Bitter Waters Made Sweet

Our world today is filled with distrust. Cars come standard with alarms, we monitor our homes from our computers, and even our email is locked tighter than a drum.

We have lost the ability to trust one another.

Nabash, king of Ammon, was a friend of David. In time Nabash died, and his son took the throne.

In 1 Chronicles 19:1-5, David remembered Nabash’s kindness to him, and he sent an envoy of his trusted servants to speak kind words to the new king.

David’s actions were those of a friend. However, the response he got back was less than sociable. The men of Ammon cut off the envoys’ beards, and sent them back near naked in rebuke, humiliating them in the worst possible way.

We know the feeling. We approach a friend with kind words, only to have our entreaties slapped aside. The next time we are wary, keeping a greater distance.

Trust has been lost.

The result in 1 Chronicles was David’s crushing defeat of Ammon. The result in our lives is no less devastating: friendships wasted; good deeds left undone; the lives of people torn to shreds.

However, in the final verse, David shows us the heart of a king. David knew his men were ashamed, and he exhibited the greatest kindness he could offer. His words were simple, but the manifestation of his generosity was not.

“Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.”

This was a big deal, for it would mean months of lost time for the king’s men, costing the nation many wasted man hours.

Yet, David knew how to do one thing well. He had taken the bitter waters of betrayal and made them sweet again.

When the death of trust scars our hearts, we must find even greater kindness to heal the wound.

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Excerpt of the Day

All the world’s opposition to the Christ will evaporate into nothing, if we only stay focused on him.

From Battling the  Wind,  Posted 17 February 2014