Fourth in the Solomon Series
Following an attempted insurrection against King David, Solomon had been made king of Israel. Knowing death was near, David's mind sharpened to consider three matters; it would be for Solomon to conclude his unfinished business.
Two of the matters concerned difficult men, Joab and Shimei. We will look at these in future posts.
One matter was simple: David wanted the sons of Barzillai to be honored for their loyalty to him when he was nearly deposed by Absalom. But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother. 1 Ki 2:7
A proverb of Solomon reflects this remembrance: Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not... Pro 27:10a
Leaders must not only strategize to keep hold of the reigns of power, they must be thoughtful and kind, rewarding loyalty and setting an example. This must be done from the heart, not as a routine.
King Ahasuerus, famous as Esther's spouse, had forgotten to thank and reward her uncle Mordecai for preventing a plot to harm him. His remembrance of this deed, written down in a book of records, began the undoing of Haman who was the enemy of God's people. Paul often remembered those who helped him and their fellow believers, based on the Lord's own example.
If a leader will not demonstrate that he has respect for others' feelings and show gratefulness for their assistance, a certain type of culture will pervade his dominion. Back-stabbing and self-serving attitudes will be commonplace when they are considered to be acceptable behavior, but civility will be emulated, and brotherly love will increase under the kind-hearted.