Kindness to Cripples

My wife’s father was a cripple.  It surprised me sometimes to hear him comment on American football games and if someone dropped a catch he’d call them a ‘cripple’.  There was an irony there that I think that he intended, but still it showed the tendency in our ‘enlightened’ times to look down on those who are physically disabled.  In David’s time in the Bible, people would have shunned cripples so that they were seen as dogs – little more than animals.  It was often thought that cripples were cursed by God.

David shows his loyalty and kindness by reaching out to Mephibosheth.  He is the crippled heir of Saul’s line.  No-one seriously considered him for king and he hadobviously been left out of the social spotlight.  David welcomes him into the heart of the kingdom and gives him great honour.  This shows how a godly person does not focus on physical ability and is not afraid to honour rivals.  How do you treat the physically disabled?  How do you treat your rivals and their families?

2 Samuel 9

 1David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

 2Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

   “At your service,” he replied.

 3The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”

   Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”

 4“Where is he?” the king asked.

   Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”

 5So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.

 6When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.

   David said, “Mephibosheth!”

   “At your service,” he replied.

 7“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “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.”

 8Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

 9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s[a]table like one of the king’s sons.

 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

Questions

  1. How is Mephibosheth related to Saul?
  2. What does David do for him?
  3. What does this show about David’s character and God’s character?
  4. Who are your rivals?  How do you treat them?
  5. Do you reach out to the disabled?  How could this be done?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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13 Responses to Kindness to Cripples

  1. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. Mephibosheth was Saul’s grandson.
    2. He let him eat at his table and gave him land and servants.
    3. They both showed mercy and kindness to people that the world had ignored.
    4. People who give me a hard time intentionally…I dont always treat them with love and kindness.
    5. I do. I befriend them and spend time talking to them to show them that they matter.

  2. Cassie Clark says:

    1.He is his grandson.
    2.He brings him into the palace and gives him back the land that belongs to Saul.
    3.David’s perspective matched God, which gave each person worth.
    4.Those who threaten me with their intelligence or beauty.
    5.I have spent time with autistic children in the past but am not currently doing anything with disabled people.

  3. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. He is Saul’s grandson.
    2. David gives him the lands of Saul and invites him to eat at his table everyday.
    3. This shows that David holds no animosity toward Saul or his family. It also shows that both David and ultimately God are compassionate.
    4. Those who seem to be intentionally trying to hurt me or sometimes simply those that are better than me at certain things. I usually don’t treat them very well.
    5. I try to do this when the opportunity comes. It can be done by simply treating them like any other human being and not as if they are weird. It can also be done by simply loving on them, talking to them, and making sure they feel loved.

  4. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. He is his grandson, the son of Jonathan.
    2. He restores to him all the land that belonged to his grandfather Saul, and he allows im to always eat at his table.
    3. This shows that David’s character is kind and merciful, and giving, just as God’s is.
    4. My rivals are often the people who I feel don’t like me. I often treat them with disregard becuase in my pride I feel like, “fine, you don’t like me anyway, why shoud I like you”.
    5. I don’t reach out to the disabled nearly as much as I should or would like to. I think this could be done better by me seeking more to have a plan when I come across a disabled homeless person on the streets. I can always smile at them, and say something encouraging, and sometimes I can give them a bottle of water, a snack, whatever, just something that reminds them that they matter and that they have value in in the Lord.

  5. Rebecca Langer says:

    How is Mephibosheth related to Saul?
    Mephibosheth is Jonathan’s son, hence Saul’s Grandson
    What does David do for him?
    David treats him as royalty and protects his family.
    What does this show about David’s character and God’s character?
    It shows that they are faithful and that David holds to his word and truly loves Jonathan.
    Who are your rivals? How do you treat them?
    My rivals might be other people in my classes. I try to treat them with respect and dignity.
    Do you reach out to the disabled? How could this be done
    Well, I am physically disabled myself, but I am friends with other people that are disabled. This could be also done by showing them consideration and grace, but not by treating them as extremely different or weird.

  6. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) He was Jonathon’s son, his grandson.
    2) David gave him the land that he deserved and allowed him to eat with him.
    3) David’s desire was to continue to honor the family of the Lord’s annointed, and we know that God does not show favortism, but looks at the heart.
    4) I have rivals at work, and although I don’t always treat them as well as I should, I try to pray for them.
    5) I don’t reach out to the disabled as much as I would like. I could start by tking more interest in those on campus who are disabled in some way.

  7. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Mephibosheth is Saul’s grandson.
    2. David honors him with a place in the palace and at David’s table every day, and he takes care of him and makes sure that he has servants to tend his fields and provide for him.
    3. This shows that David’s character is compassionate towards people with disabilities, as well as God’s character.
    4. My rivals are people that I feel intimidated by or people that I compare myself with. I don’t always treat them as lovingly as I know I should.
    5. I try to reach out to the disabled when I run into them, but I don’t make as much of an effort as I could.

  8. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Mephibosheth is the grandson of Saul.

    2. David restores Mephibosheth to the land that belonged to Saul and also allows him to eat with David.

    3. This shows that David’s character is caring and loving. This also shows that God’s character is faithful.

    4. I do not think I have any rivals…

    5. Sometimes I do try to reach out to the disabled. Instead of giving them pity, I love and care for them and try to be positive with them.

  9. aaron wright says:

    1. grandson of Saul
    2. has him eat dinner with him
    4. My rivals are hard to love, but God gives me the strength to show love and mercy to them in spite of how they treat me

  10. Kristen Patush says:

    1.How is Mephibosheth related to Saul?
    Saul’ s Grandoson
    2.What does David do for him?
    David let’s Mephibosheth eat at his table.
    3.What does this show about David’s character and God’s character?
    This shows that Daviid is loving and caring, like God. David does what is contrary to the times and accepts a man that would have been rejected by everyone else and shows him hospitality and gives him a sit of honor.
    4.Who are your rivals? How do you treat them?
    N/A
    5.Do you reach out to the disabled? How could this be done?
    Instead fo pity. treat them like real capable people.

  11. Moon Jung Kim says:

    1.How is Mephibosheth related to Saul? Saul’s grandson
    2.What does David do for him? David gives him Saul’s territory and lets him eat on the same table with David,
    3.What does this show about David’s character and God’s character? mercy, love, grace,
    3.Who are your rivals? How do you treat them? i don’t have rivals… But If i had, I probably don’t treat them as David did.
    4.Do you reach out to the disabled? How could this be done? A friend of mine who was majoring special education in a college told me that people should treat them same as other non-disabled people. We should help not to treat them as a special people or outsiders in society, but to treat them in equality in society.

  12. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.How is Mephibosheth related to Saul?
    -Son of Jonathan
    2.What does David do for him?
    – He restored to him all the land that belonged to Saul, and let him always eat at David’s table.
    3.What does this show about David’s character and God’s character?
    – Graciousness/ justice
    4.Who are your rivals? How do you treat them?
    – I used to have rivals but not anymore. I treated them like a criterion to push myself diligent.
    5.Do you reach out to the disabled? How could this be done?
    I don’t really do in reality. be their help when they need me.

  13. HyeJin Lee says:

    1.How is Mephibosheth related to Saul?
    He was Saul’s grandson (Jonathan’s son).
    2.What does David do for him?
    David gave all the territories that Saul had, and had him eat with him.
    3.What does this show about David’s character and God’s character?
    Graciousness of God and David.
    4.Who are your rivals? How do you treat them?
    5.Do you reach out to the disabled? How could this be done?
    I don’t think I have any activities concerning the disabled.

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