2 Samuel 7-9

2 Samuel 7-9…King David’s mercy.

Having received his throne, one of the first things that David did was to look for a way to be faithful to the covenant with Jonathan that he had made so many years before (1 Sam. 20:12–17). Godly people keep their promises, and so David began looking for someone from Jonathan’s house, that he might follow through on his pledge not to cut off his steadfast love from the line of Jonathan (vv. 14–15). These chapters record what the king did to fulfill his promise.

After a search of his kingdom, David found Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth and brought him into his house. This Mephibosheth was “crippled in his feet,” but David exalted him to his own table (2 Sam. 9:1–8). This was an extraordinary act of kindness and generosity on the part of David, especially since he made sure Mephibosheth “ate always at the king’s table” (vv. 9–13), a place of profound importance and intimacy in the royal court.

Lest we are tempted to look down on David’s generosity to Mephibosheth, we should realize that the story can serve as an illustration of what happens to us in our salvation. From birth we are crippled in heart and mind, unable to love or serve the Lord (Rom. 3:11). But God does not leave His people in that poor estate; rather, He lifts us up to His kingdom and allows us to sit at His table and commune with Him (Ps. 23; 1 Peter 2:10).

David lifted up Mephibosheth out of a great love for Jonathan, while our Father lifts us up on account of His great love for His one and only Son. Our Creator has given us to Christ Jesus as a gift (John 17), as a sure proof that His labors on the cross were not in vain, having purchased a people that are His forever (Isa. 53:11).

1 Samuel 20-22

1 Samuel 20-22…The friendship of Jonathan and David.

David’s friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathan, is a model of loyalty in a human relationship. We see in these chapters a moving description of the deep friendship that existed between the two. On the run from Saul, David explained his plight to Jonathan, who could hardly believe him at first. Jonathan did not want to accept that his father wanted to kill David, since that would have meant he would have to forgo loyalty to his own family for the sake of doing what was right. This fact should not be skipped over too quickly. In this fallen world, loyalty to one person can often require us to be disloyal to another, and it is especially painful when we have to be disloyal to our own relatives who are in the wrong. But Jonathan was an honorable man and vowed to let David know whether Saul’s anger still burned against him, even if it meant losing the trust of his father. The two men even made a solemn covenant to reassure each other of their godly motivations.

As the people of God, we must be especially careful never to show loyalty to the wrong people and we must be worthy of the trust of our friends and family. This can be easier said than done at times, but the Holy Spirit is with us to help us maintain our loyalty even when doing so is difficult. Let us repent of any disloyalty we have shown and work to make it up to someone we have betrayed. And may we always keep our vows to the Lord Himself.