The One I Couldn't Shake - 6/3

One of my favorite examples of grace in the Bible is the story of Mephibosheth (love that name). King David is sitting around one day thinking of his best friend Jonathan who was killed in battle with King Saul. David asks one of his servants if there is anyone left in Jonathan's family that he could show some kindness to. The servant tells him of Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was dropped as a baby and was permanently crippled. He and his caretaker were not living well. David summons them and gives back all of Saul's land to Mephibosheth and insists that Mephibosheth eat at the King's table as long as he lives. David takes an outcast and makes him part of the family. It's really a beautifual example of the grace of God.

I've never paid any attention to one of the last things we hear about Mephibosheth. David's son, Absolam, is in the process of overthrowing the kingdom and David has to run for his life. He's just vacated the palace when this exchange happens:

2 Samuel 16:1-4 (MSG)
Shortly after David passed the crest of the hill, Mephibosheth's steward Ziba met him with a string of pack animals, saddled and loaded with a hundred loaves of bread, a hundred raisin cakes, a hundred baskets of fresh fruit, and a skin of wine.
The king said to Ziba, "What's all this?"
"The donkeys," said Ziba, "are for the king's household to ride, the bread and the fruit are for the servants to eat, and the wine is for drinking, especially for those overcome with fatigue in the wilderness."
The king said, "And where is your master's grandson?" (referring to Mephibosheth)
"He stayed in Jerusalem," said Ziba, "He said, 'This is the day Israel is going to restore my grandfather's kingdom to me.'"
"Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth," said the king, "is now yours."
Ziba said, "How can I ever thank you? I'll be forever in your debt, my master and king; may you always look on me with such kindness!"

This is amazing to me! Mephibosheth never understood the grace of the king. He totally took it for granted and jumped at the first opportunity to seize power. His pride and greed cost him everything. All that had been gifted to him was taken away.

God, I hope I never take your grace for granted. Thank you for loving me when I'm unlovable. Thank you making me part of your family when I probably don't fit in very well. Thank you for giving me the Kingdom when all I deserve is my crutches.


Anonymous said...

What Ziba told King David in Chapter 16 about Mephibosheth, is not what actually happened. Ziba was lying to David about Mephibosheth. Chapters 19 clears the matter up, starting in verse 24. II Sam. 19:30 makes it very clear to me that Mephibosheth's love for David was very real.

Atleast that's the way I always understood the story.


Here is that text(ESV):

24And(X) Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. 25And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him,(Y) "Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?" 26He answered, "My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, 'I will saddle a donkey for myself,[b] that I may ride on it and go with the king.' For(Z) your servant is lame. 27(AA) He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is(AB) like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28For all my father’s house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but(AC) you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?" 29And the king said to him, "Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land." 30And Mephibosheth said to the king, "Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home."

Jeff Myers said...

Yes, I read ch. 19, too. However, because David divided the land between the two of them, I think there must have been some doubt on David's part in who he should believe. You're right that it was an honorable response on Mephibosheth's part in the end, though.