Short Story of Mephibosheth

Read 2 Samuel 9

David had been anointed King of Israel three times, but he didn't take the throne until Saul, the reigning king, died in battle. He conquered much of the Land of Caanan that the leaders before him had failed to conquer and then had united the 12 tribes into one nation. The land was at peace and enjoying prosperity such as had never been known in Israel.

David evidently had the time now to reflect on the way he had become king and some of the events of seven and one half years of his reign. David became king when Saul, his son Jonathan, and another son were killed in battle. Saul's male descendants had been killed so no heir of his would have claim to the throne of Israel. There was one exception, a crippled boy named Mephibosheth had escaped assignation. He was the son of Jonathan. Jonathan and David were as close as brothers and David mourned when his friend Jonathan was killed, even though it made David king of Israel.

Now David was an exceptionally strong man and very fit and he abhorred any kind of physical weakness. In those days under the Law, physical ailments were viewed as punishment from God for some sin the person had done.

With these things in mind let's look at this passage and see why God would take time out from recording the history of His earthly people, Israel, to tell about one incident of kindness shown by a king to a cripple. I think God likes to paint word pictures so He put this story here to show us a picture of Christ and His love for us who are crippled with sin.

2 Samuel 9:1: And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

This kindness pictures the grace of our Lord.

2: And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he.
3: And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.

"Lame on his feet" is a picture of us, crippled by sin and without a remedy of our own.

4: And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar.

Lo-debar means "the place of no pasture." In our natural state as sinners, we're in a desolate place with no hope of attaining anything better by our own means.

5: Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.

God sent His Son to fetch us from our lost condition in our hopeless state as sinners.

6: Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!
7: And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.

We're restored and made joint heirs with Christ when we trust in Him. All of mankind lost our place as heirs to the Kingdom in the Garden of Eden. God sent His kindness to us in the form of His Son who died for us. If we are Believers in Christ, we'll spend eternity at the King's table, "continually."

8: And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

As sinners, we were dead in trespasses and sins. As Gentiles, we were not God's chosen earthly people and we're often described in Scripture as dogs.

9: Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.

God has given those who believe in His Son the place of kings and priests. He has made us heirs and joint heirs with His Son.

10: Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
11: Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons.

He has adopted each one of us as one of His sons.

12: And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.
13: So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.

Here is another picture of us. Mephibosheth dwelt in the royal city and ate continually at the king's table, but he was still lame on both his feet. But, his feet were out of sight and couldn't be seen, they were under the table.

The Believer is still a sinner, eating at God's gracious table, but by God's grace our sins are "remembered no more." Hebrews 10:17: "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."