David asked if there was anyone left in the house of Saul for whom he could show kindness of God for Jonathan's sake. I get the impression that he had settled the military issues, got the government underway, had his house, relatively, in order and had some time to think and missed his dear friend, Jonathan, with whom is was going to co-rule. I'm reading into that, of course.
David brought in a servant of Saul's and found out the Jonathan had a son, crippled in both feet. David brought him to the house and called him by name, Mephibosheth fell on his face before David.
David told him not to worry and assured him that he, David, would show him kindness (for Jonathan's sake), restore the land that belonged to Saul, and share his meal table regularly.
Mephiboseth, again, fell on his face and asked why David would regard him like this. He called himself a dead dog. Then David assigned Saul's servant, Ziba, and Ziba's 15 sons, and Ziba's 20 servants to work Saul's former land and property and to bring in the harvest, even though Mephibosheth would most often be with David.
Mephibosheth ate at King David table, as one of his sons.
Mephibosheth had a son, named Mica.
Ryrie footnotes point out that the word "kindness: in verse 1 is the Hebrew word "Hesed" It means loyal love. The footnote references another footnote in Hosea 2 that talks about it being a love of belonging together. This would support my early theory that once David's life settled down, he missed his friend and wanted to know if there was any part of Jonathan left to belong with.
There's a lot here to unpack and I don't know if I would have caught it by myself, but I heard a message about this chapter at the women's retreat last summer.
- David and Jonathan had a covenant with one another and although it may have ended with Jonathan's death, David felt the need to pursue it. Our speaker this summer asked if we had any covenants in our life that needed tending to and I thought of my commitment to be the God Mother to my nieces and nephew. I didn't totally know what that meant at the tie, beyond being flattered; but now feel the weight of sharing in the spiritual journey.
- It also shows us grace. We live in a fallen world and all walk with a limp of one sort or another. We are all crippled apart from the King who showed us grace and made provision for us. Just like God said to Israel just across the Jordan: You'll live in houses you didn't build and you'll eat food you didn't grow. Don't forget who provides for you."