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II Samuel Chapter 9

Memory verses for this week: Psa 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Overview of II Samuel 9: The ninth chapter of II Samuel deals with the account of David and Mephibosheth one of the loveliest scenes in the life of David. To appreciate it properly we need to recall his earlier experiences. The unkind treatment David received from the hands of Saul and the jealousy which was awakened in that king’s heart when he heard the women celebrating in song the victory of Jesse’s youthful son over Goliath. How,that later he sought to kill David. Finally, how that David had to flee for his life and how relentlessly the king pursued him, determined to kill him.

Saul and his sons were slain in battle, and David had ascended the throne of Israel. A most admirable spirit did King David now display: instead of using his royal power tyrannically or maliciously, he put it to a most noble use: to return good For evil, to extend pity to the descendant of his foe, to befriend one who might well have feared death at his hands, was David’s next act.

I. David and Mephibosheth

2 Sam 9:1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

2 Sam 9:2 And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he.

2 Sam 9:3 And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.

As we pickup the story here in Chapter 9, David is now fully established upon his throne. As we studied two weeks ago, God had made the Davidic Covenant with him. David therefore turned his attention to his old friend Jonathan. “And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

There are no clear date markers in the text, but it may be that as much as sixteen years had passed since the battle of Gilboa when Saul and Jonathan had been killed. David had been focused upon establishing his reign and extending his kingdom.

He had captured Jerusalem, moved there, and developed the city. He no doubt had thought of Jonathan. But now one day, he asked his aides if there were any descendants of Jonathan still left. The large heart of David is apparent. He expressed a desire to deal kindly with any descendants of his old and dear friend Jonathan.

In verse 3, Ziba, a former servant of Saul, informed him that there indeed was one son of Jonathan. However, he was crippled in his feet.

David set an example in doing good that we as Christians should follow.

      Psa 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

      Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

      Psa 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

      Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

Christ in his ministry taught us to love one another, and to extend that love beyond just fellow Christians and family unto even our enemies.

      Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

      Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

      Luke 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

      Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

      Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

      Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

      Luke 6:33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

      Luke 6:34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

      Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

      Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.


2 Sam 9:4 And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.

2 Sam 9:5 Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.

David was informed that Jonathan’s son was in a little place called Lodebar. This small community was in the north of Gilead which was east of the Jordan River. It was some considerable distance from Jerusalem.

There certainly must be a human perspective beneath the surface of the text. David had become the most powerful king on the earth of that time. Mephibosheth was the sole surviving grandson of David’s enemy Saul through Jonathan. He likely was aware of the friendship of his father with David.

But Mephiobosheth also was quite aware of the hostility of the house of Saul and that of David. Therefore, Mephibosheth likely was more than happy to live in obscurity far from Jerusalem and the reach of David as though he were dead.

One can only imagine the scene which took place that day in this small, dusty, middle eastern village. There no doubt was a unit of David’s royal cavalry in regal array seated upon powerful prancing steeds. There likely was a chariot or two with royal officials riding in them. As they swooped down into Lodebar, they immediately asked for Mephibosheth. Upon finding him, they likely informed him that they had orders to take him to Jerusalem. There undoubtedly was a wide range of emotions in Mephibosheth, not the least of which was fear.

He was placed onto a royal conveyance and off they went toward Jerusalem. He had received an invitation from the king.

Matthew Henry said it is our responsibility to seek to do good unto others.

      Note, Good men should seek opportunities of doing good. The liberal deviseth liberal things, Isa. 32:8. For, the most proper objects of our kindness and charity are such as will not be frequently met with without inquiry. The most necessitous are the least clamorous. Those he enquired after were the remains of the house of Saul, to whom he would show kindness for Jonathan’s sake: Is there any left of the house of Saul? Saul had a very numerous family (1 Chr. 8:33), enough to replenish a country, and was yet so emptied that none of it appeared; but it was a matter of enquiry, Is there any left? See how the providence of God can empty full families; see how the sin of man will do it. Saul’s was a bloody house, no marvel it was thus reduced, ch. 21:1. But, though God visited the iniquity of the father upon the children, David would not. "Is there any left that I can show kindness to, not for Saul’s own sake, but for Jonathan’s?’’ (1.) Saul was David’s sworn enemy, and yet he would show kindness to his house with all his heart and was forward to do it. He does not say, "Is there any left of the house of Saul, that I may find some way to take them off, and prevent their giving disturbance to me or my successor?’’


