Responsibilities of Stewardship
Has God called you to provide a service? Your responsibilities under the mission include making yourself acceptable to the potential beneficiaries so they can accept what you provide in line with God’s desire for their lives. We learn about this in a study of David’s interactions with the people of Israel after he was confirmed king over the tribe of Judah.
King in Hebron
After the death of Saul, David returned to Israel from Philistine city of Ziklag where he lived as refugee. He settled in Hebron, a city in Judah. The people of Judah confirmed him king over them. Recall that God had anointed David to succeed Saul as king of Israel. David therefore could not have been satisfied with being king of only Judah, one of twelve tribes of Israel because this was not what his assignment was.
Reaching out to Israel
He began reaching out to the rest of Israel to seek opportunities to convince them to accept him as king. He sent a message to the people of Jabesh Gilead, commending them for giving Saul an honorable burial, exhorted them to be strong consequent upon Saul’s death, prayed for them, promised he will be kind and faithful to them, while using the opportunity to inform them that Judah had made him king. Next, he opened negotiation with the other tribes of Israel, through his enemy, Saul’s commander Abner.
Prior to the negotiations, Abner had imposed Saul’s son Ish-Boshet as king over the rest of Israel while David was king over Judah. However, Ish-Boshet’s rule lasted only two years as he was murdered in cold blood by two people that stole into his house during his mid-day rest. Abner also was murdered in cold blood by David’s army commander Joab. David condemned the killings, executed Ish-Boshet’s murderers, invoked severe punishment on Joab for killing Abner, and buried Abner and Ish-Boshet honorably in Hebron. His actions demonstrated justice and fairness. Everything he did pleased the people of Israel. Instead of trying to impose himself as king over Israel, he recognized that his responsibilities as God’s anointed king of Israel included winning the acceptance of the Israelites. He did not try to win acceptance by just telling them that God anointed him king over them, rather he showed through his actions that he had the qualities they desired in a king, so they could desire and rely on him as God’s anointed king over them.
Lessons from David’s Strategy?
What are the lessons in David’s strategy to achieve purpose to which God has called him? Would it have been more effective to run over the opposition with a strong army and enthrone himself? How would he have kept the peace ruling a people not divided by God? Remember the house of David went to war with the house of Saul through their commanders Joab and Abner respectively. That strategy did not succeed in making David king over Isreal but ended in a truce. How should the lessons learned impact our day-to-day interactions and relationships with our community and family in our effort to execute our God-given/purpose-driven mandate/assignments over them?