A Respectful Request
(2 Samuel 19:1-43; 20:1-26)
Mephibosheth Bows Before David
By Paul Hardy
Early 20th Century
Although today’s Bible reading contains several accounts of actions and interactions within the now unsettled kingdom of Israel, one episode merits special attention.
Mephibosheth’s Plea for Mercy
Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan (and grandson to Saul). Lame in both feet, Mephibosheth had sought mercy from King David earlier, and David had sworn to guard him and provide for him as a member of his own family (see April 9th entry).
After Absalom’s death and David’s return to Jerusalem, Mephibosheth again sought the king’s favor. Asking nothing but mercy, Mephibosheth fell at David’s feet. During Absalom’s assault upon David, Mephibosheth had remained in Jerusalem, deceived by his servant Ziba. Throughout David’s absence, Mephibosheth had refrained from personal grooming and laundering his clothes, demonstrating his grief.
Now, Mephibosheth begged the king for forgiveness.
“’My lord the king is like an angel of God;
so do whatever pleases you.
All my grandfather's descendants
deserved nothing but death
from my lord the king,
but you gave your servant a place
among those who eat at your table.
So what right do I have
to make any more appeals to the king?’
The king said to him,
‘Why say more?
I order you and Ziba to divide the fields.’
Mephibosheth said to the king,
‘Let him take everything,
now that my lord the king has arrived home safely.’”
David granted Mephibosheth mercy and much more. But Mephibosheth humbly refused material gain, claiming mere mercy was enough.
Does this interaction not offer a spiritual lesson for all of us? Our dear Lord rescued us from sin and death, redeeming us with His own blood from the eternal capital sentence we deserved.
Certainly, the Lord instructs us to enter His presence boldly in prayer, presenting our needs to Him. Still, if God chose never to answer another prayer, would it not be enough that He saved us? He promises to each who will believe a place at His own table in Heaven. What other request can compare?
Will you pray with me?
Forgive us for praying
And presenting You
With lists of what we want,
More than worshipping You
For who You are.
The gift You have already given,
Eternal and abundant life
Is more than we can measure.
May we recall and recount
The marvelous work
You have already completed
And magnify Your Name.