Now Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, came down from Jerusalem to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet, trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes since the day the king left Jerusalem. ‘Why didn’t you come with me, Mephibosheth?’ the king asked him.


Mephibosheth replied, ‘My lord the king, my servant Ziba deceived me. I told him, ‘Saddle my donkey so I can go with the king.’ For as you know I am crippled. Ziba has slandered me by saying that I refused to come. But I know that my lord the king is like an angel of God, so do what you think is best. All my relatives and I could expect only death from you, my lord, but instead you have honored me by allowing me to eat at your own table! What more can I ask?’


‘You’ve said enough,’ David replied. ‘I’ve decided that you and Ziba will divide your land equally between you.’


‘Give him all of it,’ Mephibosheth said. ‘I am content just to have you safely back again, my lord the king’!” 2 Samuel 19: 24-30 (NLT)



When David was on the run from his son, Absalom, who sought to take over the kingdom, Mephibosheth’s servant, Ziba, came to David. He told David that Mephibosheth had stayed in Jerusalem to take back his kingdom as a relative of the former king Saul. David bequeathed Mephibosheth’s estate to Ziba for his loyalty. However, the whole situation was a farce. David had taken Mephibosheth into his household after King Saul and Jonathan had died in battle. He had shown extreme kindness to this man who many other kings would have killed. Mephibosheth had disabilities that limited his mobility. When David came back, Mephibosheth welcomed him. Yet, David had some questions. How had this man not been loyal to him after all that was done for Mephibosheth? There was more to the story than what could be seen. Ziba had lied to David to get ahead and betrayed Mephibosheth. Since David had already given Mephibosheth’s estate to Ziba, he had to backtrack when he found out the news. Ziba was interested in his own gain, but Mephibosheth’s response showed the motives of his heart. David may have made a different decision initially about Mephibosheth’s inheritance if he had known the whole story.


When we judge situations only at face value, we may jump to conclusions before we do our due diligence. You may be facing a situation where people have seemed to turn against you. Some people may respond to an opportune time like Ziba and try to get ahead. When we start pointing fingers before we have an understanding of a situation, we are likely to choose what looks good. We need God’s wisdom to be able to differentiate between conflict, opinions, and deception. To David, it initially seemed like Mephibosheth betrayed him when Mephibosheth was the one betrayed by his servant. We can take David’s example and pause before we pass judgement and start taking sides. Ask God to give you wisdom and discernment before making decisions that address issues that have hurt or offended you. You may be surprised to find that there is more to the story than meets the eye.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. 

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About Hona Amer

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