Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul, the first King of Israel. His father was Saul’s son Jonathan. As the grandson of the king, Mephibosheth was used to living in the palace, eating at the king’s table. When he was only five years old, his father and grandfather were both killed in battle. David, an adversary of King Saul, but a friend of his son Jonathan, would become the next king.
Crippled by a fall
Mephibosheth was crippled by a fall while his maid (nanny) was running to escape an approaching army that she assumed would kill the child. Note, she was doing what seemed right, trying to save the life of a child. However, in doing so, she stumbled. Mephibosheth was crippled for life by the fall.
Likewise, we, mankind, have been crippled by a fall. Our fall was into sin. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Because of the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we all, all of Adam’s descendants, have been crippled from birth. Crippled to the dregs, the residues of sin. Because of this fall, Romans 3:23 tells us that All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Living separated from the king
Mephibosheth’s maid carried him to Lo-debar, to live in hiding from the king. She feared for the young man’s life since David’s armies had defeated Saul’s armies and both the young boy’s father and grandfather, King Saul had been killed.
This too represents us. Without God, we are living in our own Lo-debar, our desolate place. We may feel that we are doing well. We have a family, home, good job, etc. But without God, we are always searching for something more, that missing link. That missing link is to sit at the King’s table, to eat and fellowship with the King Himself.
Forgiveness and a call to the king’s table
David forgave Saul and all in his family that had attempted to bring harm to David. To show his forgiveness and that he harbored no hard feelings, he brought the last living family member of Saul (Mephibosheth) to eat at the king’s table – “always” scripture says.
This was not just having someone over for one meal. David said Mephibosheth would dine at the king’s table every meal as long as he lived! Perhaps David saved Mephibosheth’s life. In Lo-debar it is possible that there was little food to eat.
Our God, our King, provides for us a table from which to dine that goes far beyond filling our stomachs. God has forgiven and saved us to have continual fellowship with Him. To dine with Him forever. Greater than the greatest table ever set before you. And food is only the beginning of God’s table.
While this story depicts an allegory for God’s love to us, it also demonstrates our responsibility to those less fortunate than us. It is upon us to reach out and help provide for those in need.
The story of Mephibosheth can be found in the Holy Bible, 2 Samuel 4:4 and chapter 9:1-9
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.