II. Mephibosheth Comes Unto David

2 Sam 9:6 Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!

2 Sam 9:7 And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.

Not knowing exactly how the king would react, Mephibosheth prostrated himself before the king in utter submission. David simply uttered Mephibosheth’s name. Realizing the fear of Jonathan’s son, David likely spoke his name with tenderness and affection. All poor Mephibosheth could say was, “Behold thy servant!”

David immediately sought to place him at ease. Likely to Mephibosheth’s astonishment, David said unto him, “Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.”

Not only did David intend to befriend Mephibosheth, he directed that the considerable estate of his grandfather Saul be restored to him. Furthermore, David granted Mephibosheth the privilege to eat at his table in perpetuity. There is a lovely picture of God’s salvation in this account. The king graciously invited a poor, hopeless cripple to come unto him. He then offered him a great gift and not only gave him a place at the table; He became a member of the royal family and received all the privileges of a son. The parallels to salvation are apparent.

      Psa 62:2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

      Psa 62:3 How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.

      Psa 62:4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

      Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

      Psa 62:6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

      Psa 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

When God chooses us and draws us unto himself, and we are saved by the blood of Christ, we become a very special people unto the Lord. We are a chosen generation and a royal priesthood. We are blessed in so many ways, and we get to sit at the table with the greatest of all kings one day.

      1 Pet 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

      1 Pet 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

      1 Pet 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

      1 Pet 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

      1 Pet 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 

2 Sam 9:8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

2 Sam 9:9 Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.

2 Sam 9:10 Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

Mephibosheth could only humbly accept the kings gracious offer. “And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” David as king had shown great mercy and grace to one who was obscure and crippled. Once again, there is a beautiful picture of God’s grace.

    In verse 9, not only did David show kindness to Mephibosheth, David thus granted to Ziba and his household the privilege of overseeing Saul’s former estate. That would provide sustenance to them as well in perpetuity. Gracious indeed was king David.

2 Sam 9:11 Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons.

2 Sam 9:12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.

2 Sam 9:13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.

(Perhaps to confirm the matter, David repeated to Ziba that Mephibosheth would eat at his table as if he were one of David’s own sons. Thus concludes this lovely account of David’s kindness. Mephibosheth was elevated to essentially being a son of the king. Ziba, his servant, was prospered because of that.

However, once again, mention is made of the lifelong crippling of Mephibosheth.

In II Samuel 4:4, we are told that Mephibosheth was five years old when he was dropped at the time of Saul’s defeat. The events of this chapter are approximately sixteen years later. Therefore, Mephibosheth must have been about twenty one when David showed compassion upon him.

Mephibosheth didn't do anything to warrant the graciousness of King David. We who are saved and know Christ as our Lord and Savior are in the same boat. Nothing good that we have done warrants our salvation, but it is all of grace from our Heavenly Father.

J. Vernon McGee elaborated on my point about how we stand before God.

      What David did for Mephibosheth was wonderful, but there are some other impressive lessons with great spiritual truths which I don’t want you to miss.

      1. A child of God recognizes that he is also a cripple in God’s sight. We are told in Romans 3:15–16: “Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways.” That is the report from God’s clinic on the human race. Our feet lead us astray. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). Then the writer of the Book of Proverbs says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 16:25). Our feet get us into trouble. The way that the soul and the feet are so closely connected in Scripture is quite interesting. I do not mean to make a bad pun; I am not talking about the sole of the foot.

      Remembering that David for the rest of his life had a crippled boy who ate at his table, listen to the words of Psalm 56:13, “For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from failing, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” Then in Psalm 73:2 David says, “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.” David knew what it was to have lame feet! In Psalm 116:8 he says, “For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” My friend, all of us are actually cripples before God.

Kindness is one of the laws of Christianity and the Christian should seek opportunity of doing good. Those lacking in this world's goods are generally the least clamorous and the best objects of our kindness and charity. Some of these will be discovered only through our inquiry. This practice begins in the local church and extends through the family of God.

Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge. The lessons may not be sold without consent. If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.

Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

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Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.