Today is all about communication.
Let’s begin with Mephibosheth and finish yesterday’s story. When last we left Mephibosheth, Ziba had reported to King David that Mephibosheth was siding with Absalom, David’s son who stole the throne. David, in response, took Mephibosheth’s property and gave it all to Ziba. However, when David returns to power, who is waiting for him but Mephibosheth, in obvious mourning since David left. Ziba had lied about him to get his land, and David sets things right.
Next is David himself. At the death of his son Absalom, David goes in to mourning. Now when a king goes in to mourning of this magnitude, people tend to die around him, so the whole army gets very nervous. Though they won the war and defeated the usurper of David’s throne, David was making them feel like they had failed or even sinned against him. Thankfully, Joab confronts David in his grief, a life-risking proposition, and convinces David to encourage his troops rather than shame them.
Sheba, seeing that Absalom’s coup was successful for a while, tries his hand at the “overthrow the king” game. But Joab, David’s military commander, corners him in Abel Beth Maakah and attacks the city. But they are saved when a Wise Woman agrees to hand Sheba over (or at least his head).
Finally, we find the famous “persistent widow” in Jesus’ parable. To get a ruling in her favor, she doesn’t study and convince the judge of her righteousness (he doesn’t fear God) and she doesn’t call up a Facebook campaign and start a protest movement in her favor (he doesn’t care what people think). Instead, she simply keeps on bugging him. In negative terms, she nags and badgers him, wearing him down. In positive terms, she persists. And this, Jesus says, should be a familiar pattern in our prayer life – persistence.
Ziba’s manipulation. David’s discouragement. The Wise Woman’s compromise. The widow’s persistence. Communication is a powerful tool, both for good and evil. We have to watch out that we are using our communication for God’s good, not for personal gain. Gossip, slander, lies, discouragement, manipulation: all of these go on every day and are sins of communication. But praise, encouragement, truth-telling: these are all Godly uses of our tongues. Which will you choose to do today?