Jonathon had a son, Mephibosheth. Not really knowing the status of Saul’s house (apart from his wife, Michal), David inquired as to whether there was something he could do to honor the memory and relationship he had with Jonathan. Learning that Jonathon had a son, David set out to care for him. Perhaps the house of Saul, in part, went into hiding because it might have been expected that the ascending king would exterminate all rivals to the throne. David, however, was not like others. He sought the good of Saul’s house. Tending to Mephibosheth, David told Ziba to tend to Mephibosheth’s estate. It appears later that Ziba harbored some ill-will toward Saul’s grandson.
Application: David was not like the other kings when it might have been normal for a new king to eradicate any threats; David had the Lord on his side. The Lord would accomplish whatever eradicating needed done. Previous agreements need to be honored. David had much on his plate when he took position as king, but once things settled out, he was able to allow his mind to reflect and tend to matters left undone. This was one of them. He desired to honor the memory of his great friendship with Jonathan, and a good way to do so was to check on Jonathan’s children. Honoring our past agreements, even when we have had circumstances that have recently occurred that prevented us, is the right thing to do.