2 Samuel 9:1-13 (NIV)

1 David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”1

2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba.2 They called him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” “Your servant,” he replied.

 3 The king asked, “Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan;3 he is crippled4 in both feet.”
4 “Where is he?” the king asked. Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir5 son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”
5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.
6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.6 David said, “Mephibosheth!” “Your servant,” he replied. 7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan.7 I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.8”    Mephibosheth9 bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog10 like me?”
9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.
10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson11 may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) 
11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’sa table like one of the king’s sons.12
12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth.13 
13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

11 Therefore encourage one another1 and build each other up,2 just as in fact you are doing.                            

DEVOTION – Vanessa Bruce Ingold (California)

After Jonathan died, David sought to show kindness to every member of Jonathan’s family.  Thus, for the rest of his life he provided care for Jonathan’s son, Mephilibosheth, who was lame.

In some ways, I am Mephibosheth.  After being run over by a truck while bike riding, I underwent 18 surgeries, including amputations of all my toes.  And like Mephibosheth, I was graced by a King with unmerited favor.  God, our King, showed himself to me through Christians of a nearby church.  During my six-month hospital stay, they visited me daily and prayed for me.

Unlike Mephibosheth, however, I eventually walked again.  But at first, I was so weak tat besides providing me with transportation to church, various members  had to carry me into the building.  Until I regained strength, their kind arms supported me.

Having Mephibosheth-like need, I had received David-like kindness.  And now, with the Holy Spirit within me, I consider it a blessing to visit people I the hospital.  I now understand that such kindness is an intrinsic part of a covenant with God, part of a pledge to share their saving grace.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: When we receive God’s grace, we can extend it to others as well.

PRAYER: Dear God, by your love’s strength, may we be willing to extend your arms of never-ending peace.  Amen.