Have you ever read a story and realize that even though you have read it before, you missed some key details? And then as you go deeper in looking at what you missed, you realize you missed a lot. That was me this morning.
I purposely change the version of the Bible I read from each year, for this purpose. I realized that through familiarity there is much I miss. This year I am reading From The Good News Translation (US Version) I have started it before but stopped because it contains books not included in the KJV that I grew up on. This year I reminded myself I read other spiritual books and that I would go ahead and read these books too. Maybe I will gain additional insight as do from other books and commentaries.
“One day David asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul’s family? If there is, I would like to show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake.” There was a servant of Saul’s family named Ziba, and he was told to go to David. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked. “At your service, sir,” he answered. The king asked him, “Is there anyone left of Saul’s family to whom I can show loyalty and kindness, as I promised God I would?” Ziba answered, “There is still one of Jonathan’s sons. He is crippled.” “Where is he?” the king asked. “At the home of Machir son of Ammiel in Lodebar,” Ziba answered. So King David sent for him. When Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, arrived, he bowed down before David in respect. David said, “Mephibosheth,” and he answered, “At your service, sir.” “Don’t be afraid,” David replied. “I will be kind to you for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will give you back all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always be welcome at my table.” Mephibosheth bowed again and said, “I am no better than a dead dog, sir! Why should you be so good to me?” Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said, “I am giving Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You, your sons, and your servants will farm the land for your master Saul’s family and bring in the harvest, to provide food for them. But Mephibosheth himself will always be a guest at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) Ziba answered, “I will do everything Your Majesty commands.” So Mephibosheth ate at the king’s table, just like one of the king’s sons. Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. All the members of Ziba’s family became servants of Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem, eating all his meals at the king’s table.” 2 Samuel 9:1-13
As I read this passage this morning, two
things stuck out to me. The first was an assumption. I was corrected when I read through the passage again; although the
out come was the same.
I assumed David blessed Ziba, his fifteen sons and twenty servants with King Saul’s estate
because he was caring for Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth. In fact, Mephibosheth was crippled and stayed with Machir son of Ammiel in Lodebar. Ziba was able to tell King David this fact.
The second thing that stood out is that Mephibosheth had a son. Mephibosheth was five years old when he became crippled in both legs. I had also made one of two assumptions, Mephibosheth was a child when David reached out or that he was so disabled he was just laying around unable to do anything for himself.
“Another descendant of Saul was Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, who was five years old when Saul and Jonathan were killed. When the news about their death came from the city of Jezreel, his nurse picked him up and fled; but she was in such a hurry that she dropped him, and he became crippled.” 2 Samuel 4:4
According to commentary, I Chronicles 8:34-35
and I Chronicles 9:39-44 Jonathan’s son was also known as Meribbaal. His son was called by Mica or Michah. So it is safe to say either David waited some time before reaching out to honor His covenant with Jonathan or that although disabled, his body still functioned. As I wrote this another though came to me, as men of wealth and royalty were often serviced my concubines, so maybe this is where the child originated.
Often times we count ourself out because of fare and insecurities in our perceived weakness. We meet God’s request of us, just as Mephibosheth did saying “I am no better than a dead dog, sir! Why should you be so good to me?” God doesn’t answer that, He just continues to reproduce in us.
As I read the passage in 2 Samuel 9, the assumption that I had made was that David blessed Ziba because Ziba had cared for Mephiboshith. Instead, Ziba was blessed because David cared for Jonathan and in turn Mephiboshith.
I think sometime we get the reason for our
blessing mixed up. We think the blessing comes because of what we have done, or what someone else has done. We think a position we hold entitles us to some sort of blessing.
The truth is, we are blessed because of who
our Heavenly Father is and because of the blood of of Jesus and the New Covenant we are under. Ziba was a servant. He was blessed because of his proximity to Mephibosheth. Just as we are blessed because our proximity
to Jesus. It is nothing we have done. God cares for us, plain and simple.
And in the midst of blessing us because of who
He is, others are also blessed. Ziba’s 15 sons
and 20 serverts were also provided for because David cared for Jonathan and had made a covenant with him. Who does God want to bless through us because of the New Covenant made available through Jesus Christ?
We are blessed because God cares about us. There is nothing we can do to earn it, it is not because of who we are, only who God is. God blesses us because of Jesus and the New Covenant that opened access to God. It is not about a one time conversion, we are called to make disciples. David did not just bless Mephibosheth once, but he ate all his meals at David’s table and restored all King Saul’s estate to the care of Ziba and his family. God also blesses others through us. Just like Mephibosheth reproduced despite disabilities, nothing should prevent us from reproducing for God’s Kingdom.
Lord, I thank You that Your provision and blessing are not dependent on my but are because You care and honor the New Covenant. Lord, we ask that You help us receive so that others can be blessed through us. Help us to reproduce in line with Your plans and purpose for our lives that Your Kingdom will be glorified and honored through us. In Jesus holy name. Amen.
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