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Mephibosheth

2 Samuel 4: 4: And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son of the family of Saul, so when news came of the death of Saul and Jonathan in battle, then the nurse of Mephibosheth took him in a hurry to hide him from those who would seek to kill the remaining family of the King; the sudden haste of the nurse caused Mephibosheth to fall so that he became a cripple. It was the nurse who got into a hurry which caused the fall of Mephibosheth to happen, so likewise did the Fall of humanity happen because of a woman (Eve) that got in a hurry.

The story of Mephibosheth happens during a change of administration when David was coming into power as Saul was going off the scene. David had already made a covenant with Jonathan (Saul’s son) because of the brotherly love that existed between them; this covenant included the preservation and protection of Jonathan’s family (1 Samuel 20: 14 - 17: And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the LORD, that I die not: But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth. So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies. And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.).


2 Samuel 9: 1 - 3: 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? 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. 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.

When David became King, he did not set about to kill the remaining family of Saul; the nurse of Mephibosheth however had feared that David would try and kill the remaining family and so she hurried off with the boy, causing him to fall and become lame. Mephibosheth had been hidden away for a long time; his true identity and DNA was kept a secret, but David remembered his covenant with Jonathan and enquired after the welfare of any surviving members of Saul’s family. David desired to show the kindness (grace) of God (2 Samuel 9: 3) to Saul’s family, for this was a shadow of God Himself who remembered His covenant with His people and extended the hand of Grace to us. Grace began in Heaven (the Throne room). Mephibosheth was not searching for David, but David came looking for Him; we were not looking for God, but the Grace of God came looking for us.


2 Samuel 9: 4 - 5: 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 Lodebar. Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.

The location of Mephibosheth was in Lodebar, a long way from the presence of the King in Jerusalem. “Lodebar” means in Hebrew, “Pastureless”; it was a barren wasteland without fruit or water. David brought Mephibosheth back to where he originally belonged (in the palace) because Mephibosheth in a crippled condition could not bring himself back. We too, like Mephibosheth, were separated far from the presence of God; we were stuck in a barren world of sin, spiritually crippled by its perversions, living lives void of the Gospel water and bearing no spiritual fruit, but the LORD came to us, when we could not go to where He was; He brought us back into His presence, back into fellowship with Himself.


2 Samuel 9: 6 - 8: 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! 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. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

This is a story of restoration from the day Mephibosheth left the kingdom to the time he returned and stood before the King. David called Mephibosheth by name, telling him to “Fear not” and reminding him of who he was and that he would no longer have to go back to his former life in Lodebar. Mephibosheth only saw himself a servant and valueless like a dead dog (a dog is the lowest animal in the Bible) because he had not yet realized his royal position.

We are likewise experiencing this story of restoration; we came from God and we are going back to God. We were living in a depressed and defeated state whilst in the world (Lodebar), but the LORD has loosed us from the spirit of fear and brought us to the place of peace (Jerusalem) that exists in Christ Jesus. The message of the prophet breaks the spiritual amnesia and reminds us of who we are and of the royal position we hold in the Kingdom of God.


2 Samuel 9: 9 - 11: 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. 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. 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.

Mephibosheth saw himself as just a servant but David treated him like a son and afforded him the privilege of eating at the King’s table. Mephibosheth could come and eat at the King’s table regardless of his crippled state, and when he sat at the table he looked like all the other sons of the King. Whilst he sat at the table he could take a napkin to cover his crippled condition and enjoy the blessed position that the King’s grace had bestowed upon him. When suppertime had ended, Mephibosheth could rise from the table and go about the palace, remembering that he had been here before whilst reacquainting himself with all its glory once again.

We are sons and daughters of God regardless of how worthless we feel that we are, and we can come to the LORD’S table despite the many complexes and problems that we have. We can put on the robe of the Holy Spirit and sit in the presence of God with all His other sons and daughters, dressed with the same robe and holding the same position. We can take the napkin of grace and cover all our crippled spots; we can come with joy and thanksgiving for all that God’s grace has done for us, and we can walk about the vastness of His kingdom and remember that we have been here before and rejoice that we are back here again.

SMORGASBORD, NEW ZEALAND

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