“David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.’…So Mephibosheth ate at David's table as one of the king's sons.” - 2 Samuel 9:7,11

Second Samuel tells us an extraordinary story of the gift of mercy. King David, who himself had received mercy time and time again from God, extended mercy in a way few had ever expected. King Saul had tried with all of his might to kill David. And yet, David lived to become king. The cultural norm was to always kill the descendants of your enemy. But David showed extreme mercy to one of the last descendants of King Saul. King Saul and his son, Jonathan, were dead. At only five years old, Mephibosheth, the last son of Jonathan, had quickly been spirited away by his nanny for fear of his life. During the retreat, she fell, causing young Mephibosheth to break both of his feet. As a result, he was never able to walk.

Years later, David decided to show unmerited grace and mercy. He not only welcomed Jonathan’s son back to the royal court, but he also restored the land and even the servants that were once Saul's to his grandson, Mephibosheth, and to his descendants. Even when the Lord brought famine on the people of Israel as a punishment for Saul’s persecution of the Gibeonites, and although the enemy sought blood vengeance as retribution, David once again spared the life of Mephibosheth because of the oath that he had sworn to his father, Jonathan. David demonstrated God's gracious gift of mercy. It is a picture of the same gift of mercy, completely undeserved, that we receive through Jesus Christ.

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