Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 19:24-25 (NIV)
Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, also went down to meet the king. He had not taken care of his feet or trimmed his mustache or washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned safely. When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?”
2 Samuel 19:24-25(MSG)
Next Mephibosheth grandson of Saul arrived from Jerusalem to welcome the king. He hadn’t combed his hair or trimmed his beard or washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned safe and sound. The king said, “And why didn’t you come with me, Mephibosheth?”
“Then Mephibosheth the [grand]son of Saul came down to meet the king, but he had not cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned in peace and safety. And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” -AMPLIFIED
Now let us remember David, the king, is making his way back to Jerusalem after being his men had defeated Absalom and his men. En route he has already encountered Shimei, who had insulted and threatened him as he exited the royal city. Now he is meeting Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, Saul’s grandson; whom he had basically taken under his wing and treated as his own son when he became king.
Now let us remember that Saul’s servant, Ziba, had brought a very strong accusation against Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 16, as the king left Jerusalem. When David asked Ziba where Mephibosheth was, Ziba had told the king, “He is still in Jerusalem. He says, “Now the people of Israel will give me back my grandfather’s kingdom.” -2 Samuel 16:3 (VOICE)
David did something in haste at this point that he should have not done. He made a quick, impulsive decision that was foolish; for he had only heard one side of the story. (We too need to be careful about making rash decisions when we only have partial information.) As David was running for his life, he quickly told, “…all that belonged to Mephibosheth is yours now.” -2 Samuel 16:4 (VOICE)
Now we have Mephibosheth approaching the king in humility and lowliness. We can read into the text that Mephibosheth has been in mourning for his king the whole time that he had been away. It tells us this about Mephibosheth, “His feet had not been cared for—no, and his beard had grown long, and he had not had his clothes washed—since the king went into exile and returned in peace.” -2 Samuel 19:24 (VOICE)
When David saw him he questioned, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?” (vs. 25 MSG)
Mephibosheth’s response was quite revealing. “My lord the king, since I your servant am lame, I said, ‘I will have my donkey saddled and will ride on it, so I can go with the king.’ But Ziba my servant betrayed me. And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king. My lord the king is like an angel of God; so do whatever you wish. All my grandfather’s descendants deserved nothing but death from my lord the king, but you gave your servant a place among those who eat at your table. So what right do I have to make any more appeals to the king?” -2 Samuel 19:26-28 (NIV)
Now David is in a predicament. We have one man’s word against another’s and Ziba is not here to represent himself. In all fairness David makes this decision, “That’s enough,” said the king. “Say no more. Here’s my decision: You and Ziba divide the property between you.” -2 Samuel 19:29 (MSG)
This is where we find where Mephibosheth’s heart and loyalties truly were. His response to David was exactly what it needed to be at this point in time, “Oh, let him have it all! All I care about is that my master the king is home safe and sound!” -2 Samuel 19:30 (MSG)
The lessons that we can learn from David’s mistakes in this instance are multi-fold. The book of Proverbs has much to teach us in making decisions.
1.) Do I have all the facts to make a good choice?
A. “He who answers before he hears [the facts]—It is folly and shame to him.” -Proverbs 18:13 (AMP)
B. “The first speech in a court case is always convincing—until the cross-examination starts!” -Proverbs 18:17 (MSG)
2.) Be careful not to make a hasty decision.
A. “Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries with his feet [acting impulsively and proceeding without caution or analyzing the consequences] sins (misses the mark).” -Proverbs 19:2 (AMP)
B. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage,
But everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty.” -Proverbs 21:5 (AMP)
3.) Have I sought out the counsel of others?
A. “Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” -Proverbs 11:14 (MSG)
B. “He who [willfully] separates himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom.” -Proverbs 18:1 (AMP)
4.) Have I logically thought through my decision from beginning to end?
A. “The naive or inexperienced person [is easily misled and] believes every word he hears, but the prudent man [is discreet and astute and] considers well where he is going.” -Proverbs 14:15 (AMP)
B. “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself and avoids it,
But the naive [who are easily misled] continue on and are punished [by suffering the consequences of sin].” -Proverbs 27:12 (AMP)
5.) Have I prayed about it?
A. “For the Lord gives [skillful and godly] wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” -Proverbs 2:6 (AMP)
B. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” -Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)
When all was said and done, I am sure that David regretted his hasty choice when it came to Ziba and Mephibosheth. Let us be careful that we too do not fall into that trap of making hasty decisions. Take your time! Whatever it is, pray about it, seek counsel and think about it. You will be glad that you did.
Lord, help me to not be in such a hurry that I fail to seek your face first in the decisions of this life. Give me your wisdom, I pray. Help me to humbly seek godly counsel from others. Help me to slow down and not be in such a rush that I so not stop and consider all the sides. Too often I have failed in this, Lord. Help me to learn to be still and patiently wait on you. God, I am looking to you!