Kindness is one of the laws of Christianity and the Christian should seek opportunity of doing good.
The most necessitous are generally the least clamorous and the best objects of our kindness and charity are such as will be discovered only through our inquiry.
II Samuel 1
1 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?
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.
3 And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.
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 Lo-debar.
5 ¶ Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.
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!
7 ¶ And 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.
8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
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.
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.
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.
12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.
13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.
II Samuel 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Samuel 9:1-13 – Kindness for Jonathan’s Sake
This poor cripple at Lodebar never supposed that David would show him favor. Did he not belong to the rejected house of Saul? What could he expect from one whom his grandfather had hunted like a partridge on the mountains? Besides, his lameness made him unfit for court-life. We, like him, are the children of an apostate race; we have neither beauty nor worth to commend us. We may class together those two sentences: “What is thy servant, that thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?” and, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (2 Samuel 9:8 and Luke 5:8).
But Mephibosheth had been included in a covenant. He might be unaware of it, but David could not forget, I Samuel 20:14-16. For the sake of the beloved Jonathan, David treated his son as a blood-relation. Nothing in the course of events could alter the sacred word that David had sworn to his departed friend. Our own case is similar. We were chosen in Christ before the world began, predestined to be sons, included in the covenant between the Father and our Surety. Let us join with Paul in Ephesians 1:3.
2 Samuel 9:7—Thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.
Four times in this chapter we are told of the lame man eating bread at the royal table. But what are these facts recorded and repeated for, save to accentuate the infinite blessings which come to us through the Divine love!
Mephibosheth had done nothing to merit the royal favor. Not a word is said of his being well favored and attractive. So far from that, he was lame on both his feet, and probably a sickly invalid. In his own judgment he was worthless as a dead dog. His state was impoverished; no deed of prowess could win David’s notice; he was almost entirely at the mercy of his servant, Ziba. In these respects there are many analogies to our own condition in the sight of God. We are lame indeed; and, so far as we are concerned, it is quite impossible that we should ever win the Divine regard, or sit at his table among his sons.
But between David and Jonathan a covenant had been struck, which had provided for the children of the ill fated Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:14, 16). It was because of this sacred obligation that Mephibosheth fared as he did. Look away, child of God, to the covenant struck between God and thy representative, the Son of his love. It is idle of thee to seek to propitiate the Divine favor, or earn a seat at his table; but if thou art willing to identify thyself with thy Lord, and to shelter thyself in Him by the living union of faith; if thou canst base thy plea on the Blood of the everlasting covenant then the provisions of that covenant between Father and Son shall be extended to thee: and because of God’s love to Jesus thou shalt sit at the Divine table, and be regarded as one of the heirs of the great King.