David’s dealings with the Gibeonites, at its roots, is a matter of keeping covenants. Israel had made a covenant with the Gibeonites. Even though this covenant was 400 years old, it was still to be honored. Saul broke that covenant by trying to rid the land of them. No matter how good his intentions might have been, the covenant must be kept. The breaking of that covenant had serious consequences. It cost Saul and his sons their lives. It brought a famine on the land of Israel. There were other covenants involved as well. Much of what is described in our text looks like the fulfillment of God’s warnings for breaking the Mosaic Covenant in Deuteronomy 28-30. In addition, David’s covenant with Jonathan had to be honored, so Mephibosheth was not handed over to the Gibeonites.
God deals with men in terms of covenants. Time does not weaken these covenants. Covenants are to be kept. Even when men do not take their covenants seriously, God does…..
….Thank God that He is a covenant keeper. Throughout Israel’s history, His chosen people stiffened their necks and disobeyed the One who saved them from slavery in Egypt. How easy it would have been for God to wash His hands of this rebellious people. But God kept His covenant. He kept it by bringing adversity on His people when they sinned (such as the famine which came on Israel in David’s time), but He also provided a Savior, who perfectly kept the Mosaic Covenant and fulfilled the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants. He inaugurated the New Covenant, by which sinful men are saved through faith in Jesus Christ and His blood, which was shed to make an atonement for the sins of men.