06 July 2020 - 2 Samuel 16:1-12

06 July 2020

Today’s devotion is from 2 Samuel 16:1-12

The context of day’s passage is that David has fled Jerusalem in light of his fight with Absalom. In this story, we read that Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, gave David some food and provisions (v.1-2). If we recall 2 Samuel 9, Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson. Ziba, has been on of Saul’s servants. In 2 Samuel 9, David showed kindness to Mephibosheth to honour the memory of his friend, Jonathan.

Who can we trust?

In the first half passage, Ziba lied to David to make it seem as though Mephibosheth turned against David. David was so distracted by Absalom’s attack that he failed to discern that Ziba was not telling the truth. David rewarded Ziba’s apparent loyalty and transferred all that belonged to Mephibosheth to Ziba. When David finally returned to Jerusalem, there was evidence Mephibosheth was loyal to David  (2 Samuel 19:24–30). David did not bother to even check Ziba’s story probably because he was too preoccupied being hurt by his son’s betrayal. Just like David, we could find ourselves in a vulnerable situation and easily trusting others’ words. It may be that we are preoccupied with stress at work, school or home so that we are vulnerable to believe in gossips or false tongues resulting in misjudging others. Jesus warned His disciples, "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16). We should not trust others blindly and we should recognize that not everyone has good motives. The serpent seemed kind to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden but Adam and Eve blindly trusted the serpent who had an evil motive. Adam and Eve were vulnerable because they were distracted by their own selfish desires. Ultimately, our trust must be in God above all: Psalm 118:8 says, "It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man”. Even when we are distracted or vulnerable, we should exercise wisdom and find out the truth before believing a lie.  We should ask God for discernment in whom to trust and trust Him with the results.

Looking at your problems from a different perspective

In v.5-12, we have Shimei cursing David. Shimei is one of Saul’s relatives and therefore, probably blames David for the death of Saul. David had his army with him (v.6), David could have ordered Shimei to be killed. How did David respond? He was verbally abused and took in hurtful comments but he did not retaliate and he did not lash out a response. David exercised self control and patience. In v.9, we read that Abishai wanted to take off Shimei’s head. David could have said yes, kill Shimei but he did not. He saw things from a bigger perspective. He knew his real problem was Absalom and not Shimei. He also saw it from God’s perspective. He might not have known at that time was God was doing but he knew God was in his circumstances. David focus on God’s faithfulness and trusted that God allowed his current circumstances for a reason. He said it v.12, It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today. David understood that his present dire circumstances is just temporary, and God can use evil for good (Genesis 50:20).

Suggested prayer:

Heavenly Father, I put my trust in you because you will not forsake us and only in you can we find true refuge. Holy Spirit, help me to discern what is right and wrong so I can live according to Your ways. O Lord, help me focus on your goodness and faithfulness instead of the problem facing me. I know you will help me through whatever this life brings. Amen.