A Code for the Road
“Even if I should receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I would not put out my hand against the king’s son.” 2 Samuel 18:12a
Righteousness is quickly losing its definition. Like so many words in our English language, it has come to be a self-parody. If one is righteous, they must be self-righteous, picayune and judgmental, right? Rooted in being and doing “right”, righteousness is adrift in a world that has become confused about whether there really is a right, anyway. Like Pilate’s query, “what is truth?”
When Absalom rebelled against David, the king’s orders were to capture but not kill him. Joab, ever the expedient one, ignored the king’s command, killed the son, and mocked the decision made by a “certain man” who had chosen to do what David had ordered. To do what was right. To do what was righteous.
Life is full of choices to either be a Joab or not. And, it’s tough sometimes when expediency is the order of the day, without regard for what might be the righteous thing.
Deliberation over which choice to make is often mocked. Whether it is as simple as begging off the return of your shopping cart an unbearable twenty feet, or the grabbing of a handicapped parking space by the able-bodied, or as profound as the taking of a pre-born life for the sake of convenience, righteousness lies at the heart of the matter. And, therein is the issue. It’s not whether the issue is “important” or not. Everyone has an opinion on that. Can you believe he gets torked about a shopping cart? Sheesh. No, it’s about making a righteous choice. It’s about living a righteous life.
Crosby, Stills, Nash said it… “you who are on the road must have a code that you can live by…teach your children well.” So…what are they learning in your class?