Saturday, May 9, 2009

Feels Good to do Right

Ever served food at the local mission? Given out sandwiches to the homeless? Built a house for someone who could never afford one?

It feels good to do right. Our culture has realized that and promoted it. Sometimes it is called the "benefits of benevolence" or other terms.

Well, a long time ago, King David demonstrated that it feels good to do right.

Here is the story:

1 "One day David asked, "Is there anyone left of Saul's family? If so, I'd like to show him some kindness in honor of Jonathan."
2 It happened that a servant from Saul's household named Ziba was there. They called him into David's presence. The king asked him, "Are you Ziba?" "Yes sir," he replied.
3 The king asked, "Is there anyone left from the family of Saul to whom I can show some godly kindness?"
Ziba told the king, "Yes, there is Jonathan's son, lame in both feet."
4 "Where is he?"
"He's living at the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar."
5 King David didn't lose a minute. He sent and got him from the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.
6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan (who was the son of Saul), came before David, he bowed deeply, abasing himself, honoring David."

You remember that King Saul chased David for years, trying to kill him. But David and Saul's son Jonathan were fast friends, and Jonathan protected and defended David from his father. Now, all these years later, King Saul is dead, Jonathan is dead, and young David is king of the land. He never forgot his friend, Jonathan.

So here is Jonathan's son, fearing for his life. But David extends kindness to him.

7 "Don't be frightened," said David. "I'd like to do something special for you in memory of your father Jonathan. To begin with, I'm returning to you all the properties of your grandfather Saul. Furthermore, from now on you'll take all your meals at my table."
8 Shuffling and stammering, not looking him in the eye, Mephibosheth said, "Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?"
9 -10 David then called in Ziba, Saul's right-hand man, and told him, "Everything that belonged to Saul and his family, I've handed over to your master's grandson. You and your sons and your servants will work his land and bring in the produce, provisions for your master's grandson. Mephibosheth himself, your master's grandson, from now on will take all his meals at my table." Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
11 -12 "All that my master the king has ordered his servant," answered Ziba, "your servant will surely do."
And Mephibosheth ate at David's table, just like one of the royal family. Mephibosheth also had a small son named Mica. All who were part of Ziba's household were now the servants of Mephibosheth."

David was an honorable man.

He proved to everyone in his kingdom, and us too, that it feels good to do right.

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