A List of David's Officials
(1 Chronicles 18.14-17)
15David ruled all Israel with fairness and justice.
David Is Kind
1 One day, David thought, “I wonder if any of Saul's family are still alive. If they are, I will be kind to them, because I made a promise to Jonathan.” 2David called in Ziba, one of the servants of Saul's family. David said, “So you are Ziba.”
“Yes, Your Majesty, I am.”
3 David asked, “Are any of Saul's family still alive? If there are, I want to be kind to them.”
Ziba answered, “One of Jonathan's sons is still alive, but he can't walk.”
4“Where is he?” David asked.
Ziba replied, “He lives in Lo-Debar with Machir the son of Ammiel.”
5-6David sent some servants to bring Jonathan's son from Lo-Debar. His name was Mephibosheth, and he was the grandson of Saul. He came to David and knelt down.
David asked, “Are you Mephibosheth?”
“Yes, I am, Your Majesty.”
7David said, “Don't be afraid. I'll be kind to you because Jonathan was your father. I'm going to give you back the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul. Besides that, you will always eat with me at my table.”
8Mephibosheth knelt down again and said, “Why should you care about me? I'm worth no more than a dead dog.”
9David called in Ziba, Saul's chief servant, and told him, “Since Mephibosheth is Saul's grandson, I've given him back everything that belonged to your master Saul and his family. 10You and your 15 sons and 20 servants will work for Mephibosheth. You will farm his land and bring in his crops, so that Saul's family and servants will have food. But Mephibosheth will always eat with me at my table.”
11-13Ziba replied, “Your Majesty, I will do exactly what you tell me to do.” So Ziba's family and servants worked for Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth was lame, but he lived in Jerusalem and ate at David's table, just like one of David's own sons. And he had a young son of his own, named Mica.
Many of the narratives from David’s life humble me. What can I do to be more like this person who often displayed a heart that was totally committed to God and to living in a way that brought honour to his Lord.
In this text we see David making much ado about something many of us might miss. He was a busy person. He was the king of the nation. He was the commander of the army. He was Jerusalem’s chief architect and principal restorer. He was a spiritual leader. But he was also a person who remembered his commitments to God and who sought out ways to honour those commitments.
Who was Mephibosheth? He was the last surviving grandson of Saul and was living in obscurity with a severe physical handicap. Surely he was not worth the fuss? Not so for David.
David was well aware that his predecessor had been anointed by God as the nation’s first king and even though Saul had wandered from the trust he had received, David still considered him a person worthy of honour. Early in his own tenure as the emerging king of the nation, David had made a commitment to honour Saul and Saul’s son Jonathan (David’s good friend) whenever and however it happened. In David’s estimation, even though a somewhat obscure descendant, Mephibosheth was a worthy recipient of David’s commitment to honour the familial line of Saul.
For David, honouring Saul’s life through recognizing and restoring the dignity of Mephibosheth was certainly much ado about something.
God, I want to be a person of honour. I want there to be a consistency between what I say and what I do. Help me to extend that honour to any degree and to any level. I know it will be a testimony of my commitment to you.
Jon is currently Provost & VP for Academic Affairs at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick. Jon holds a Ph.D. in Communication and has held various faculty and administrative positions in post-secondary education in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. He also served as a legislative speech writer in Edmonton, AB for a number of MLA’s. John is married to Jeneanne and has 7 children. Jon enjoys the challenge of living a healthy and active lifestyle and is currently a registered, competitive amateur boxer.