They say that a good test of integrity is to examine what a person does when no one is watching. Even though David had his flaws, he certainly was a man of integrity. One of the many instances of David’s integrity had to do with promises he made to several individuals who were no longer living. To king Saul, David had promised that he would not wipe out Saul’s descendants when he, David, became king (1Sam. 25:21). To Saul’s son Jonathan, David had promised that he would never stop showing kindness to Jonathan’s descendants (1Sam. 20:15).
Well, it’s now been at least ten years since Saul and Jonathan died, and David has been thinking about his promises. Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1). David found out that there was a son of Jonathan’s named Mephibosheth, and David decreed that Mephibosheth would now inherit all that Saul once owned.
Now to be honest, it seems to me that very few people would have known about these promises that David had made. He had made them during meetings where very few were present. I would imagine that if David took a poll of his friends and asked whether they thought he should bother keeping these promises, they would probably have said, “Forget about it!” But it was important to David. And it’s important to God that we keep our promises. (Mat. 5:37).