2 SAMUEL 9:1-13
1David asked, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and he was summoned to David. The king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “At your service!” 3The king said, “Is there anyone remaining of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” Ziba said to the king, “There remains a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” 4The king said to him, “Where is he?” Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” 5Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 6Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, and fell on his face and did obeisance. David said, “Mephibosheth!” He answered, “I am your servant.” 7David said to him, “Do not be afraid, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan; I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you yourself shall eat at my table always.” 8He did obeisance and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I am?”
9Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10You and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him, and shall bring in the produce, so that your master’s grandson may have food to eat; but your master’s grandson Mephibosheth shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your servant will do.’ Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons. 12Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants. 13Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he always ate at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.
the action of copying or reproducing something.
Notice something in this passage in light of yesterday's reading? David in his prayer cried out, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?" Here, Mephibosheth cries out, "What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I am?” The parallelism in these passages might be accidental; it might be intentional. What is clear is that as the Lord has shown mercy and favor to David in His covenantal commitment to David, David shows mercy and favor to Mephibosheth in David's covenantal commitment to Jonathan.
Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul, at five years of age, was dropped accidentally by his nurse when she fled in panic upon hearing the news that both Saul and Jonathan were killed at the Battle of Mt. Gilboa. Ever since then, Mephibosheth has been unable to walk. And now that the House of Saul has been wiped out, Mephibosheth is living in fear of reprisal. The last thing he would have ever expected was this grand gesture of mercy and generosity on the part of David. Instead of retribution, Mephibosheth experiences reconciliation. Instead of rejection, Mephibosheth experiences inclusion. Eating with David and his family meant that Mephibosheth was considered "family." No longer an outsider living in the house of Machir in the land of Gilead; but an insider living in the House of David in Jerusalem.
David knows the love that he's received from Jonathan. David returns that love to Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth. David knows the favor he's received from the Lord. David replicates that favor by including Mephibosheth in his family and restoring everything that once belonged to Saul back to Mephibosheth.
This replication of mercy and generosity is not an accidental feature of those who love God. This replication of mercy and generosity is an essential feature of those who follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Not an option. But a non-negotiable part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.