Summary: Christians, especially, must always remember those who have stood with them, honouring their memory and the kinship they have shared during hard times.

“David said, ‘Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’ Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, ‘Are you Ziba?’ And he said, ‘I am your servant.’ And the king said, ‘Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?’ Ziba said to the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.’ The king said to him, ‘Where is he?’ And Ziba said to the king, ‘He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.’ Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, ‘Mephibosheth!’ And he answered, ‘Behold, I am your servant.’ And David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.’ And he paid homage and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?’

“Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, ‘All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.’ Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said to the king, ‘According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.’ So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons. And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants. So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.” [1]

David, the shepherd boy who became a king, had a life packed with momentous events. You no doubt recall that while delivering provisions to his brothers who were serving in Saul’s army, the young man heard the taunts of a Philistine giant as he insulted the people of God. All the mighty men trembled and cowered at the giant’s challenge; no one was willing to fight this intimidating warrior. The fear was palpable, contagious. David, however, was offended that anyone—giant or otherwise—would defy the Living God. He castigated the warriors, asking, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the Living God” [1 SAMUEL 17:26b]?

You remember the rest of the story—David killed the giant, and the Israelites, heartened by what this lad had accomplished, gained a great victory over the enemies of the LORD on that day. David became a leader for Saul’s army, which led to great problems as Saul grew increasingly jealous of David’s prowess. The king could not tolerate that someone, even one who was committed to the welfare of the royal family, could receive greater recognition than the king himself. Saul became increasingly mad at the thought that David had greater recognition than he did.

However, among the members of the royal family was one man who rejoiced in what God was doing through this young leader. Jonathan immediately accepted what God was doing when the shepherd boy delivered the nation from humiliation before the enemies of the LORD. Thus, we read in Scripture, “As soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, ‘Whose son are you, young man?’ And David answered, ‘I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.’

“As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt” [1 SAMUEL 17:57-18:4].

As Saul’s madness progressed, Jonathan openly resisted by praising David and standing up for this leader of the armies. At last, Saul’s rage could no longer be contained, and it became necessary for the young warrior to flee. The choice was stark—either kill Saul, or be killed by Saul. David refused to lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed, so he fled for his own safety.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion