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Looking for an Enemy to Love (Part 2)

The story of Jonathan’s son is a great story but that is not the end of it. David carries out his promise to Jonathan and his son is given honor and all his needs met. The next part sounds like a “soap opera”!!! Absalom is one of David’s boys and after countless problems between them, he revolts and attempts to seize the throne. The king leaves Jerusalem with a large group which included Ziba. Of course, King David gets the throne back (that’s another story in 2 Samuel 15:13-16, 14); Mephibosheth meets him on the way back to Jerusalem and David wants to know where have you been? It seems that “faithful” Ziba had told David that Mephibosheth chose to stay behind because “the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me” (2 Samuel 16:1-4). So the king gives Ziba everything he had given Mephibosheth.

2 Samuel 19:24 describes this young man’s condition:”he had neither cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace.” According to him, Ziba was to saddle a donkey for him but she deliberately left him behind. You see real character in Mephibosheth and he should be studied. To bring this story to a conclusion, David gives him back half his lands and lets Ziba have the rest because of his faithfulness to him.

In all stories, you can make assumptions. Was Mephibosheth telling the truth? Was Ziba telling the truth? David does rebuff him in verse 29 with Mephibosheth standing up for himself, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house”. David takes both stories at face value and keeps his promise to Jonathan. Mephibosheth has a son named Mica, who becomes a great patriarch of a noted family in Israel (1 Chronicles 8:35). There is no record of what finally happened to Mephibosheth. David chose to search out an “enemy” to keep a promise!

The Bible is full of wonderful stories that can cause you to ponder your own actions. How do you obey what Jesus taught in Matthew? Are you able to love and forgive? Since we are celebrating Easter this month, you might want to study Luke 23:34, 39-43. Jesus took my sin and the sin of the world on His shoulders that day. He loved us before we understood the sacrifice. Would you not say He sought out an enemy to love that day?

Sharon White

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