Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet. – 2 Samuel 9:13
1 Samuel 20:14-17
14 [Jonathan told David] And may you treat me with the faithful love of the LORD as long as I live. But if I die,
15 treat my family with this faithful love, even when the LORD destroys all your enemies from the face of the earth.”
16 So Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, saying, “May the LORD destroy all your enemies!”
17 And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as himself.
Nowhere Man – The Beatles, 1965
He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
The Father is a great and merciful king. Showing kindness is one of the most remarkable things that He does. When we show kindness to our bitterest enemies we most like Him. Kindness expressed overcomes the obstacles of hatred and bitterness and fulfills loyal promises.
2 Samuel 9:3-139
3 The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.” Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”
4 “Where is he?” the king asked. “In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.”
5 So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home.
6 His name was Mephibosheth; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.” Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”
7 “Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
8 Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?”
9 Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.
David and Mephibosheth – the back story
REFLECT & PRAY
It is far too easy and all too natural to be bitter and hateful. How much better is it to be gentle and merciful, showing kindness to all who are in need.
Father You are kind and You are the embodiment of loving kindness, loyal love. Encourage me to be kind and caring as You are.
Kindness is a benevolent attitude or action between individuals. Kindness involves loving affection, sympathy, friendliness, patience, pleasantness, gentleness, and goodness. Kindness is a quality shown in the way a person speaks and acts. It is more volitional than emotional.
Kindness is grace acted out in real time.
Jonathan requested “unfailing kindness” of David so that he would not be killed (1 Samuel 20:14–15). Jonathan saw his friendship with David in spiritual terms, making the Father the centerpiece of their relationship. The Father provides the closest and best friendships when we most need them.
David extended kindness to Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth. Two magnificent aspects of David’s character are kindness and loyalty. Hebrew has one word that expresses this concept, hesed, “loyal love” which is often translated lovingkindness.
David’s goodness to Mephibosheth was pure grace, entirely unearned by Jonathan’s son. David provided for Mephibosheth’s needs in Jerusalem. David granted him the right to eat at the king’s table (2 Samuel 9:1–7). David gave him all of the lands of Saul his grandfather and saw to it that they were cultivated.
The example of David showing kindness to Mephibosheth because of his friendship and promise to Jonathan is “the greatest illustration of grace in all the Old Testament” (Swindoll).
Just below the surface of the story lurks stunning truth. There are many parallels between Mephibosheth and us. Mephibosheth had fallen, was deformed as a result of his fall, was hiding in a place of stark bleakness, and was fearful of the king. Because of the Fall, our hearts are wounded and deformed. We see ourselves is no better than dead dogs and want to hide from the Father who loves us the most.
Our heavenly Father is somewhere and everywhere. He has made His extraordinary, fantastic incredible plans for everybody. He has unfailing and unlimited kindness for all of His children.