ISSL Reflections December 12 2021 2 Samuel 9:1–12 Post 1

We turn our attention this week to King David and to members of King Saul’s household.

As you read this passage pay attention to each person named and to their relationship to David.

2 Samuel 9:1-12

David asked, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now 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!” The 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.” The 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.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. Mephibosheth 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.” David 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.” He did obeisance and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I?”

Then 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. You 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. Then 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. Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants.

We find elsewhere in the account of David’s life that Jonathan helped David escape from Saul’s intent to harm him and of the covenant between Jonathan and David (1 Samuel 20). In part Jonathan asks David to “never cut off your faithful love from my house,” (1 Samuel 20:15) and “Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life.” (1 Samuel 20:17)

What do you think “motivates” David’s desire to “show kindness for Jonathan’s sake”? Jonathan’s protecting David from Saul’s anger or the covenant that existed between the two, or the love Jonathan had for David?

Was it one or the other or all the above?

Is this the kind of behavior you expect a King to have for the family of his predecessor?

If it is not, what does it take for someone to rise above the norms of their culture and society?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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