“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. Ever fallen prey to such!
It was nothing but a ruse by Ziba apparently 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, revealing, “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 Once he got to know the full story, David rescinded the earlier offer to Ziba, and “The king said to him, “Why say more?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 It can be easy to take that lightly but when one comes across common instances of promises that are withdrawn once circumstances change, David’s character outshines.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 persons 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, as was King David, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!