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To hear this Morning Devotion, please click  Losing everything to gain all you want

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A powerful picture of humility, genuine loyalty and godly contentment is painted in today’s One-Year Bible reading.

It’s actually a vivid image portrayed by 2 Samuel 19:24-30, a mental image that I will not soon forget conveying a truth I hope to never forget.

The setting is this: King David is returning to Jerusalem after a rebellion by his son Absalom forced him to flee east of the Jordan River. The revolt was quashed and Absalom was killed, so as David and his entourage cross the river, many people hurry out to greet him.

Some, the scriptures show, are doing so because they’re afraid of retribution for their lack of loyalty during the revolt.

Another, though, hurries to meet David because of an intense sense of loyalty rooted in David’s earlier generosity to him.

Mephibosheth, the son of David’s now-deceased best friend Jonathan, somehow gets himself to the feet of David even though the crippled man cannot stand on his own feet.

In an earlier part of 2 Samuel, the account is given of how Mephibosheth’s servant Ziba had lied to David, essentially saying Mephibosheth was an Absalom supporter. Ziba had done so because he wanted the stuff that David had earlier given to Mephibosheth.

David could tell from Mephibosheth’s appearance, however, that Ziba’s claim was a lie.

Mephibosheth looked like a homeless person in deep depression. He had not shaved or washed his clothes during the months of David’s exile. He also had not trimmed his nails.

People who are happy that the “mean old king” is gone don’t let themselves get so sloppy and David knew that.

Mephibosheth told the king of how Ziba had betrayed him but that he was more importantly aware that he never deserved to have any gifts from the king in the first place.

“All my grandfather’s descendants deserved nothing but death from my lord the king, buy you gave your servant a place among those who sat at your table” (v. 28).

David said that half of the lands he had earlier reassigned to Ziba would be returned back into the possession of Mephibosheth. I don’t know why 100 percent of the land wasn’t returned to Mephibosheth, but I’m sure that David had his reasons.

What was most telling in this passage were Mephibosheth’s words in response to David’s pledge of partial restoration.

“Let him take everything, now that my lord the king has arrived home safely” (v. 30).

Wow.

I’m not sure that I would have had the character and spiritual perspective to say such a thing.

Ziba had totally messed up Mephibosheth’s already-challenged world, stealing¬†Mephibosheth’s stuff and slandering Mephibosheth’s name as a traitor.

And now Ziba’s only consequence — at least in this life — was losing a portion of what wasn’t his in the first place?

I suspect that I would have been more interested in retribution against Ziba than was Mephibosheth.

So now you see why I was impressed and instructed by this crippled grandson of a disgraced, deceased king.

Mephibosheth once again had fellowship with his king and that’s all that mattered to him.

Oh my.

Is Jesus, David’s eternal king, that important to you?

When people cheat you or slander you or somehow undercut your status in the church, do you ponder how to get even? Or do you pray for wisdom on how to get closer to Jesus because your loss helps you put things into proper perspective?

Like you, I’ve been victimized by a few Zibas over the years. And like you, I’ve been tempted to lust for payback time.

I’ve learned, though, that such doesn’t glorify God or serve His purposes.

It’s all about Matthew 6:33, my friend.

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all these things (that we need) will be added unto us.

God will deal with the Zibas in His own time, either in this life of the next.

As always, I love you
Martin

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