David shows kindness, compassion, and good leadership; Simon Peter does the same.

23 06 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SEVEN : 2 Samuel 9 v. 1 – 10 v. 19; Acts 3 v. 1 – 26; Psalm 70 v. 1 – 5

David and Mephibosheth – David wants to know if there are any remaining relatives of Saul’s he should be showing God’s kindness to. One of Saul’s servants, Ziba, is found and he tells David about Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son; David arranges for Mephibosheth to brought to him from Makir’s house in Lo Debar.
Mephibosheth bows down in honour of David, who calls his name.
‘Don’t be afraid…for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father, Jonathan.‘ David offers to restore all the land belonging to Saul, and pledges that Mephibosheth can always eat at David’s table.
Mephibosheth can’t understand why the king is showing such kindness to ‘a dead dog like me’ (Mephibosheth has a very, very low view of his own self / worth).
David fixes everything so that Ziba and his family can farm the land for Mephibosheth, who is looked after, along with his son, Mica, in Jerusalem.

David had pledged his care and support for Jonathan’s family, and here he fulfils his pledge by caring for Mephibosheth and son.

David Defeats the Ammonites – There’s a change of leader for the Ammonites – king Nahash died and his son, Hanun takes over. David sends a delegation to Hanun to express his sympathy and pledge of kindness.
Some of Hanun’s noblemen, though, suspect that this delegation is spying for an attack. Hanun humiliates David’s men by shaving off half of their beards and cutting off their clothes at the buttocks, then sending them back to David.
David suggests the men stay in Jericho until their beards have grown back (and that they put on some new clothes!!!).
The Ammonites realise that they have offended David (‘they had become an offence to David’s nostrils’), and they hire 20,000 Aramean soldiers, along with the king of Maacah (with 1,000 men) and 12,000 men from Tob.
They draw up battle lines, with the Ammonites at the front of their city gate, and the Arameans were positioned in open country.
Joab takes the entire army out to fight, aware that they will be fought on two fronts (Ammonites in front and Arameans behind).
Joab puts the best troops under the his own command against the Arameans, whilst he delegated the rest to Abishai, fighting against the Ammonites – with both keeping an eye on the other.
‘Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in His sight.’
Joab fights the Arameans, and they flee. The Ammonites also, then flee, back into their city.
‘So Joab returned from fighting the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.’
The Arameans regroup, however; Hadadezer brings other Arameans in to bolster the troops. They draw battle lines at Helam, under the command of Shobach.
David calls all Israel’s army, crosses the Jordan towards Helam.
In battle, the Israelites kill 700 charioteers and 40,000 soldiers, before the remaining Arameans flee. Shobach also loses his life.
From then on, the Aramean kings made peace with Israel, subjecting themselves to the Israelites, and the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites again !

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar – fresh from the events of Pentecost, Peter and John are on their way to 3.00p.m. prayer at the temple when a crippled man was brought to the temple gate (called Beautiful). The crippled man would beg there every day, catching people going into the temple.
He asks Peter and John for money, and Peter has to tell him to look at them (he is so used to looking down, I guess, and simply begging without looking people in the eye – ashamed, or just so used to doing it, day after day?).
‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’
They help him to his feet, and the man’s feet and ankles immediately strengthen, and he jumps, and walks, leaping and praising God, all around the temple courts. The people who saw him, and knew him from the Beautiful Gate, were
‘filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him’.

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers – a crowd gather around Peter, John and the healed man, in Solomon’s Colonnade. Peter addresses them (he’s getting used to this preaching thing, now).
‘Men of Israel, why does this surprise you?’
Peter explains how the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob has glorified Jesus. Although the Jewish leaders had handed Him over to be killed, disowning the Holy and Righteous One…
‘You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead….by faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him.’
Peter tells them that, though they acted out of ignorance, God brought His purposes to fulfilment.
‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’.
Peter tells them, also, that Jesus will return, when all is ready for God to restore, and that everything they are now seeing and hearing, even the eyewitness accounts of Jesus, are a fulfilment of prophecy.

‘Hasten, O God, to save me; O Lord, come quickly to help me.’
‘May those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’ turn back because of their shame.’
‘But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; ‘Let God be exalted’.’
‘You are my help and my deliverer, O Lord, do not delay.’