Summary: A powerful message about overcoming the uncontrollable circumstances brought about by changes due to death and leadership.
1Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
2And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “At your service!”
3Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God? And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.”
4So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.”
5Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar.
6Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, “Mephibosheth?” And he answered, “Here is your servant!”
7So David said to him, “So not fear for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.
8Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”
9And the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house.
10”You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat brad at my table always.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
11Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.” “As for Mephibosheth”, said the king, “he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.”
The text today focuses on two main characters: David and Mephibosheth the grandson of Saul and son of Jonathan. It is a story about the distress that is experienced that is caused by change. It is a story about an invitation that was accepted. It is a story about friendship, promises, grace, love, compassion, forgiveness, hope.
So seldom in the profile that is readily available about David do we see such kindness. David is generally thought of as the little shepherd who slew the giant, or committing adultery with Bathseba or running from Saul. We remember him for being a man after God’s own heart, relocating the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, his many wives, the incest in his family between his sons and daughters and his friendship with Jonathan, the son of Saul. It is this friendship with Jonathan that brings us to this story today.
Earlier in Samuel we see a very beautiful friendship between Jonathan and David. We know that they were close because the scripture gives us to know that they loved each other as if it were their own souls. David and Jonathan had bonded together and were very loyal to one another in spite of how Saul felt about David. David and Jonathan had made a covenant of friendship to each other promising that whoever survived or outlived each other would look after each others families. This incident certainly stands as a challenge to us as to how we operate with our friends and what kinds of promises have we made, kept and/or broken. It is also a challenge to honor the promises that we made to our own parents, grandparents and descendants and to do so reflects how we also keep our promises to God.
We are certainly living in a time where all relationships are suspect and challenged. If you have a friend it just seems like everyone is wondering what is going on between them as if there is no such thing as pure friendship. It is equally a concern when friends are friends irregardless of the problems and perceptions of others. You know how it is, people want you to be mad at your friend because they are and they do not seem to understand it when you say, but that doesn’t have anything to do with me. People want you to be mad at a whole family because they had problems with one member of the family. We just can’t seem to separate and deal with the issues.
At any rate, this is a time of much turmoil. Saul had failed as the first king and David is now king. At the time, Jonathan and Saul die in the same battle on Mount Gilboa, Mephibosheth is only five years old at the time. It was chaotic, the king is dead, the prince is dead now what will happen to us? The nurse picks up the child and While running for their lives, drops the Mephibosheth. While she saves his natural life, he is now crippled for life. Mephibosheth belonged to the royal line and thus lived in exile and fear from King David. He was subject to persecution and slander but was rescued due to a promise that was made to his father that he probably never even heard about.