How to Avoid Inheritance Disputes

When Absalom rebelled against his father David, Ziba lied about Mephibosheth and stole his inheritance.

Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son. David, as you remember, loved Jonathan. So he had promised to let Mephibosheth eat at his royal table all his life.

Mephibosheth was lame in both feet and could not escape from Jerusalem by himself when David fled from Absalom. Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, told David that Mephibosheth was a traitor.

Without knowing this was a lie, David rewarded Ziba with all of Mephibosheth’s inheritance.

Soon Absalom was dead and the insurrection was quashed. David returned and found Mephibosheth, who had not washed or shaved since David left, because of his grief. David asked why he had stayed behind. Mephibosheth said that he was lame and that Ziba had abandoned him and lied about him.

David, with a hundred decisions to make, could not linger over this one. He rendered his judgment quickly. It was not just and Mephibosheth knew it. David said, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.”

What will Mephibosheth say to this settlement? Half his inheritance is going to a scoundrel. Mephibosheth’s answer is one of the most beautiful sentences in the Bible:

Mephibosheth said to the king, “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.” (2 Samuel 19:30)

This is how we should feel about king Jesus. He has come to save us. And he will come a second time to be with us forever. He is our inheritance and our great reward.

Would not this all-satisfying love for Christ silence many disputes over inheritances? “Oh, let them take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.”

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.