Scripture: 2 Samuel 16 David and Ziba
1 When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine.
2 The king asked Ziba, “Why have you brought these?”
Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the desert.”
3 The king then asked, “Where is your master’s grandson?”
Ziba said to him, “He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather’s kingdom.’ ”
4 Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.”
“I humbly bow,” Ziba said. “May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.”
Observation: When we are under a lot of stress it’s easy to make rash decisions.
Application: Ziba came with quite a nice gift for David and his men, I’m sure that the supplies were needed and the provisions used eagarly. But along with the supplies came a decision because they came from Mephibosheth. I’m sure you remember Mephibosheth from a few days ago when he was brought up from LoDebar and made to sit at the kings table. He was treated with kindness by the king because of Jonathan and David’s blood covenant.
So now had Mephibosheth who had been enjoying the hospitality of David’s courts, so readily turned to Absalom who had set himself up in opposition to his father? It doesn’t really make sense if you ask me. Would Mephibosheth really have thought that he would be treated better by this rebelling son of David, or that in the confusion of the family conflict that Israel would look over to him and say – “Hey, here is a descendant of Saul, lets turn the throne over to him, and let him rule.” It doesn’t add up for me. But the story of Ziba is “…he thinks, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather’s kingdom.’ ”
I can just hear Jim Carey’s voice – Reaa aa hhe aa llly now? Click Here Sound Clip
I know… It just stuck in my head and I had to find the link.. Ha Ha
But David was stressed out. He was fleeing from his own flesh and blood. Admittedly there was tension in the relationship between these two, but I think David was still blindsided by this attempt at overthrowing his kingdom. He was vulnerable to the suggestions of Ziba and without any evidence, and on the witness of this single person he decided that Mephibosheth had turned on him and so he promises to Ziba all that Mephibosheth owned. It was a rash decision on David’s part if you ask me.
We should always be slow to judge, but more especially when our hearts are heavy. Decisions made during times of trouble often turn out bad. If you have to make a judgement call about any important thing its always wise to give yourself some time, think about it, pray about it, and maybe even sleep on it. David, and ourselves would be wise to follow the example of God’s own nature which he would write about in Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. May we ever walk and act as such.
Help me to take upon myself your nature of compassion. Help me to keep myself in check, especially when I am under stress, and not make rash decisions. Grant me patience to endure my times of trouble with a heart of humility and guide me in my search for your peace.
Yield: I ask for the strength to avoid making rash decisions.