2 Samuel 4 and 9; the story of Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan is found in these two chapters. While there is about 40 years in between the chapters, they contain a single story. After the death of Saul, Jonathan and the rest of King Saul’s house [except for Ish-bosheth], David begins to reign. In chapter 4 we have the story of how Mephibosheth becomes crippled in his feet – in the haste of trying to escape the enemy the Philistines, the house servant drops Mephibosheth as a child. Usually when a new power/king took over from another, all the heirs of the previous king/ruler were killed to eliminate any up rising from them against the new king/ruler. It is interesting that King David did not do this for Ish-bosheth is still alive, and the up rising does occur. In another blog I will discuss chapters 5-8 about David coming to supreme power.
Mephibosheth as I said was crippled from a small age. In the years between chapter 4 and 9, Mephibosheth grows up to be a man, have a family and living in another city. After comes to full power over a united Israel/Judah; David asks the question “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” This question tells us how close Jonathan and David were. It also reaffirms David’s commitment to his word to Jonathan. Ziba who served Saul, tells David there is one called Mephibosheth, living in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.
Can you imagine the thoughts and fears that went through Mephibosheth’s mind when he was summoned to the Court of King David? Every fear for his life must have run though his mind. Years having passed, now David has found out there is one left of the House of Saul. Summoned to the Court, Mephibosheth, falls on his face before the king. David tells him to have no fear. King David for the sake of Jonathan says that he would “restore all the land of his grandfather Saul to him and that he, Mephibosheth would eat regularly at the King’s table. Mephibosheth’s response is one of curious doubt and fear – “What is your servant that you should regard a dead dog like me?”
Ziba, who has 15 sons and 20 servants would now be responsible for cultivating the land, and providing food for Mephibosheth. Verse 11, “so Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the King’s sons.” Verse 13 – So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.”
The last two verse that I quoted are of great significance. I would like to show you a metaphor from them. Everyone of us have a fallen sinful nature, we “crippled” so to speak. There is nothing that we have that should allow us to dine with the King; our King is Jesus. Because of a covenant with Jonathan and David, Mephibosheth was blessed. Because of the covenant relationship we have with Jesus, through the Father, we are blessed. We are invited to come dine with the King – our Table is the Lord’s Supper Table. It is a prepared table not for just guests, but like Mephibosheth – sons. We are the children of God, heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. In spite of our frail human lives we have been invited to dine with the King regularly. The second part I want you to see it this; not only do we have a place at the King’s Table; but when we sit at the king’s table we are like Mephibosheth, our “crippledness” is hidden. Whether it be a table-cloth or the table itself that covered Mephibosheth defect, he is not seen as being crippled, but fully restored. The same for us, when we dine with the King at the Lord’s Supper table, all our sin and shame is hidden, but not by a table-cloth, but by a robe of righteousness that has been our purchased garment through Jesus Christ.
Jesus has blessed us like David did Mephibosheth. Our sin is hidden beneath the table. No need to fear our failures and scarred lives anymore – We are Hid in Christ!