Saturday, June 14, 2008

Plopping Point

Lucado writes of a "plopping point," a time or place where and when we are just completely worn out, so we plop down wherever we are. David's men plopped down at Brook Besor. I have never heard of that place - yet another detail in David's life I don't know. Just when I think I know the Bible well, I realize how little I know. I get such a false sense of pride when I can answer all the questions on a "Bible" category on Jeopardy. And then I read about a person or event which I have never heard of. Or, more likely, I have read once years ago and just completely forgot. So is it still in my mind, even though I have no recollection of it?

David's men are mad because the village of Ziklag has been burned and the women and children kidnapped. At first, they want to attack David. But David redirects their anger toward the enemy. When they reach the Brook Besor, 200 of David's 600 men decide to quit the fight there. They are tired. They decide to abandon the hunt for their kidnapped wives and children. Instead of fighting the enemy who destroyed their village, they decide to rest.

David let them stay. David and the remaining 400 men pursue the enemy. They encounter a disabled Egyptian whom the enemy had left behind because of his physical ailments. David and his men nurse him back to health. In return, the Egyptian shows David where the enemy is camped. They are able to rescue the women and children. The enemies are either killed or flee, leaving behind all their belongings.

How do the rescued women feel? Obviously ecstatic and grateful. But what if your husband had stayed at Brook Besor instead of pushing onward to find you? How would you feel then?

What about the bitterness between the rescuers and the Brook Besor men? What about the self esteem of the men who had stayed behind? How much shame will they feel?

David tries to mollify this hotbed of resentment by declaring that the shares of the plundered goods will be the same for those "who stayed with the supplies" as for those "who went into battle." David acts like it was their job to stay behind.

Lucado urges us to "Reserve passing judgment on the tired." What a humbling statement. There are so many times when I am tired and, as a result, my actions and words are not what I intend. I always hope that people will show me grace and forgiveness. I need to remember that other people may be tired, and as a result their words and actions are not what they intend.

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