2 Samuel 9-11
David and Mephibosheth
9 (A)One day David asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul's family? If there is, I would like to show him kindness for Jonathan's sake.”
2 There was a servant of Saul's family named Ziba, and he was told to go to David. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked.
“At your service, sir,” he answered.
3 (B)The king asked him, “Is there anyone left of Saul's family to whom I can show loyalty and kindness, as I promised God I would?”
Ziba answered, “There is still one of Jonathan's sons. He is crippled.”
4 “Where is he?” the king asked.
“At the home of Machir son of Ammiel in Lodebar,” Ziba answered. 5 So King David sent for him.
6 When Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, arrived, he bowed down before David in respect. David said, “Mephibosheth,” and he answered, “At your service, sir.”
7 “Don't be afraid,” David replied. “I will be kind to you for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will give you back all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always be welcome at my table.”
8 Mephibosheth bowed again and said, “I am no better than a dead dog, sir! Why should you be so good to me?”
9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said, “I am giving Mephibosheth, your master's grandson, everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You, your sons, and your servants will farm the land for your master Saul's family and bring in the harvest, to provide food for them. But Mephibosheth himself will always be a guest at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
11 Ziba answered, “I will do everything Your Majesty commands.”
So Mephibosheth ate at the king's[a] table, just like one of the king's sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. All the members of Ziba's family became servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem, eating all his meals at the king's table.
David Defeats the Ammonites and the Syrians(C)
10 Some time later King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 King David said, “I must show loyal friendship to Hanun, as his father Nahash did to me.” So David sent messengers to express his sympathy.
When they arrived in Ammon, 3 the Ammonite leaders said to the king, “Do you think that it is in your father's honor that David has sent these men to express sympathy to you? Of course not! He has sent them here as spies to explore the city, so that he can conquer us!”
4 Hanun seized David's messengers, shaved off one side of their beards, cut off their clothes at the hips, and sent them away. 5 They were too ashamed to return home. When David heard about what had happened, he sent word for them to stay in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again.
6 The Ammonites realized that they had made David their enemy, so they hired twenty thousand Syrian soldiers from Bethrehob and Zobah, twelve thousand men from Tob, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men. 7 David heard of it and sent Joab against them with the whole army. 8 The Ammonites marched out and took up their position at the entrance to Rabbah, their capital city, while the others, both the Syrians and the men from Tob and Maacah, took up their position in the open countryside.
9 Joab saw that the enemy troops would attack him in front and from the rear, so he chose the best of Israel's soldiers and put them in position facing the Syrians. 10 He placed the rest of his troops under the command of his brother Abishai, who put them in position facing the Ammonites. 11 Joab said to him, “If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you. 12 Be strong and courageous! Let's fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord's will be done!”
13 Joab and his men advanced to attack, and the Syrians fled. 14 When the Ammonites saw the Syrians running away, they fled from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab turned back from fighting the Ammonites and went back to Jerusalem.
15 The Syrians realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, and so they called all their troops together. 16 King Hadadezer sent for the Syrians who were on the east side of the Euphrates River, and they came to Helam under the command of Shobach, commander of the army of King Hadadezer of Zobah. 17 When David heard of it, he gathered the Israelite troops, crossed the Jordan River, and marched to Helam, where the Syrians took up their position facing him. The fighting began, 18 and the Israelites drove the Syrian army back. David and his men killed seven hundred Syrian chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry, and they wounded Shobach, the enemy commander, who died on the battlefield. 19 When the kings who were subject to Hadadezer realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, they made peace with them and became their subjects. And the Syrians were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
David and Bathsheba
11 (D)The following spring, at the time of the year when kings usually go to war, David sent out Joab with his officers and the Israelite army; they defeated the Ammonites and besieged the city of Rabbah. But David himself stayed in Jerusalem.
2 One day, late in the afternoon, David got up from his nap and went to the palace roof. As he walked around up there, he saw a woman taking a bath in her house. She was very beautiful. 3 So he sent a messenger to find out who she was, and learned that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. 4 David sent messengers to get her; they brought her to him and he made love to her. (She had just finished her monthly ritual of purification.) Then she went back home. 5 Afterward she discovered that she was pregnant and sent a message to David to tell him.
