David, Part II
Lesson 4: Merciful Warrior
(Scripture to Read: 2 Samuel 9:1-13)
This chapter is truly a tender interlude in the midst of the battles that David faced in securing his kingdom. In earlier studies we learned that David was a man of great forgiveness and compassioneven toward Saul who hounded him for years and tried to kill him. These qualities are surely what helped to distinguish him as "a man after [God's] own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14). And as merciful as David was in gaining power, he continued to display this characteristic even when he wielded absolute rule.
Nowhere is David's heart more on display than in his kindness to Mephibosheth, the crippled son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul. More than just responding in mercy, David sought out anyone left from Saul's family to whom he could show mercy. David was keen to fulfill the promise he had made years earlier, in response to Jonathan's request: "Do not ever cut off your kindness from my family — not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth" (1 Samuel 20:15). David kept his oath, and blessed Mephibosheth. While kings of his day cruelly eliminated any potential rival, David strengthened his dynasty through mercy.
- Had the passage of time affected David's love for his late friend, Jonathan?
- Why do you think the writer was careful to mention Mephibosheth's disability several times?
- In what ways did David prove his intention to care for Mephibosheth?
- What is significant about the fact that David also obligated himself to care for Mica, Mephibosheth's own son?
Once again, David comes before us as an example of a God-honoring life. David certainly was not perfect, as we shall learn. But he was zealous for the glory and honor of God's name, and he showed great mercy to those who could do nothing in return for him. In fact, the mercy of David is the wonderful biblical word hesed, which describes God's own loving kindness to us!