(2 Samuel 9:1-8 ESV) 1 And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 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.” 3 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.” 4 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.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 6 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.” 7 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.” 8 And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”
This story is one that speaks to God’s great compassion and mercy to mankind. David, who was king of Israel, decided to show kindness to the remaining members of Saul’s household. Upon inquiring if there were any remaining family members, Mephibosheth’s name was presented to him. Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan, Saul’s grandson, and was lame in both of his feet. David blessed Mephibosheth by restoring the land that had once belonged to his grandfather Saul, and taking him into the royal palace to enjoy the privilege of eating at David’s table. It is a beautiful picture of the unmerited favor of God.
There are several things to consider. First, David chose to be merciful in spite of Saul’s hatred for him. Saul had done everything in his power to destroy David. He allowed his hatred to control his attitude and actions toward David. Every waking moment Saul was consumed with the destruction of David. I’m grateful that God chose to be merciful to me! I’ve not always walked faithfully with the Lord. There was a time when my daily routine was all about being rebellious against Him. In spite of that, He loved me in a real and tangible way.
Second, from the natural point of view, Mephibosheth wasn’t the best candidate for blessing. Being crippled, he could never effectively serve David or repay the kindness given him. Even the fruit from the restored land would have to be worked by servants. Mephibosheth realized his limitations when he responded, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?” The only thing he could give was his sincere appreciation. So Mephibosheth, “came to David and fell on his face and paid homage.” Likewise, we must realize that God’s mercy is given freely, not because of anything (other than worship) we can bring to Him.
Lastly, we discover that mercy is distributed consistently. David never revoked Mephibosheth’s claim to his favor. Verse 13 tells us, “So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table.” Mephibosheth was an unworthy candidate and he had nothing of material value to bring to David. He simply responded the only way he could; he freely received the favor, and he graciously returned gratitude.
Through this historical account we see that God loves us with an everlasting love. We don’t deserve it and we certainly cannot provide anything that will increase God’s holdings. He only desires one thing–gratitude. I can do that!
PRAYER: Father, Your mercy is precious to me. My heart is full of gratitude when I think of all You have provided me. Thank You!