2 Samuel 4:4 Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.
2 Samuel 9:1-13 Then David asked, “Is there anyone left from the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for the sake of Jonathan?” And there was a servant of Saul’s family named Ziba. They summoned him to David, and the king inquired, “Are you Ziba?” “I am your servant,” he replied. So the king asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul’s family to whom I can show the kindness of God?” Ziba answered, “There is still Jonathan’s son, who is lame in both feet.” “Where is he?” replied the king. And Ziba said, “Indeed, he is in Lo-debar at the house of Machir son of Ammiel.” So King David had him brought from the house of Machir son of Ammiel in Lo-debar. And when Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he fell facedown in reverence. Then David said, “Mephibosheth!” “I am your servant,” he replied. “Do not be afraid,” said David, “for surely I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog like me?” Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “I have given to your master’s grandson all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. You and your sons and servants are to work the ground for him and bring in the harvest, so that your master’s grandson may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, is always to eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. And Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do all that my lord the king has commanded.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s own sons. And Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was lame in both feet.
The story of King David and King Saul is all too familiar, but there is a behind the scenes story of redemption that I would like to discuss today. It is the story of the man named Mephibosheth. Remember the anger that old King Saul had toward David. He despised him, and he truly wanted him dead. David was best friends with the king’s son, Jonathan. David felt sure that the king wanted to kill him, and he shared this concern with Jonathan. Of course, Jonathan didn’t want to believe him. Saul was his father, and David was his best friend. How could this be true? In I Samuel, chapter 20, we read of a plan between David and Jonathan to discern whether or not Saul was really out to for David’s blood, and we also read of a promise that David made to Jonathan. The plan worked, and Jonathan realized that his father actually did want to kill David, and Jonathan warned David so that he was able to get away safely. A promise was made between the two best friends. David promised that he would never stop being kind to Jonathan for as long as he lived, and that he would never stop being kind to Jonathan’s family.
Fast forward about 15 years or so. King Saul and Jonathan were both dead, but David did not forget his promise. He began to inquire if any descendants of Jonathan were still living. He found out that Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth. The boy was only 5 years old when his father and grandfather were killed in battle with the Philistines at Mt. Gilboa by the Jezreel Valley. When his nurse maid heard of the death of Saul and Jonathan, she picked up the boy, Mephibosheth, and ran to flee to safety, but she dropped him causing him to be lame. The fall injured both feet, and he was lame from that day forth. He was once the grandson of the king, but now he was a lame man without power or wealth whose family was hated. David tracked down Mephibosheth and made good on his promise to Jonathan. He showed kindness and grace to the son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul, and elevated him to a position equal to member of his very own family. From that day on, Mephibosheth dined at the table of the king. It’s a great story of redemption that we don’t give a lot of weight too, but we should.
Mephibosheth lived for many years unaware that grace was waiting for him. He was the only living direct descendant of King Saul, and therefore, he was despised. He had to look for death around every corner. He didn’t know that King David had entered into a covenant with his father, and because of that covenant, grace was extended to this man who has been lame since the age of five. Mephibosheth became part of the family of King David, and he was treated as though he was the son of the king and an heir to the throne so to speak. Think about that, and think about yourself for a moment. How many years did you live before you knew about the grace of God? Was it 10, 15, 20, or maybe you still haven’t fully accepted this grace. Until we accept the grace of God, spiritual death is lurking around every corner. Thankfully, a long time ago, our King made a covenant with His people, and because of this unconditional covenant, grace was extended to you and to me. Through Christ, we have become sons and daughters to the King. We have been adopted into the family of our Lord and Savior, and we are heirs to the throne. We can dine at the table of our King.
You may be feeling like you’ve been dropped, bruised, injured, and forgotten, but let me remind you that our God is still on the throne, and He is a promise keeper. He made a covenant, and He doesn’t break His promises. He sent His son as a propitiation for our sins so they we may be made right with Him, so that we may have an everlasting relationship with our Father, and so that we may be heirs to the throne of the King of kings, Lord of lords. You may feel like you were dropped somewhere in the past, but I assure you that you have not been forgotten. Trust in the Lord. Taste and see that He is good. He is my redeemer, and He will redeem you too! You don’t even have to have a great name like Mephibosheth. He knows your name. He knows you. He wants to adopt you into His family. You don’t have to be dropped and forgotten. With Christ, you can be delivered and forgiven!