“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” – Numbers 23:19 (NIV).
Today when you hear of land battles and all the intrigues involved to snatch it from legitimate owners you might think this mischief started only yesterday. Land is one of those valued possessions which through history has always attracted the worst out of some. After Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, who was crippled had been presented to David by his guardian Ziba, in recognition of his father’s role in his life, he decided “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” (2 Samuel 9:3-7).
King’s Saul land was apparently under threat. But David made a promise to safeguard all under the custody of his grandson.
Later in his reign King David was overthrown and along his escape route he met Ziba, the guardian of Mephibosheth, who reported to him that Saul’s grandson was “staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will restore to me my grandfather’s kingdom” (2 Samuel 16:3). Hurt at the apparent betrayal, “Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours” (vv 4). In other words Saul’s land had now slipped into the hands of a guardian.
But then it was nothing but a ruse. For Ziba wanted to gain influence over David and snatch Saul’s land. Later when David was restored as King he discovered that Mephibosheth had never for once deserted him. King David came to know when he met him and heard his side of the story, after he shared, “Ziba my servant betrayed me. And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king. My lord the king is like an angel of God; so do whatever you wish” (2 Samuel 19:26). Once he got to know the full story, David rescinded the earlier offer to Ziba, and “The king said to him, “Why say more? I order you and Ziba to divide the land” (vv 29).
King David decided to keep his word, and not abandon Mephibosheth. It can be easy to take that lightly but when one comes across common instances of promises that are withdrawn once circumstances change, David’s character outshines. The lesson here is that even in a fickle word, full of impostors, we still can purpose to be people of our word.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray that you help me be a person who keeps my word regardless of circumstances, just as was King David, this I pray in Jesus’s name.