2 Samuel 9
After David had fought to protect his borders and had settled most of the conflicts with his neighbors, he began to think about his friend Jonathan. You may remember that Jonathan and David had been very good friends and had promised to care for each other’s families. So David begins to ask if anyone was left in King Saul’s family that he could show kindness to for Jonathan’s sake. David discovered that one of Saul’s former servants, Ziba, was still alive. Bringing Ziba before him, David asked if any of the family had survived. Ziba tells him that one son of Jonathan’s lived, Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth had been only 5 years old when his father was killed. Unfortunately Mephibosheth’s nurse had dropped him when they were fleeing in the chaos after Jonathan’s death and permanently injured both his feet. Mephibosheth had never been able to walk again. A kind man named, Machir had taken him in and cared for him.
David sends to have Mephibosheth brought to him. We need to take a moment and understand how Mephibosheth must have been feeling. Number one, since he was only 5 when his father died, he probably never knew that Jonathan and David had been friends. Number 2, in this culture new rulers usually killed the entire family of the previous ruler regardless of how long they had been in power. And number 3, in this culture people with physical disabilities were not welcome in public. So, while many of these things are not right in God’s eyes, Mephibosheth had very real reasons to be afraid to go before King David.
So how did David respond to Mephibosheth? David welcomed him with open arms! He told Mephibosheth that all of Saul’s lands would be his and that he would live in Jerusalem and eat at the kings’ table every day! He told Ziba (the servant) that he would manage and care for all the lands for Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth must have been stunned!! To have all his grandfather’s fortune returned and be invited to publically sit at the king’s table, this was a huge honor! He was being treated like a son of the king, not an outcast! No one would have faulted David for giving Mephibosheth a little land and sending him to live there. That would have meet his promise to Jonathan to take care of his family, but, no, David went above and beyond! He gave Mephibosheth a vast fortune and treated him like a son. This is just how God treats us. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He not only saves us from death but promises us that we will inherit the kingdom of heaven along with Jesus! God makes us His children too! He is so good to us!
Take this opportunity to discuss people with physical disabilities. Talk about how even though they are different God loves them just as much as everyone else and we need to show them love just like God!