David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

In 2 Samuel chapter 9 we read of the deeply touching meeting between King David and Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan.

In the providence of God, David has been firmly established upon the throne of Israel. Note the gracious spirit of the king when he expresses the desire of his heart thus, “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” This desire of David reveals much. It reveals that he was a man who was determined to be faithful to the covenant made between him and Jonathan. For the sake of Jonathan, he was most willing to show kindness to one of the house of Saul. We need to remember of course, that this was in a day and age when such as were raised up to power and kingship frequently disposed of any from the former ruling family, lest they became a rival.

We must also recall that David had been fearfully persecuted by Saul – grandfather to Mephibosheth. Yet – for Jonathan’s sake – David is willing to show kindness. He tells Mephibosheth, ” Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.”

Not only does the chapter reveal David’s desire expressed as it is in verse 1, but we find David pursuing this desire with determination until at length the kindness desired is actually shown. We can imagine David’s delight at being told that there is indeed one left of the house of Saul who may be the object of David’s grace, and that he is a son of Jonathan! Moreover, he is a lame son who was in great need of help.

So we are brought to the scene of Mephibosheth bowing down before the king and David showing mercy and assuring him that for the sake of Jonathan he will receive good. The writer A W Pink notes, ‘A most admirable spirit did our hero now display: instead of using his royal power tyrannically or maliciously, he put it to a most noble use: to return good For evil, to extend pity to the descendant of his foe, to befriend one who might well have feared death at his hands…’ (A W Pink – The Life of David)

But friends, what is this in comparison to the mercy that God shows to a sinner for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ? How happy are they who – for Jesus’ sake – are blessed and accepted as one of the king’s sons by adoption. They have a more sure word of promise – who by divine grace and divine drawing – have fled for refuge to the hope set before them in the gospel.

As Jesus Christ said, All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)

G B Macdonald


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