“David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines. And he defeated Moab… David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the river Euphrates… Then David put garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David and brought tribute… And David made a name for himself when he returned from striking down 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. Then he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.”
“And David said, ‘Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?..’ And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, ‘Mephibosheth!’ And he answered, ‘Behold, I am your servant.’ And David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.’” 2 Samuel 8:1-3,6,13-15; 9:1,6-7
David certainly had his weaknesses, but there is something very special about the combination of his remarkable, visionary, successful leadership and his kind compassion for individuals. His fame in battle and on throne did not negate his promise to his friend Jonathan, when he had every natural right to dismiss and even exact revenge on the family of King Saul, who had wronged him. He went out of his way to care and provide for a disabled son of Jonathan’s with generosity, love, and lavish attention.
The secret to this righteous motivation? He always remembered his place before Almighty God. He could have forgotten, and justified that due to his ‘more urgent responsibilities.’ He could have assigned it to one of his ‘inferiors’ to manage. But God had his heart, and he was ever too important to honor his supreme Lord. (Psalm 8:1,3-6)
When we are disciplined to behold God regularly, to humble ourselves before Him and invest time and affection in our relationship with Him, we guard against much pride and prejudice. It is difficult to think too highly of ourselves when we exalt the high, transcendent King of kings, and see ourselves in relation to Him.
Have we grown so accustomed to our important positions or comfortable places that we no longer notice or feel for those less fortunate, or out of our ‘circle’? What lures us away from compassion, sympathy, generosity, giving of our time and focus for others with no expectation for a return? Take time with Jesus. Gaze at Hm on the Cross, and on His throne. The One who is lowly in heart enables us to learn how it beats and pulse with His lifeblood. He gives us eyes to see the small, the mind to recall needs and preferences, the will to do the menial and unnoticed. (Matthew 11:29; Romans 12:3-5,9-11,14-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:14)
Good Father, remind me daily of who I am before You. May my efforts in life and service affirm others of their inimitable value, and Your supremacy.