It’s symbolic of the peace of the moment that today’s reading opens with David asking a transitional question: “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Recalling his covenant with Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20 – “The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.” – David calls Jonathan’s crippled son Mephibosheth to him, promising that “I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” This is again a unique gesture for an ancient king, but is consistent with the LORD’s expectation that the king’s heart not be lifted up above his brothers.
This story not only illustrates David’s ever-expanding kindness toward his former enemy, and his continued integrity toward his departed friend, but it also cleverly marks the time. In chapter 4 we learned that Mephibosheth was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and he is now old enough to have a son of his own.
Twenty years have now passed since David was first crowned at Hebron, and in chapter his tributaries in Damascus want to test the strength of David’s army and his God. Note that David sends Joab – who can’t be much younger than David himself – out to meet them. The question, as is always the case in ancient warfare, is not whether the army is strong enough but whether their God is with them: “Be of good courage,” Joab reminds his brother, “and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.”
Our verse for this week is John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
2 Samuel chapters 9 and 10. Now let’s read it!
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.