ODJ: justice and faith
February 18, 2013
Ziba has slandered me by saying that I refused to come. But I know that my lord the king is like an angel of God, so do what you think is best (19:27).
As a friend and I watched our children play in the pool, I had no idea that I would soon be swimming in my clothes. But when I saw our kids struggling to stay above the water, I jumped in. My instinct to separate the boys and help my friend’s child may have seemed strange at first, and even a cold response to my own son. I knew, however, that Micah had been underwater only because he had tried to keep his friend—a nonswimmer—afloat. Sure enough, once separated, Micah swam safely to the side of the pool.
In a moment of crisis it’s natural to offer advocacy to those we love. Sometimes our focus can also be drawn by those who profess fidelity and offer words that seem to be to our benefit. In walking through uncertain times, however, loyalty should not override justice.
Shame covered David as he fled Jerusalem. He had been forced out of his kingdom by his own son. Because he was vulnerable from Absalom’s betrayal, he readily received the praise of Ziba—who seemed to have his best interests in mind (2 Samuel 16:4). Having been misled, David responded to what seemed to provide the most security for himself. The momentary affirmation, however, robbed Mephibosheth of the protection he had been promised (1 Samuel 20:42).
Unable to walk on his own, Mephibosheth suffered a double injustice: betrayal from Ziba—his own servant (2 Samuel 19:26-27), and unjust treatment by David—a man who had been considered both a family member and his king. Exchanging the wrong for loyalty, however, Mephibosheth showed that he valued a restored relationship more than the recompense of property (vv.29-30). Perhaps he knew that justice and faith go hand in hand, for justice requires that we see things as God does. —Regina Franklin
Read Deuteronomy 16:19-20, Proverbs 25:5, and Isaiah 58:6-12 to see how our adherence to justice brings greater security to our lives and the lives of those around us.
How is our choice for loyalty over justice a dependency on man rather than God? How can we make sure that our decisions to help others are truly selfless?