In those days, when a new king came into power from a different family lineage, a common practice was to kill off any family members from the old regime. This was to prevent any family member from attempting to gain support to overthrow the throne.
After Saul died, David became king, first in Judah, then in all Israel, and led Israel to great military success. Because of his loyalty to and friendship with Saul's son Jonathan, David inquired about any remaining members of Saul’s family who were still alive. He learned that one of Jonathan’s sons (Saul’s grandson) lived in an impoverished town called Lo-debar. David sent for him to be brought to the palace. The young man’s name was Mephibosheth, and he had been crippled since he was very young.
Mephibosheth lived in poverty in a small, disrespected town with nothing left from his family’s estate. He was crippled so he couldn’t work, and there was a strong likelihood he could not walk on his own or would have certainly struggled to do so. In that day he would have had to be carried or to crawl anywhere he needed to go.
When Mephibosheth was told that King David had sent someone from Jerusalem to bring him before the throne, the natural assumption would be that David intended to execute him. His trip to the capital, then, must have made him full of fear and dread. But then something happened that no one saw coming. David gave Mephibosheth everything that his family owned, set up an income for him, and invited him to eat at David's table every night—a table to which he potentially would have to be carried to sit, eat, and fellowship.
That is the very picture of what King Jesus does for us in our salvation. We deserve death because of our “family line” of sin. But He brings us before His throne and makes us His own, sets up a new life for us, and invites us to His table from now into eternity. Because of our past, our sin, and our brokenness, we too are crippled. But in our desperate and dependent state, Jesus carries us to His table to live and fellowship with Him.
Today, God invites you to His table through a relationship with Jesus Christ. And if you aren’t sure if or don’t feel like you can pull yourself to the table, He will carry you.
How does your own story of salvation relate to Mephibosheth’s?