Summary: A sermon on Christian service, looking at David with Mephibosheth and Ziba.
10.17.21 2 Samuel 9:1–13
1 David said, “Is there anyone still left from the house of Saul, to whom I may show kindness for the sake of Jonathan?” 2 There was a servant of Saul’s house named Ziba, so they summoned him to come to David. The king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “I am.” 3 The king said, “Isn’t there still a man left who belongs to the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan. He has crippled feet.” 4 The king said to him, “Where is he?” Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.” 5 So King David sent and brought him from the house of Makir son of Ammiel from Lo Debar. 6 When Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, came to David, he bowed facedown to the ground. David said, “Mephibosheth?” He said, “I am.” 7 David said to him, “Do not be afraid. I will certainly show kindness to you because of Jonathan, your father. I will return to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat bread at my table.” 8 He bowed down and said, “What is your servant that you have paid attention to a dead dog like me?” 9 The king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “Everything that belonged to Saul and to his entire house I am giving to your master’s son. 10 You are to work the soil for him, you and your sons and your servants. You are to bring in the crops, so your master’s son will have food to eat. Mephibosheth, your master’s son, will always eat bread at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) 11 Ziba said to the king, “Everything that my lord the king commands his servant, your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth began eating at the king’s table like one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. Everyone living in Ziba’s house became servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth took up residence in Jerusalem because he was always to eat at the table of the king. He was crippled in both his feet.
Alfred was the well renowned butler of Batman. And who can forget Jeannie from “I Dream of Jeannie,” Rosey the Robot from the Jetson’s, Alice from The Brady Bunch, or Alice and Flo from Mel’s Diner? Sometimes the servants have a way of stealing the show.
God wants us to serve as well. Tis better to give than to receive. Paul wrote in today’s epistle, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone.” Jesus said in today’s Gospel, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” When you’re busy serving other people you don’t have time to worry about yourself or feel sorry for yourself. You are forced outside of yourself. This is the life of a Christian. One of service. So as we look at the Old Testament lesson from 2 Samuel 9, we see once again how,
We are Here to Serve, Lord, As You Wish
Those who can’t pay me back
David had finally risen to power after Saul died. If you remember your Bible history, it wasn’t an easy journey to be king. For years and years he had to run from King Saul who was jealous of him and wanted him dead. He had to hide in caves and forests. He had to flee the country. And the thing was, he had several chances to kill Saul, but he refused to do so out of honor and reverence for the office of the king. Eventually, Saul died in battle and David was able to then rise to power. He finally ended up with a united kingdom of north and south. The ark had returned to Jerusalem. David had defeated their longtime foes in the Philistines, along with the Arameans and the Edomites. He had a palace along with several wives, servants, and an entire army at his beckon call. Everything was going great.
It was at this time that David, with a profound sense of thankfulness, wanted to do something kind for his old friend Jonathan. David’s relationship with Jonathan was unique and dangerous in a sense. Jonathan was the son of Saul, the old king that was trying to kill him. Under normal operations, Jonathan would have been the next king, but David had been anointed as the next king instead of Jonathan. But Jonathan didn’t care about that. He and David had become tight friends. Jonathan and David bound themselves together in a friendship that was thicker than blood. Saul hated Jonathan for becoming friends with David, but Jonathan didn’t care, and neither did David. When Jonathan later died in battle with Saul, David wanted to do something kind for an offspring of Jonathan. Most kings would have probably killed Jonathan’s offspring because of the possible threat to the throne they might pose, but David wasn’t worried about that. He wanted to give back to an offspring of Jonathan if at all possible. He wanted to use his riches and his blessings to serve an old friend.