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This chapter continues the history of David, and is directed to that part of his character which represents the amiableness of his mind, in his kindness towards the house of Saul. Finding, on enquiry, that Jonathan had left a son behind him, David searcheth him out, makes suitable provision for him, and sets him at his own table.
2 Samuel 9:1
(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?
It should seem by the expression, Is there yet any left of the house of Saul? that he had before this been showing kindness to his family. Indeed, it would otherwise imply inattention in David, instead of kindness; for many years must have now passed since his accession to the throne. No doubt, he was not established in the kingdom for many years after the death of Saul, in consequence of Ish-bosheth's pretensions to the kingdom: but, after all Israel anointed David king at Jerusalem, and he had gone forth in the destruction of Israel's enemies, as related in the preceding chapter, David seems to have paid an early attention to the wants of Saul's house.
(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 Lodebar. (5) Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. (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.
This is an interesting account of David's friendship to Jonathan, in the remembrance of his son. There is great kindness, great generosity, and the noblest way in the conferring it. Not content with taking him into favour, giving him a princely allowance, equipage and servants, he brings him to his table. But, Reader, doth not your heart run away in the contemplation of an infinitely higher prospect of generosity, in which you yourself bear a part? Yes, I am sure you do, if so be you know anything of Jesus, and are yourself the well-known object of his kindness and favour. Need I remind you to look back to the ruined circumstances of your family, in order to bring to your recollection what David's Lord hath done for you. Did not Jesus first seek you out? Did he not himself fetch you out of the house of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, poverty and ruin? and hath he not shown the utmost kindness in redemption; brought you to his table, to his banqueting house, and placed his banner over you, of love? Doth he not, even now, again and again, say to you, Fear not, for I will surely show you kindness; or, to use his own most precious words; Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine. Isaiah 43:1 . Precious! precious! Jesus! never let me read the kindness of one poor sinner to another, without calling to my remembrance, the love of the Saviour to my own soul; for surely all generosity, all mercy and compassion, falls to the ground as nothing, compared to thine unequalled love to our poor nature!
(8) And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
This conduct of Mephibosheth bespeaks a very humble soul. David had expressed much the same language when he began to be first noticed by Saul. See 1 Samuel 18:18 . But it is still more beautiful and becoming when expressed as the language of grace, from a poor sinner brought into favour with the Lord Jesus.
(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.
If we spiritualize those words of David to Ziba, in reference to the poor exiled sinner brought home, and fed, and sustained, and nourished by the Lord Jesus, the language is sweet; but not more sweet than true. See! saith the Lord Jesus, I have supplied all thy need; washed thee from thy sins, clothed thee with my robe of righteousness; all that pertained to thy first father, Adam, in a state of innocency, I have restored to thee; thou shalt have food enough to eat; and above all, thou shalt eat at my table. Blessed Jesus! give us grace to believe in thee, and to depend upon thee; for surely the kindness of David to Mephibosheth is but a faint resemblance of thy love to us, who not only didst love us to give us of thy bounty, but so loved us as to give thyself for us, an offering, and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet swelling savor! Ephesians 5:2 .
READER! In the view here presented of David's generosity to the family of Saul, do not fail to remark the sweet and sure properties of grace. Depend upon it, if a man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his. And how shall you and I testify that the Spirit of Christ dwelleth in us, but by a conformity to the actions of the Son of God? If David, therefore, sought out the ruined family of Saul, and took them into favour, shall not you and I seek out the scattered sheep of Jesus, and bring them home to his fold? Can I behold one of those precious souls for whom Christ died, in circumstances of distress, and feel nothing like what actuated the Son of God, in commiserating and relieving the sorrows of cur common nature? Surely, I behold in everyone of them thine image, blessed Jesus; and methinks I hear thee say, Inasmuch as ye have shown kindness to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have shown it unto me, But oh thou David's Lord, from whom David received the very grace which prompted him, and enabled him, to show grace unto others; do thou regard me as the Mephibosheth of the fallen house of our first father. I am, by nature, lame in both my feet, a cripple from my mother's womb: I bow myself before thee, overpowered with astonishment that thou shouldest look upon such an unworthy creature as I am. And wilt thou indeed, dearest Jesus, take me home to thy table? Wilt thou cause me to eat bread in thy presence? Oh! for grace to live upon thee, as well as with thee; to entrust in thine hands, with full assurance of faith, all the concerns of my salvation. And, while I eat at thy table below, to live in the glorious expectation and confidence of the arrival of that blessed day of God, when thou wilt come and take the home to thy table above to be eternally supplied at those fountains of living waters, where God hath wiped away all tears from all eyes.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany