Today’s overall reading: 2 SAMUEL 8:15-18; 1 CHRONICLES 18:14-17; 1 ; HRONICLES 6:16-30; 1 CHRONICLES 6:50-53; 1 CHRONICLES 6:31-48; 2 SAMUEL ; :1-10:19; 1 CHRONICLES 19:1-19;
Today’s Post Specific Reading: 2 Samuel 9
As we have been reading about David’s rise to the throne of Israel we have been struck by how just and honorable David has tried to be. Even though Saul was trying to kill David, even to the point of throwing spears at him, David remained faithful to the king. Saul raised whole armies to chase David and his men down, but David never lost disrespected King Saul. Twice David had a chance to kill King Saul, but he didn’t in respect to God and respect to the office of King. (Read the post A scene from Hollywood?)
During those days in the courts of King Saul, David had built a very strong brotherhood with the King’s son Jonathon. Jonathon helped David by pleading with his father for David’s sake as well as telling David of his father’s plans to kill David.
Jonathon made David swear a solemn oath.
1 Samuel 20:12 – 17 (NIV)
12 Then Jonathan said to David: "By the LORD, the God of Israel, I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? 13 But if my father is inclined to harm you, may the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away safely. May the LORD be with you as he has been with my father. 14 But show me unfailing kindness like that of the LORD as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth."
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the LORD call David’s enemies to account." 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
On today’s story of David and Mephibosheth we see that David is honoring that commitment made at least 10 years ago. Even though the family of Saul showed contempt and hatred towards David, he still honored his commitment to Jonathon. Even though the son of Saul caused a civil war and prevented David from taking the throne for 7 years. Even though the daughter of Saul, David’s wife, despised David (as we read in Do You Want to be Victorious Wherever You Go?)
Once David’s kingdom had been established and the tabernacle built and the Ark of the Covenant returned to Jerusalem David remembered his commitment to Jonathon and sought out who of Jonathon’s family he could honor. He found Jonathon’s son, Mephibosheth
2 Samuel 9:5 – 7 (NLT)
5 So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home. 6 His name was Mephibosheth; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.”
Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”
7 “Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
David has looked beyond his pride and his self interests to show kindness to the grandson of the king who tried to kill him, to the nephew of the man who caused a civil war and prevented David from taken the throne of Israel and to the nephew of the wife who despised him. David turned the other cheek.
Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek.
Matthew 5:38 – 48 (NIV)
An Eye for an Eye
38"You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
43"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Are there enemies in your life that you need to turn the other cheek to? Are there people in your life who you still hold a grudge? Are you harboring resentment for wrongs done against you? Then let’s take a look at David and see how we can “turn the other” cheek and show kindness to others.