Knowing and Meeting Needs

When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim,  brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds and sheep and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat, for they said, ‘The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.’” 2 Samuel 17:27-29

What a beautiful paragraph in the middle or turmoil, angst, and desperation. David and his men have fled Jerusalem at the treachery of his son Absalom, who has declared himself king, entered the royal city, and taken David’s concubines ‘on the roof, in the sight of all Israel’ in a display of utter contempt and wanton pride. Absalom’s army now pursues the rightful king, and David’s men are weary and discouraged. Enter Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai! Their lavish gifts are bound with concern, love, compassion, prepared with much thought and delivered at great risk. What a welcome provision!

How attentive am I to the needs of others? Do I stay in touch enough to know what is going on, when a friend, neighbor, or fellow church member is under pressure, grieving, discouraged, or in particular need? Am I willing to spend the time to plan, prepare, and execute, to go the extra mile to deliver the provision to them, and give of my attention and love and presence, my prayer and blessing also? How often do I choose to spend on another instead of myself?

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

God of all bounty, use me to be Your arms and hands of goodness to others. You know their needs– by Your Spirit make me sensitive to know them also, and ready and willing to give generously to meet them. May they recognize that everything comes from You. (Matthew 6:8; Galatians 6:2; Matthew 6:25-33)

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