Monday, October 27, 2008

Are you sure that's right?

For awhile I've been reading through the 1st and 2nd Samuel. These books are PACKED with wisdom and principles about what to do and what not do do as leaders. Interestingly, pretty much all of the "don'ts" are things Saul did and all of the "do's" are from David's example. As I've been reading through 1st and 2nd Samuel, I've noticed over and over that David was a man of incredible integrity - possibly second only to Jesus Christ when it comes to being a man of integrity.

So a couple of days ago, I was in 2 Samuel 4, reading about the murder of Ish-Bosheth. Saul was king over Israel and was the predecessor to David's reign as king. Saul was also kind of crazy - he kept trying to kill David and David kept showing him mercy and grace. Saul was basically a sworn enemy of David. Ish-Bosheth was one of Saul's sons. In case you didn't already put two and two together, that made Ish-Bosheth one of David's enemies as well.

Long story short, two of David's followers named Recab and his brother Baanah setup a ploy and assassinated Ish-Bosheth. They stabbed him in the stomach, cut off his head and took the head to David.

"Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to take your life. This day the LORD has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring." they said to king David (2 Samuel 4:8, NIV).

Get this - they just killed the sworn enemy of king David who had been causing him all sorts of trouble. You'd think David would be grateful, wouldn't you?

Well this is what David said in verses 9-12: David answered Recab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, "As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of all trouble, when a man told me, 'Saul is dead,' and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!'"So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner's tomb at Hebron.

In other words, David was not happy and he had Recab and Baanah killed for what they did.

Get this: Recab and Baanah thought what they were doing was right. They were sure of it; so sure that they didn't even think twice about taking Ish-Bosheth's head to David. I bet they thought he would be so grateful that he would do something incredibly extravagant just to thank them. They never thought they would die for doing the "right" thing.

So what I'm thinking is this ...make sure what you think is the right thing actually is the right thing.

I'll write that again because I think this is such an important principle:
make sure what you think is the right thing actually is the right thing.

I can't tell you how many times I was sure that I was doing the right thing or making the right decision, only to discover that it wasn't right. Or if it wasn't right, it wasn't wise (which is just as important as right-ness). It's so easy to be sure we're right when we're not.

So whatever it is you're thinking about, consider Recab and Baanah and
once again - make sure what you think is the right thing actually is the right thing.

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