Let's Talk About Serving God and Others

by Paul Bonner

Every week you’ll find different types of posts here on the ABS blog. Today’s post is for teachers, to encourage conversation and reflection in your Bible study group. Each “Let’s Talk About” activity can be used at any time during your meeting and lasts approximately 10-15 minutes.

Today, let's talk about...

A SERVANT’S ACT

2 Samuel 9:1-8

David asked, “Is there anyone from Saul’s family still alive that I could show faithful love for Jonathan’s sake?” There was a servant from Saul’s household named Ziba, and he was summoned before David. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked him.  “At your service!” he answered. The king asked, “Is there anyone left from Saul’s family that I could show God’s kindness to?” “Yes,” Ziba said to the king, “one of Jonathan’s sons, whose feet are crippled.” “Where is he?” the king asked. “He is at the house of Ammiel’s son Machir at Lo-debar,” Ziba told the king. So King David had him brought from the house of Ammiel’s son Machir at Lo-debar. Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson, came to David, and he fell to the ground, bowing low out of respect. “Mephibosheth?” David said. “Yes,” he replied. “I am at your service!” “Don’t be afraid,” David told him, “because I will certainly show you faithful love for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the fields of your grandfather Saul, and you will eat at my table always.” Mephibosheth bowed low out of respect and said, “Who am I, your servant, that you should care about a dead dog like me?”

Key passage: The king asked, “Is there anyone left from Saul’s family that I could show God’s kindness to?” “Yes,” Ziba said to the king, “one of Jonathan’s sons, whose feet are crippled.” —2 Samuel 9:3

 

Commentary:

Succeeding a king was tricky business. Often times a new ruler would eliminate all the descendants of a former monarch to ensure no further insurrection. But, for several reasons, David showed kindness to Mephibosheth, one of Saul’s only remaining grandsons. He did so partly because of his loyalty to God’s previously anointed king (Saul), partly for political reasons (to help unite Judah and Israel), and also because of his vow to show kindness to all of Jonathan’s descendants. Remember, David and Jonathan (Saul’s son) were the closest of friends. Even though Saul tried numerous times to kill David (unsuccessfully!), David persisted in showing kindness to Saul’s descendants.

 

Questions to Discuss:

How can David’s actions be considered as the actions of a servant?

Who has been extraordinarily kind to you? How?

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