MEPHIBOSHETH : OUR STORY
The story of David's care and provision for Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9 is one of the most heart-warming accounts in the entire Bible. The love and mercy which King David showed to poor crippled Mephibosheth went far beyond the call of duty. There was nothing that required David to take care of Mephibosheth; but David was very concerned about his condition and reached out to him in grace-with no strings attached. David's unconditional love for Mephibosheth is a great illustration of the unconditional love that God has for us.
Mephibosheth was a grandson of King Saul, the first king of Israel. Saul was the king who started out well, but then turned away from the Lord. He not only stopped following the Lord, but he plotted to get rid of David, the Lord's anointed king. Thus there was alienation and enmity between David and the dynasty of Saul. As a member of the deposed house of Saul, Mephibosheth deserved nothing from King David.
In those days when a new dynasty came into power, the king would quickly put to death any possible rival threats to the throne. The best Mephibosheth could hope for was exile! But David not only showed mercy to Mephibosheth, he also treated him as a prince and member of his own household. Even the 'embarrassment' of having a crippled member of a deposed dynasty in the royal courts did not in any way affect David's gracious treatment of Mephibosheth. What a fascinating picture of the undeserved mercy and overwhelming grace which God has shown us.
Bridging The Gap
The alienation and enmity that separated Mephibosheth from David because of Mephibosheth's connection with the fallen dynasty of Saul were overcome completely by David. In the same way that David reached across all the barriers that separated himself from Mephibosheth, so God has overcome all obstacles to reconcile us to Himself. He has extended His love to us in spite of the alienating barriers of enmity and hostility which we erected as members of the fallen human race. Colossians 1:21-22 captures this truth precisely. "And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach."
David took the initiative in searching out Mephibosheth. How characteristic of our sovereign Lord! He took the initiative and found us, not vice versa. As members of the fallen human race, we were not seeking God. We may have been groping after our idea of 'goodness' (or some kind of god 'created in our own image!'), but we certainly were not actively searching for the infinitely holy and righteous God of the Bible! Until He began to work in our hearts, our idea of God and our attitude towards Him were probably similar to that of Mephibosheth's toward David-someone to fear and hide from so as to avoid confrontation. But Mephibosheth came to know and appreciate the love and kindness of the king who sought and found him. In the same way, we have come to know and experience the love and compassion of the King who came to "seek and to save those who were lost" (Lk.19:10).
Mephibosheth's attitude in response to David's discovery of him is very significant in the picture of 'Mephibosheth and Me.' Even before Mephibosheth knew what David had planned, he prostrated himself and said, "Here is your servant." He didn't try to justify himself or make excuses for his connection with Saul, or throw the blame for his situation on others. In the same way, we had to come before God with a 'dead dog' attitude in order to benefit from His mercy. There was nothing much lower in the Hebrew culture than a dead dog. Many people today are unwilling to assume such a humble attitude. Their humanistic pride and arrogance keep them from experiencing the love and blessings of the King. Let us, the Mephibosheths who are now eating at the King's table, reach out to them in love and compassion with the King's official invitation. He wants them to join us in the picture of 'Mephibosheth and Me.'
What do I have in common with Mephibosheth? As to culture, time in history and names, we are worlds apart! However, there is some common ground between Mephibosheth and me. In fact, there is something in common between Mephibosheth and all true believers. You see, all of us have had a similar experience-the experience of being given undeserved VIP treatment by a king, instead of being exiled as we deserved. The relationship between David and Mephibosheth is meant to portray a picture of the relationship between God and us.