In our chapters 2 Samuel 8 and 9, we see the Lord moving and fulfilling His promise to David as well as David fulfilling his promise to Jonathan. Chapter 8 tells about all the victories David had over different tribes. Remember yesterday how David wasn’t going to be able to build the temple because he needed to defeat Israel enemies instead. David was a warrior and God used him to stop oppression against Israel. Scripture tells us “the Lord gave David victory wherever he went.” (8:6) Scripture also tells us that anytime David took control over a different tribe, that he dedicated all the things he’d acquired back to the Lord. I have to think that this is exactly why he saw victory wherever he went, because he never took the glory, he was always pointing it back to God. “David [also] pleased the people, not because he tried to please them, but because he tried to please God. Often those who try the hardest to become popular never make it. But the praise of people is not that important. Don’t spend your time devising ways to become accepted in the public eye. Instead strive to do what is right, and both God and people will respect your convictions.” (Application) Our chapter goes on into today’s verse which we will jump into, it’s all about David’s character, but before we get into that part, I also want to highlight how David kept his promise. Jonathan, King Saul’s son, David’s closest friend, also had a son, Mephilbosheth, who was unable to walk, and David promised to look after any ancestors of Jonathans and we see David keep his word. David called him in and Mephilbosheth was scared. But I love how David addressed his fear in 9:7. “Don’t be afraid…for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul and you will always eat at my table.” David goes on to call in Saul’s steward, Ziba, and tells him what he has given to Mephilbosheth, and tells him that he and his sons as well as their servants are to farm the land and bring in the crops so that Mephilbosheth can be provided for. Two things on this real quick. First, I LOVE how we can see God in David doing this. Isn’t this just so something Jesus would do. Take in and provide for someone who couldn’t do it for themselves, have them be cared for and feel loved. I believe Jesus would have invited him to sit at his table too; He invites everyone to it. Second, I loved our application of this story. He was scared to go before King David, and probably felt unworthy of it, but it says, “when God graciously offers us forgiveness of sins and a place in heaven, we may feel unworthy, but we will receive these gifts if we accept them. A reception even warmer than the one David gave Mephiboseth waits for all who receive God’s gifts through trusting Jesus Christ, not because we deserve it, but because of God’s promises.” It goes on to say that David’s treatment of Mephilboseth “goes beyond any political benefit he might have received. Are you able to forgive those who have wronged you? Can you be generous with those less deserving? Each time we show compassion, our character is strengthened.”
Don’t you just love how God is working through David. In our verse today we see why David was such a successful ruler, he was “doing what was just and right for all his people.” Not some of them, all of them. And not his own ways or rules, but those that were just and right. Our application picks this up for us… “Justice means fairness in interpreting the law, administering punishment with mercy, respect for people’s rights and recognition of people’s duty toward God.” David recognized the importance of treating everyone fairly and having God at the heart of his rule.
Reading about how David ruled and with that added description, is there an area that you feel is lacking in our overall society right now compared to how David ruled? How could we make a change that reflects David in our own lives? If we do believe that change is possible, how can we start with ourselves? What’s a change you could make to align more with David’s actions and God’s law rather than the norm of society?
This song came on my heart as I was writing today’s post and I had to share. Just as David did what was good for ALL his people, we are ALL invited into a relationship with the Lord…
Heavenly Father, it is no wonder that David was so loved as king. He ruled for you and under you and followed you and loved you through it all. He gave you the glory for everything and knew he was nothing without you. I pray you help us to see the way he ruled as an example, help us to focus on making any area of our life that isn’t in line with your law or your will, help us to press into that and lean on you to transform our hearts to align more and more your with each day. Thank you for this lesson on compassion, that each time we show compassion, our character is strengthened, help us to have open eyes and ears to those we need to show compassion for. Grow us in our character with each act of compassion. We thank you that you are a loving and compassionate God. It’s in your right and just name we pray Lord, AMEN!