I have chosen to skip over 2 Samuel 8. The chapter records David’s many military victories, including cities captured and men killed. I am probably missing something, but I found little to directly apply to my own life beyond the understanding that God’s desire is to be for everyone the way He was for David.
David’s response to his overwhelming dominance over his enemies sets him apart from every other king in the Old Testament. Chapter 9 begins this way:
David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”2 Samuel 9:1 NIV
David finds that one of Jonathan’s sons still lives. He has been paralyzed in both feet since he was five years old. (See 2 Samuel 4:4) David returns all Saul’s land to his grandson Mephibosheth and assigns Ziba, Saul’s former steward, to care for it for Mephibosheth. Meanwhile, Mephibosheth will dine at the king’s table and be treated in a similar way to David’s sons.
What about us?
Unfortunately, we often experience hurts that need to be forgiven and the person who has hurt us dies before we completely work through forgiving them. We have released the debt they owe us to God and have lovingly confronted them with our hurt providing them an opportunity to repent. The final stage of forgiveness is to do kind things for the offender regardless of their willingness to repent. David’s action toward Mephibosheth may have had more to do with his love for Jonathan than it did with his forgiveness of Saul. However, I think that his treatment of Mephibosheth is still a good example for us. When you can no longer do something kind for the person who hurt you, do something kind for someone close to them.
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. 10 You 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 table like one of the king’s sons.2 Samuel 9:9-11 NIV
Being a steward for a wealthy owner benefits the owner and the steward. Kings typically have many things to think about. If we are honest, we want kings to focus on major issues that might impact us as subjects of the king. Maintaining his own possessions is probably not high on that list. Responsible stewards, or manager, take care of the day-to-day details of maintaining those possessions. Good stewards use those possessions well, attempting to increase them. In Ziba’s case, his service for Saul had benefited Saul and made him a prosperous man as demonstrated by his large family and number of servants.
When we think of stewardship, we most often think of giving to our local church. Good stewardship goes far beyond this. God owns everything we have, and we are simply stewards of all we think we possess. Our responsibility as stewards is to manage all our resources well for the glory of God and the growth of His kingdom. Any prosperity that comes our way is a secondary benefit of stewarding well and an opportunity for even greater generosity.