A Kept Promise

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 9:1-12

TO CHEW ON: “'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.'” 2 Samuel 9:7

One day after David had been king for some years, he remembered a promise he had made. Years earlier he had promised his friend Jonathan that he would save and protect his family. Now he wanted to keep that promise – but how?

He asked around and discovered that Ziba, a former servant of Saul, was still alive. David called Ziba to the palace. “Do you know if any of Saul’s family is still alive?” David asked.

“There is Mephibosheth,” Ziba replied. “He is the son of Jonathan and is crippled in both feet.”

Immediately David called Mephibosheth to the palace.

Mephibosheth was frightened when he heard King David wanted to see him. It was the custom in those times that a new king would kill the whole family and all the servants loyal to the old king. In fact it was the day that Saul’s family ran from the palace after hearing Saul and Jonathan had been killed, that Mephibosheth, who was then only five, had fallen from his nurse's arms and hurt his feet.

Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992

Now he came to David shaking with fear. What did David want? Was he going to finish the job of doing away with Saul’s family by killing him?

But David’s voice was kind. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Long ago I promised your father I would be kind to his family. Now that I’ve found you, I can keep my promise.”

Then David gave Mephibosheth all the land that had formerly belonged to Saul. Since Mephibosheth was crippled, David asked Ziba to look after it for him. David also invited Mephibosheth and his family to live in the palace and eat meals at the king’s table.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to keep the promises I make. Amen

MORE: Light promises

Do you keep all your promises? It’s easy to make promises lightly. We promise things for many reasons.

- Sometimes we promise things to stop people from bugging us.

- Sometimes we make promises because we pity people and feel sorry for them. When our strong feelings grow cool, we forget all about the promises we made.

- Sometimes we promise to do something because we know it’s what the person asking wants to hear – even though we have no intention of doing what we said.

In Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus told a story about a boy who made a promise he had no intention of keeping. It is not our promises that please God, Jesus told the people, but our actions.

1. What promises have you made and kept?

2. What promises have you made and not kept?

3. How could you turn those unkept promises into kept ones?

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