Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, ‘Look, we are your bone and flesh. For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The Lord said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.’
So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah for seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, ‘You will not come in here, even the blind and the lame will turn you back’—thinking, ‘David cannot come in here.’ Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, which is now the city of David.
And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
( A couple’s perspective)
I had several great theologians as professors while I was in seminary. One of them, while lecturing on the Old Testament passages such as above, used to state that these passages are important not only because they are holy texts, but that the history it shares reminds us of a very specific group of people to which we belong. And as I think about David’s agreement with his elders, I think of it as the people to whom he is beholden, who depend upon him.
For me, this agreement is with my husband and my young children. Whether it is easy or not, for the rest of my life I am to care for them and “shepherd” them, my family, my people. I pray for help and guidance every day from God as I do this work.
My wife and I are involved in “helping” professions—psychology and counselling for her and ministry and teaching for me. We are good at taking care of others’ needs. We even do a decent job of taking care of one another’s needs (although she definitely does this better than me!).
Unfortunately, we can both overlook our own needs and desires sometimes. It is an occupational hazard, I suppose, that affects many who focus so much on helping other people. I have learned that it is important to pay attention to myself now and then—to feed my soul with music and reading, to rest when I can, and to focus on what is truly important in life. Obligations to self sometimes seem selfish to me, but I need to resist the temptation of believing that I do not need or deserve care and attention.
To whom are you beholden? Who requires your care and attention today?
—Carrie and David Nantais live in the city of Detroit with their two sons, Liam (almost 4 years) and Theo (5 ½ months). They are both at the University of Detroit Mercy—David as Director of University Ministry and Carrie as a PhD student in Clinical Psychology. They have been married for 5 ½ years. http://www.udmercy.edu/ministry/index.htm
Lord, you see grand potential in each of us. You believe in us. Should we be doubting ourselves or feeling a dullness to the goodness of life, awaken us from discouragement, boredom, or fear that holds us back from stretching our talents to be present to others. We believe good will be with us this day, and we praise you for every good gift you have lavished upon us.—The Jesuit Prayer Team Please share the Good Word with your friends!