David's kindnesses to Mephibosheth is a familiar story. I've taught it in Sunday school on many occasions. It is a beautiful application of God's love for us. In case, anyone reading this is not that familiar with this narrative, I will give a quick overview. Years before, David and Jonathan (Saul's son) had made a pact that they would take care of each other's families should something happen to either of them. I guess you could say it was their last will and testament. Jonathan and his father were killed in battle, which ushered in the time for David's reign. He has been on the throne for a little while now, but is just now able to fulfill his promise. He has Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth brought to the palace and assures him that he will be treated as one of his own sons. Mephibosheth became lame when a nursemaid dropped him as a boy, trying to secure his life when Saul and Jonathan were killed. It really is a nice story. But I'm more interested in the part of the story that rarely gets told. I'm thinking about the man who reported to David that Jonathan's son was still alive.
The name of the servant who gives David this pertinent information is Ziba. I'm really glad God chose to give us his name because referring to him as Mephibosheth's servant each time is a lot of typing and a mouthful. We don't know a lot about Ziba. But I think his part of the story tells much about him and even more about David.
|David Shows Kindness to Jonathan's Son, Mephibosheth--Taken from Standard Bible Story Readers, Book Three|
By Lillie A. Faris, Illustrated by O.A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
The Standard Publishing Company, 1926
After David meets with Mephibosheth, he calls for Ziba again. David realizes that Ziba could have lied to him. He fully understands that this was a great risk for Ziba to reveal this information. It was dangerous for him and it was dangerous for the man he was trying to protect. So when David chooses to give Mephibosheth back all the land that had belonged to his father and grandfather, and knows that someone will need to take care of this land (since Mephibosheth will now be living comfortably in the palace) he chooses the man who risked the most to make this reunion possible. He chooses Ziba. And here is the kicker, Ziba had fifteen sons. It also says he had twenty servants. Now, I'm not sure if that means he was in charge of twenty servants, still in hiding from Saul's demise, or if they were servants in his own household, but that's a lot of people living in one house. Ziba was being rewarded for making the right choice. Maybe he wasn't sure at the time if it was right, but given David's history, he had to trust that the king would spare another successor. And since he did, his family would have a lot of land to roam.
Sometimes, I am presented with decisions where it doesn't seem like there is a right choice or wrong choice. I am kind of in that predicament right now. Sometimes there is no past history to observe to be able to know whether to trust someone. Sometimes there is no past precedent to be able to base my decision on. When this happens, I have to study God's Word, pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to give me peace about what I choose. God has given us a past history to observe, and that history is that I can always trust Him. He has given precedents, landmarks, that show He will always be faithful and that His Word never fails us. I can make a servant's choice anytime I choose Him.