standard and not allow even the hint of evil among us so that we are not put in the position to be defending someone who is in the wrong. Jesus is the judge, we don’t get to “slide” because we’re his.