We could say that Mephibosheth was born into privilege. His grandfather, Saul, was the king of Israel, and his father, Jonathan, also had a prominent place in the kingdom. But then Saul and Jonathan were both killed in battle on the same day, and family fortunes changed for Mephibosheth. And when David the next king summoned Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth in today’s OYB reading in 2 Samuel 9, Mephibosheth said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?” (9:8). Mephibosheth was also crippled in both feet.

David wanted to show kindness to any surviving family of his good friend Jonathan. So he returned the properties of his grandfather to Mephibosheth, with the request that a former servant of Saul’s family manage the property for Mephibosheth, while Mephibosheth and his family were invited to live in Jerusalem and dine regularly at the table of King David. He received a very generous position of privilege at the hand of King David, whom his grandfather had hated and attempted to assasinate.

David’s example of mercy and kindness and loyalty to the family of his friend Jonathan, reaching out to Jonathan’s family even after his friend’s death, stand as an example and model of how we can show mercy and kindness and loyalty to others. Is there someone we know in need, someone whose circumstances and fortunes may have changed, that we should be reaching out to?

by Bob Busenitz, Elder

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