By David Wong, 21, Singapore
Saul and his family had been killed (1 Sam. 31; 2 Sam. 4), and David reigned supreme over a united Israel.
At that time, David remembered the house of Saul and desired to show “the kindness of God” to someone from Saul’s house. Ziba, a servant in Saul’s house, informed David that Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth was still alive. We aren’t told much about him except that he was crippled.
David then sent his servants to bring Mephibosheth into his courts. It would probably have been a terrifying moment for Mephibosheth. He might have thought that since he was associated with Saul, the enemy of David, he would be beheaded. But surprise, surprise—instead of killing or even punishing him, David restored to Mephibosheth “everything that belonged to Saul and his family” and invited him to “eat at [David’s] table always.” The chapter then ends in a happily ever after way. We read: “And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem and ate regularly at the king’s table” (2 Samuel 9:13).
This essentially sums up 2 Samuel 9. If you sit through a typical Sunday school Bible study, what follows will probably be a question asking about the moral of the story or how this story could be applied to our lives. More often than not, it would end off with a simple call to follow the loving example of King David—to love our enemies or to show compassion even on those who do not deserve it.
On one hand, yes, learn from the example of King David, how he sought to show the “kindness of God” and how he was faithful to the covenant he had with Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:14-17). But on the other hand, there is a deeper lesson for us because the Old Testament points to the gospel and Jesus Christ.
In the next two articles, we will observe how King David’s dealings with Mephibosheth is a picture of grace and compassion shown to us by Jesus.