2 Samuel 19-21: Motivated to Forgive

In the midst of the battle against Absalom, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, came to David and told him that Mephibosheth was planning to take back all that had belonged to his grandfather Saul. This was a lie, but David, not knowing this, gave Ziba all that belonged to Mephibosheth as a reward for his faithfulness.

Upon David’s reinstatement as king, he discovers the truth of the matter. Here it is:

24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. 25 And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28 For all my father’s house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?” 29 And the king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.”

All I really wanted you to see is this last line here, but it wouldn’t make much sense without the context. I don’t have much to say about it really. I am just amazed at this sort of humility and forgiveness. Not only does Mephibosheth refrain from punishing his servant, he insists that Ziba keep the property.

What would motivate someone to do this?
A deep passion and love for the king.

Just look at the last line. He says, “My king, as long as you are safe, I am content.” Now think about this: How do you respond when others betray you. Do you write them off? Or, out of a joy-filled love for your King, do you pass over former sins, as He has so graciously done for us? I need to get better at this, and I know that the only way that will happen is with a constant awareness of what I deserve, which is death, and what God has given me instead, eternal life. When we remember how much God forgave us, we are freed to forgive as well.

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