So David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually." – 2 Samuel 9v7
From the first time I heard the story of Mephibosheth I have loved it. It shows us just how deep David’s love for Saul family went. The whole idea flies in the face of what was ‘normal’ in that day and what is normal today. We pay back our enemies. They deserve it after all.
David had done could do to honour the memory of Saul and Jonathan. As king he now had control of all of Saul’s land, property, and resources. He could have kept that all as a sort of ‘spoils of war’ and no one would have faulted him. He had no moral, legal, or ethical burden to do anything else.
But he wasn’t happy with it. He asked if there were any of Saul’s descendents left alive. The servant Ziba told him of Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan, who had been crippled since he took a fall as a five year old.
I wonder how Mephibosheth must have felt when he went to see the king. I think we have an indication by David’s first words when he came into the room – ‘Don’t be afraid.’ How surprised Meph (pardon the nickname) must have been when David told him, ‘I am going to show your kindness. I am going to give you all of Saul’s lands. You are going to be a part of my household.’
After years of suffering as a cripple fearing because of his ancestry Meph now had everything he could ask for.
I am touched by this because David did right when no one would have expected it if him. Sometimes we are tempted to only act is there is some type of moral or legal obligation to do so.
Maybe we need to be more concerned with just doing right no matter what the obligations.