He could have wanted more. He could have had more. But for Mephibosheth, the table was enough.
He was the son of Jonathan, the grandson of King Saul. If not for the determined counsel of God, the throne would have been his one day. But it was not God’s will. And the line of the throne was transferred to David after Saul’s rebellion and disobedience to God.
It wasn’t even God’s will that Mephibosheth should be able bodied. When he was five years old, just after his grandfather and his father had been slain in battle, his nurse fled with him in case someone determined to entirely eradicate all competition for the throne. So she took him up, “and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame” — as in “crippled in both feet” lame (2Sam. 4:4, 9:13).
But King David had shown him kindness for Jonathan’s sake (2Sam. 9:1).
Beyond allowing him to live, and thus potentially compete for the throne, David also allowed him to keep the land which was his inheritance. But, what was over the top, is that the king invited this guy who was lame in both feet, who couldn’t do anything but crawl to get himself anywhere, to reside in the palace and to dine each night at the table. The table which covered his immobilizing defects. The table, the place he would partake of a feast fit for a king in the presence of the king.
But when David had to flee because of Absalom’s coup, Mephibosheth could have seen an opportunity to have more. Perhaps the dysfunction in the line of David might provide an opening for the line of Saul to be re-established. That’s what Mephibosheth’s traitor servant, Ziba, told David when David asked why the young man was not fleeing with him. And so David, gave the inheritance to Ziba.
But, for Mephibosheth, the table was enough.
Reading this morning that from the day David fled Absalom until he safely returned, Mephibosheth “had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes” (2Sam. 19:24). He had known the abundant grace of the king’s table, he wouldn’t attempt to usurp the king’s throne. And so he mourned and fasted as the king was absent from his rightful place as sovereign.
Then, upon David’s return, and with the treachery of Ziba exposed, David, in a rash attempt of justice, decided that Mephibosheth and Ziba should split the inheritance and “divide the land.” To which Mephibosheth replied, “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home” (2Sam. 19:29-30).
He could have had more–at least half the land. But the table was enough.
For all my fathers house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?”
(2Samuel 19:28 ESV)
Doomed to die.
For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23a ESV)
Lame in both feet, unable to do anything to earn or merit the king’s favor.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6 ESV)
Of a competing line of leaders, the natural enemy of the king.
. . . while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son . . . (Romans 5:10a ESV)
But, all praise be to God, he had a place at the table!
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus . . . (Matthew 9:10 ESV)
The table is enough.
Nothing more we could want. Nothing more we could have.
Because of the King’s abundant grace. All for the King’s everlasting glory.