6 David then sent a message to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him if Joab and the troops were well, and how the fighting was going. 8 Then he said to Uriah, “Go on home and rest a while.” Uriah left, and David had a present sent to his home. 9 But Uriah did not go home; instead he slept at the palace gate with the king's guards. 10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he asked him, “You have just returned after a long absence; why didn't you go home?”
11 Uriah answered, “The men of Israel and Judah are away in battle, and the Covenant Box is with them; my commander Joab and his officers are camping out in the open. How could I go home, eat and drink, and sleep with my wife? By all that's sacred, I swear that I could never do such a thing!”
12 So David said, “Then stay here the rest of the day, and tomorrow I'll send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 David invited him to supper and got him drunk. But again that night Uriah did not go home; instead he slept on his blanket[b] in the palace guardroom.
14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. 15 He wrote: “Put Uriah in the front line, where the fighting is heaviest, then retreat and let him be killed.” 16 So while Joab was besieging the city, he sent Uriah to a place where he knew the enemy was strong. 17 The enemy troops came out of the city and fought Joab's forces; some of David's officers were killed, and so was Uriah.
18 Then Joab sent a report to David telling him about the battle, 19 and he instructed the messenger, “After you have told the king all about the battle, 20 he may get angry and ask you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight them? Didn't you realize that they would shoot arrows from the walls? 21 (E)Don't you remember how Abimelech son of Gideon was killed? It was at Thebez, where a woman threw a millstone down from the wall and killed him. Why, then, did you go so near the wall?’ If the king asks you this, tell him, ‘Your officer Uriah was also killed.’”
22 So the messenger went to David and told him what Joab had commanded him to say. 23 He said, “Our enemies were stronger than we were and came out of the city to fight us in the open, but we drove them back to the city gate. 24 Then they shot arrows at us from the wall, and some of Your Majesty's officers were killed; your officer Uriah was also killed.”
25 David said to the messenger, “Encourage Joab and tell him not to be upset, since you never can tell who will die in battle. Tell him to launch a stronger attack on the city and capture it.”
26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband had been killed, she mourned for him. 27 When the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to the palace; she became his wife and bore him a son. But the Lord was not pleased with what David had done.
Jesus the Real Vine
15 “I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit. 3 You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you. 4 Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me. 6 Those who do not remain in me are thrown out like a branch and dry up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it. 8 My Father's glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples. 9 I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 (A)My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. 13 The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them. 14 And you are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because servants do not know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 17 This, then, is what I command you: love one another.
The World's Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, then the world would love you as its own. But I chose you from this world, and you do not belong to it; that is why the world hates you. 20 (B)Remember what I told you: ‘Slaves are not greater than their master.’ If people persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours too. 21 But they will do all this to you because you are mine; for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 They would not have been guilty of sin if I had not come and spoken to them; as it is, they no longer have any excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 They would not have been guilty of sin if I had not done among them the things that no one else ever did; as it is, they have seen what I did, and they hate both me and my Father. 25 (C)This, however, was bound to happen so that what is written in their Law may come true: ‘They hated me for no reason at all.’
26 “The Helper will come—the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me. 27 And you, too, will speak about me, because you have been with me from the very beginning.
Confidence in the Law of the Lord
49 Remember your promise to me, your servant;
it has given me hope.
50 Even in my suffering I was comforted
because your promise gave me life.
51 The proud are always scornful of me,
but I have not departed from your law.
52 I remember your judgments of long ago,
and they bring me comfort, O Lord.
53 When I see the wicked breaking your law,
I am filled with anger.
54 During my brief earthly life
I compose songs about your commands.
55 In the night I remember you, Lord,
and I think about your law.
56 I find my happiness
in obeying your commands.
Devotion to the Law of the Lord
57 You are all I want, O Lord;
I promise to obey your laws.
58 I ask you with all my heart
to have mercy on me, as you have promised!
59 I have considered my conduct,
and I promise to follow your instructions.
60 Without delay I hurry
to obey your commands.
61 The wicked have laid a trap for me,
but I do not forget your law.
62 In the middle of the night I wake up
to praise you for your righteous judgments.
63 I am a friend of all who serve you,
of all who obey your laws.
64 Lord, the earth is full of your constant love;
teach me your commandments.