In last Thursday’s devotional, we read of David showing unfathomable mercy to the man whose heart was set on seeing David killed. Not only did he spare Saul’s life, but he also promised to preserve Saul’s name and lineage (1 Samuel 24:21-22).
Fast-forward to 2 Samuel 9, and David is actively looking to make good on his promise to Saul:
And David said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” (2 Samuel 9:3)
One person fit the bill: Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the grandson of Saul (and the holder of quite possibly my favorite biblical name, but that’s neither here nor there).
My guess is that Mephibosheth had heard the stories of how his grandfather had tried and failed (multiple times) to kill David who, by this time, had finally ascended to authority as the king of Israel. So you can imagine the fear that would’ve gripped Mephibosheth when messengers arrived to deliver him to King David. He didn’t know what awaited him. Would David finally exact his revenge on Saul by cleansing Israel of any remnant of its former king?
Mephibosheth’s fears were quickly relieved:
And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness . . . and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always” . . . So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. (2 Samuel 9:7, 13)
It’s David doing David things again, showing mercy and kindness to those who had done nothing to deserve it and had nothing to offer in return.
Or maybe it’s more fair to say it’s David doing God-like things again, like extending a never-ending invitation to unworthy guests to come and dine with the king (Revelation 19:9). Once again, we see a faint glimpse of God in the man who was after his heart.