He really had no business being there. First, it’s not like he was family or anything . . . no blood connection . . . no obligation to include him. What’s more, he was lame in both feet . . . a cripple . . . not like he was going to contribute to the strength of the royal court, or anything. And finally, he was the grandson of a defeated rival . . . heir to a competing royal line who once occupied the throne . . . if anything, this stranger, cripple in both feet, might be considered an enemy, a threat.
But there he was . . . eating at the king’s table . . . just like one of the king’s sons.
The story of Mephibosheth (2Samuel 9) never ceases to move me. David, having secured his hold on the throne . . . king over all Israel . . . conqueror over Israel’s enemies . . . determines that he wants to show kindness to any survivor of Saul’s house, “for Jonathan’s sake.”
Jonathan, the son of King Saul — heir to the throne, had been David’s friend . . . Jonathan had been his number one cheerleader in the early days . . . Jonathan had shielded him from his father’s wrath . . . and had encouraged him in the Lord when things were at their most desperate. And Jonathan had died in battle . . . along with his father.
And so, for the sake of Jonathan . . . for the sake of another . . . David desires to show kindness.
Enter Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son . . . lame in both feet since age 5 . . . dropped by his nurse as they fled after the defeat and death of Saul and his dad (2Sam. 4:4). Could have been a somebody . . . ended up being a nobody. Grew up without a father . . . grew up without a future. He who might have been royalty, was destined to be a beggar. And then, someone determines to show kindness to him for the sake of another. Can anyone say, “Grace!”
Though a natural enemy to his throne, David instead spares his life . . . whew! And then, David restores to him an inheritance, giving him all the land once owned by the family of Saul . . . what? And then again, David says, “And you shall eat at my table always” (v.7) . . . no way!!!
Yup . . . that’s kind of how grace works. Enemies, deserving of death, given life . . . impoverished beggars, incapable of helping themselves, bequeathed an inheritance beyond imagination . . . those of another bloodline, undeserving of even looking upon royalty, invited to eat at the king’s table.
So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons. (2Samuel 9:11b ESV)
That’s how grace works . . . favor shown for the sake of another . . . I should know. I too have been invited to dine at the King’s table . . . not because of who I am . . . not because of what I bring to the table . . . despite that I was once an enemy. But because He, in His Sovereign purposes, has determined to show abundant kindness to this guy who’s “lame in both feet” . . . and has seated him at the table . . . seated together with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:5-7) . . . like one of the King’s sons.
To Him be glory alone!