Summary: Forgiveness as evidenced by David



A. There was once a young man. He came from a good military family. He aspired to be a good soldier himself. After getting the opportunity to serve, his career elevated quickly. His commanding officer thought highly of him. But as the success of the young man grew, so did the jealousy of the commander. Soon, the commander became openly hostile toward the soldier, even trying to kill him on multiple occasions. He launched search parties to find him. The young soldier had to live as a fugitive.

The commander finally died as did all his family but one lame grandson. The young soldier, named David, remembered the unmerited murderous rage of the commander, Saul. David had a choice to make… be vindictive and extract revenge or to be merciful and forgiving.


II Samuel 9:1-8 David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

“At your service,” he replied.

3 The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”

4 “Where is he?” the king asked. Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makirson of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”

5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.

6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor. David said, “Mephibosheth!” “At your service,” he replied.

7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

A. Before we entered II Samuel 9, you can look back and see King David at the height of his royal success. He is pounding the Philistines and Syrians, he is putting up fortresses, and his kingdom is growing even more powerful.

B. He was in a position of unrestrained power, he could do whatever he desired. If he decided to kill off Mephibosheth, no one would have questioned it.

C. But David’s intentions are immediately seen in his question - “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

1. David looked past all the wrongs. He did not justify a violent retaliation. He did not seek revenge for nearly being killed multiple times. Think of that – he is looking at the grandson of a man who kept trying to KILL him.

2. Yet David wanted to show him Kindness. How would David have felt if he executed Mephibosheth? How does he feel by showing him kindness?

D. Look at the disarming effect that Forgiveness and mercy have on Mephibosheth:

“What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

1. Luke 6:35-37 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.

2. Good Samaritan – Loved his enemy. Did good. Gave – expected nothing in return. Not just the Good Samaritan, but this is how God rules.


* II Samuel 9:9-13 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.

10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.

12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth.

13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

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