I’ve heard of, but not seen the Game of Thrones. Like the series, like the stories behind the castles and famous figures within royal lineages, the books about the kings of Israel seem to be filled with similar themes of power, love and hate, loyalty and betrayal. A sermon we heard recently highlighted a story that I had not previously strung together amongst the pages of war and history. The story of grace received and lived.
Part 1: 2 Samuel 9:1-13
After David became established king, and after the period of fighting between the house of David and house of Saul, David sought remaining descendants of Saul, not for revenge but to show “unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness” as he had promised to Jonathan, son of king Saul. So Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul, was given the land that belonged to Saul’s household as well as an invite to always eat at the king’s table.
Part 2: 16:1-4
Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth was charged to tend to the land. It’s likely that his master’s blessings brought also provisions for himself, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants (9:10). But instead of responding with gratefulness, he responded with greed – not being satisfied with tending to the land, but also wanting to possess it.
Here, when David was on the run from his son Absalom who attempted to take over the kingdom, Ziba slandered Mephibosheth by claiming credit for the provisions he gave (on Mephibosheth’s behalf) and saying that Mephibosheth did not come as he was hoping to be made as king. He was indeed given all that had belonged to Mephibosheth.
Part 3: 19:24-30
Mephibosheth recognises unmerited favour and recieved it with humility, both initially (9:8) and again upon the king’s return (19:28). He did not appeal the king’s decision to divide the land in half, between himself and Ziba who had betrayed him. Instead of exacting revenge, he too extended grace.
Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him take everything, now that my lord the king has returned home safely.” – 2 Samuel 19:30