April 18th 2 Samuel 9 David and Mephibosheth
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.
2 Samuel, 10
1: And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 2: Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. 3: And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? 4: Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5: When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return. 6: And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men. 7: And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men. 8: And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ish-tob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field. 9: When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians: 10: And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon. 11: And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. 12: Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good. 13: And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him. 14: And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem. 15: And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16: And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them. 17: And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him. 18: And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there. 19: And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.
Today we read of David’s kindness to Saul’s son Mephibosheth and then Israel’s defeats Ammon and Syria. David has a large heart. He is searching for opportunities to show kindness to Saul’s family because of his love for Jonathan. What a noble thing to do. Ziba gave David information regarding Mephibosheth. David sent for him and when he came he bowed to David. David said to him l am going to show kindness to you for your fathers sake. I will restore the land that belongs to you and you will dine at my table forever. Mephibosheth replied why show kindness to me a dead dog? Then David arranged that all the fruits of Saul’s lands should come on Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth dined at David’s table and he was lame in both feet. When the king of Ammon died his son Hanun reigned in his place. Then David sought to show kindness to Hanun because of the kindness of his father to David. But when the messengers of David came to Hanun he took his servants and humiliated them cutting off half their beards and cutting off half their clothes leaving then naked down below. David when he heard of it went to meet them and said don’t be ashamed stay here until your beards have grown again. So the men of Ammon hired an army from Syria of 20,000 infantry, from Maacah 1,000 men and from Ish-tob 12,000. David sent Joab with his army against them. Joab set to battle and ordered that the battle would be flexible strengthening where there was a weakness. Then he said be courageous and act like men for the people and for the cities of our God and for the LORD. When Joab came near in battle the enemy fled in front of them. The enemy regathered and set themselves again to battle so David called for all Israel to come out to battle. David was completely victorious, 700 charioteers were killed, 40,000 cavalry and they killed Shobach the enemy general. When the enemy found they were completely beaten they surrendered and served Israel. The Syrians were afraid to help Ammon from that time onward. These were great days in Israel’s history but dark days were looming.