Since Saul was king before David, Saul’s descendants were in the royal bloodline and could be a threat to David’s kingship. When Saul was alive, he saw David as his enemy (1 Samuel 18:29; 19:17) and tried to kill him (see chs. 19–23). But because God had once anointed Saul as king, David refused to harm him (see ch. 24). After Saul died, however, the tension continued with Saul’s son (2 Samuel 2:8–9; 3:1).
It wouldn’t have been surprising if David intended to eliminate Saul’s family, which explains why David had to reassure Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9:7). But despite the tensions, David’s true heart was revealed when he showed kindness to someone in the family for the sake of his friend Jonathan (v. 1).
Tom worked for a law firm that advised Bob’s company. They became friends—until Tom embezzled thousands of dollars from the company. Bob was hurt and angry when he found out, but he received wise counsel from his vice president, a believer in Christ. The VP noticed Tom was deeply ashamed and repentant, and he advised Bob to drop the charges and hire Tom. “Pay him a modest salary so he can make restitution. You’ll never have a more grateful, loyal employee.” Bob did, and Tom was.
Mephibosheth, grandson of King Saul, hadn’t done anything wrong, but he was in a tough spot when David became king. Most kings killed the royal bloodline. But David loved King Saul’s son Jonathan, and treated his surviving son as his own (see 2 Samuel 9:1–13). His grace won a friend for life. Mephibosheth marveled that he “deserved nothing but death from my lord the king, but you gave your servant a place” (19:28). He remained loyal to David, even when David’s son Absalom chased David from Jerusalem (2 Samuel 16:1–4; 19:24–30).
Do you want a loyal friend for life? Someone so extraordinary may require you to do something extraordinary. When common sense says punish, choose grace. Hold them accountable, but give the undeserving a chance to make things right. You may never find a more grateful, devoted friend. Think outside the box, with grace.
Reflect & Pray
Who has sinned against you? How might you hold them accountable while also forgiving them?
Father, I’ve received extraordinary grace from You. Help me show that grace to others—especially to those with a repentant spirit.