Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. When do you feel most motivated to ask for someone else’s forgiveness? To grant someone forgiveness? Share an instance.
2. When you and a rival sibling fought over how to share your things, what did you ask Mom or Dad to do? Of all the solutions they proposed, which ones worked best? Why?
3. Over the past year, have you given more favors, or received more favors? At year’s end, when it’s time to balance out “favors receivable” and “favors payable”, will you likely be a creditor or a debtor? Why?
4. In politics and sports, whom do you tend to support?
- whoever is ahead at the outset
- whoever is behind near the end
- whoever’s victory favors you the most
- whoever wins – he/she was your choice all along
5. If you had previously backed Absalom, why would you now reconfirm David as king (verses 9, 10)? What about David’s appeal (verses 11 – 13) would secure your vote of confidence?
6. Why do you think Shimei behaves as he does (verses 16 – 20; 2 Samuel 16:5 – 14)?
7. How does Mephiboseth’s side of the story vary from Ziba‘s (verses 24 – 30; 2 Samuel 16:3)? Who do you find more credible – Mephiboseth and Ziba? Why? Who do you think David believes? Does it even matter to him?
8. Why are the men of Israel so upset (verses 41 and following)? What’s at stake here besides hurt pride?
9. Is the Lord’s return of David to power based (at least in part) on David’s favoring and forgiving others? Or is David now able to grant general amnesty only because God has first forgiven him? Why do you think so?
10. If King Jesus were to grant amnesty to you for something as particular as King David offered Shimei, Mephiboseth, Barzillai or Kimham, what would that amnesty cover in your case? Would you accept the King’s generous offer? Or would you respectfully “pass” or defer to another? Why?
11. This week, where will you be forgiving as David? As penitent as Shimei? As generous as Barzillai? As sincere and grateful as Mephibosheth?
Additional Note about Mephiboseth and Ziba:
Ziba had told David that Mephiboseth was a traitor with dreams that he would be made king (as Saul’s grandson). On hearing this David had given Ziba all of Mephiboseth’s property. Mephibosheth claims that Ziba had betrayed him. More convincing than his words was his appearance. He had not washed himself or trimmed his mustache. He looked as though he had been mourning, not grooming himself for the throne.