When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor. David said, “Mephibosheth!” “At your service,” he replied. “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s[a] table like one of the king’s sons. Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet. 2 Samuel 9:6-13
Fear. Fear was the name of my constant companion; my frenemy both familiar and hounding. Fear was with me the day my father went to war never to return, and my nursemaid dropped my five-year-old frame, crippling me in both feet. It was fear that woke me in the still, aching night, demoralizing me with thoughts of what would become of a paralyzed, dead dog like me. Would I beg my way through life; cast out and utterly alone? Would I live to see my children’s children? Would I even know the blessing of a wife and child?
Now, it is fear that keeps me wringing my hands, for surely I am as good as dead. I have been summoned by the king. Oh what could he possibly want of me? Surely he will snuff me out like a smoldering wick. I can feel the quaking in my middle, and the sweat, cold and menacing, roll down my back.
I have never known such grandeur as a palace, though I should. I was in line after my father Jonathan to be the next king of Israel, but now…now all that has been stripped away. The finery around me all but vanishes as I spy the king’s eyes. They are not the piercing eyes of an enemy, but offer the warm welcome of a friend. He calls my name in exultation and proclaims his goodness and kindness over me. Me! Not only that, but I can hardly believe my ears!! I have been invited as a permanent member of the king’s table! In his kindness and love, the king is choosing to honor me as he honored and loved my father before me. Not only this, but I have been given means of income through the land given to me that my servant Ziba can tend. No hand-out here. I will gladly serve my king. Surely I am undeserving…and yet, how can I refuse such a lavish gift?
South, Mephibosheth’s story is our own. Lame and ravaged by sin, we were hopeless; goners for sure. Like Mephibosheth, we too have been summoned by the King, invited not only to his table, but into His family forever. Now we are co-heirs with Christ, bought by the blood of the Lamb. How can we resist such love and grace? How can we not share that love and grace with others. Reflect on this as you listen/watch “Carried to the Table” by Leeland.
By Sheila Rennau