2 Samuel 16:1-2 (KJV)
And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.
And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king’s household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.
On the one hand is Ziba, who brought these gifts to David for personal gain and subterfuge (to reverse the fortunes of his crippled master). On the other are the gifts of Shobi, Machir and Barzillai, who gave purely out of loyalty and concern for the king and his men,
2 Samuel 17:27-29 (KJV)
And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,
And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
Though both gifts were, at the time they were offered, gratefully received, the eventual and long term reward was much different for each. At least one lesson has to do with the motivations for our gifts and offerings to God.
Are we concerned for personal gain in our giving?
Such gifts will almost certainly be received, and with apparent reward. It is in the realm of the eternal that the loss will be felt.
Are we merely interested in blessing the Lord and those who serve Him?
These gifts and offerings will reap benefits both now, as they are appreciated by those who receive them, and in eternity as they are recorded in the accounts of heaven.
To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
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2 Samuel 16:1-2 What Motivates Your Giving?
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