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God’s Compassion for the Family of Saul:
The death of Saul and his three battle able sons would not be the only detriment to his family. Saul’s had a grandson named Mephibosheth, who was the son of Jonathan. Mephibosheth was already “lame in both feet”. When his caretaker heart about Saul and Jonathan’s death; she picked him up to quickly leave town, but dropped him. He was left further crippled as a result.
2 Samuel 4:4 (KJV)
4 And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
What part of our legacy or ministry are we allowing your sin to cripple?
You would think that after all the pain and suffering that this would be it for the family of Saul, but it wasn’t. Later is 2 Samuel 4:5-11, we find that Ish-Bosheth (another son of Saul) was resting in his home during the evening. He was resting on his bed when two raiding-band leaders named Baanah and Rechab stab Ish-Bosheth killing him. They decapitated his body and took the head to David at Hebron.
David was obviously not entertained by these attempts to win his favor which proved him to be a smart ruler by this point. Many kings would have shown these men a great deal of gratitude, thus weakening their honor. Instead, David executes these men bringing honor back to Saul’s family.
2 Samuel 4:5-11 (NKJV)
5 Then the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out and came at about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who was lying on his bed at noon. 6 And they came there, all the way into the house, as though to get wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7 For when they came into the house, he was lying on his bed in his bedroom; then they struck him and killed him, beheaded him and took his head, and were all night escaping through the plain. 8 And they brought the head of Ishbosheth to David at Hebron, and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul your enemy, who sought your life; and the Lord has avenged my lord the king this day of Saul and his descendants.”
9 But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all adversity, 10 when someone told me, saying, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ thinking to have brought good news, I arrested him and had him executed in Ziklag—the one who thought I would give him a reward for his news. 11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous person in his own house on his bed? Therefore, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and remove you from the earth?”
Many things had come against the house of Saul, but thank God for His grace and mercy! Despite our wickedness of heart, God continues to shine His grace and mercy upon us today. God honored Saul’s family in the end using the good heart of David. If you fast-forward to 2 Samuel 9:1-13, you find that Jonathan’s son is honored because of Jonathan’s brotherly covenant with David. His son Mephibosheth is brought from LoDebar and advised by King David that he would restore all the land to him that his grandfather Saul owned before. That was not all. From that day forward, Mephibosheth would be dining at the king’s table with David!
2 Samuel 9 (NKJV)
David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth
9 Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
2 And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”
He said, “At your service!”
3 Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?”
And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.”
4 So the king said to him, “Where is he?”
And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.”
5 Then King David sent and brought 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, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, “Mephibosheth?”
And he answered, “Here is your servant!”
7 So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”
8 Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”
9 And the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. 10 You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat bread at my table always.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.”
“As for Mephibosheth,” said the king, “he shall eat at my table[a] like one of the king’s sons.” 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Micha. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table. And he was lame in both his feet.
How great is our God that he would allow us at his supper table?
The crippled at heart, once friend of the enemy; now allowed at the table with the King!
Mephibosheth responds by saying, “what is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
Even as we turn our backs on God and it seems He is forced to take His hand of favor from over our family, it is assuring to hear how merciful God truly is.
God knew that the house of Saul had to be disbanded and disabled to prevent a coup or rivalry, but He also realized the heart of David to take in the house of Jonathan. Don’t let bitterness, anger, strife, jealousy, or sin bring you to the point that it did Saul.
If you would like to know more about sitting at the table with the king at the coming of Christ, please let us know or visit our page What Is The Gospel? Don’t be left in a sinful, crippled heart state as Saul was. Let God have that pain and hurt today. Replace it with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ!
For Part One Click Here!