Friday, June 02, 2006

The Return of the King; mourning and celebration

So David's son Absalom led a failed revolt, and David is now returning to the land of Judah. I wrote the other day about Ziba's transparent deceit. Here David is returning to the land of Judah.
Mephibosheth, Saul's grandon, also went down to meet the king. He had not taken care of his feetor trimmed his moustache or washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned safely....
2 Samuel 19.24
When I read this, I wonder what would ever motivate me to mourn that way.

Mephibosheth tells David "Ziba ... has slandered your servant to my lord the king," and David says that Ziba and Mephibosheth should divide the land. And what does Mephibosheth say?
Mephibosheth said to the king, "Let him take everything, now that my lord the king has arrived home safely."
2 Samuel 19.24
Allowing for a moment that these people speak differently from the way that we do, I wonder what would ever motivate me to rejoice like that, without regard for my rights or my inheritance (or lack thereof). I would be thinking, "It's great that the right guy is back to run things, but since I'm likely to outlive him, it sure would be nice to have something in the bank."

Some years ago, one of my girls asked me why people today don't think so much about the spiritual world, and speculated maybe it was because of all our technology. I think she was on to something there. So much of life is apparently under our control that we like to preserve that illusion. Particularly we 21st century Americans, the most individualistic (not to say "selfish") people in the history of the world.

Can the Bible still speak to this generation? Does Jesus still have something to say to us? I think yes. Although we are more individual than tribal, the fact that God cares for each individual - for you and me in particular, besides all of his creation - is still important and powerful.

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