Jump Start # 3097
2 Samuel 19:29 “So the king said to him, Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have decided, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.’”
Our verse today takes place after the death of Absalom, David’s son. Absalom did all he could to steal the throne. He won the hearts of the people. He embarrassed his dad. Then he agreed to put David to death. During this time David left Jerusalem. David ran. He never ran from a giant. He didn’t run from the Philistines. He didn’t run from lions and bears. But now, he flees. A massive battle takes place between David’s men and Absalom’s men. Twenty thousand are killed. Joab, David’s commander, thrust three spears into Absalom as he dangles from a tree as he was trying to escape. Absalom is killed and the threat is over. Now, one by one, different people are lining up with David as he returns back home to Jerusalem.
Mephibosheth was one of those throwing support to David. His story is unique. He was the grandson of Saul, and the son of Jonathan. As a child, he was dropped and became crippled. Years later, out of respect for his dear friend Jonathan, David learns about Mephibosheth. He brings him to the palace and invites him to eat daily at the king’s table. An act of grace, forgiveness and love.
David asks Mephibosheth why he didn’t come with him when he fled from Absalom. The crippled man tells of his servant deceiving him and then slandering him before David. Then Mephibosheth says, “My father’s household was nothing but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who at at your own table. What right do I have that I should complain anymore to the king?”
It is here where our verse comes in. David says, “You don’t need to talk any more about this” (CEB). Textually, David is probably talking about the problem Mephibosheth had with his servant. David was going to take care of it. But on a grander scale, why are you still talking about your family and how I took care of you? You don’t need to keep talking about this.
There are some things we need to learn from this:
First, some can never stop talking about the way some have treated them. The hurt, the pain, the suffering lingers on and on because they continue to bring it up and continue to talk about it. This is true of church problems and splits. I’ve been in some places where that’s all the people could talk about. You’d think the problems and the split just happened last week but you learn all of this took place decades ago, and they are still talking about it. WHY? Why are you still talking about this?
And, one of the answers to why is because forgiveness has never been extended. The wounds are kept fresh and not allowed to heal. Every new face is told the same horror stories over and over. Children grow up hearing how bad some treated their family. They don’t know all the story, just enough to know that they will have nothing to do with “them.”
The words of David are loudly heard, “Why are you still talking about this?”
Second, then there are those who will not forgive themselves. They continue to believe that they are second class citizens and not deserving of any forgiveness or grace. Even though the promise of God tells us that the Lord forgives, they won’t let it go. They continue to beat themselves up for making a poor choice, a bad decision and will not move on. They doubt their salvation and walk though life with very little spiritual confidence. This is a faith issue. They need to realize that none of us are deserving of grace or kindness from the Lord. But He has extended that to us and we need to take hold of that.
Can you imagine what it was like for Paul to preach before brethren in Jerusalem? Just a short time before he was aggressively rounding up Christians and putting them in jail. Some were put to death. Imagine that man preaching in church and you knowing that it was your parents that he injured. Could you forgive and could he forgive himself? Paul didn’t go hide in a corner the rest of his life. He didn’t turn down God’s role for him because of what he once did. Part of his usefulness was based upon forgiving himself.
Third, Mephibosheth may have been in the state of mind to continually thank David for his generosity. David could have fed Mephibosheth one meal at the king’s table and then sent him on his way. That was much more than most ever received. But David didn’t do that. Mephibosheth was a regular at David’s table. He was treated as one of the sons. David was going to take care of him the rest of his life. Thankful, grateful, appreciative, some never stop thanking. That is a wonderful spirit, but I can see David saying, “enough.” “You don’t have to bring this up all the time. You don’t have to keep talking about this.”
Throughout our lives, there will be people who do wonderful things for us. Our first home that we bought came through the generous and benevolent heart of a wonderful Christian man who helped out this poor preacher. The Lord has blessed, forgiven and open doors for me all of my life. Thankful, like Mephibosheth is what we ought to be. But when we were the one who helped another, we ought not to remind them of what we did over and over and expect a thankfulness every time we see them. You don’t have to keep talking about this, were the words of David.
Interesting thought from the idea of “enough said.”