Grace & Mephibosheth
He was only 5 years old when word came to the palace that his grandfather, the king, and his father had been killed in battle. As you can imagine, chaos ensued. The servants and family left were scrambling to escape to safety. Where to? Who knows but staying in the palace didn’t seem the best option.
As the servants scattered, his nurse picked him up and began to flee. Then something happened. Mephibosheth fell. He injuries sustained are unclear but even after his body had time to heal he remained crippled in both feet.
Then the curtain closed on this 5-year-old son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul. Intermission lengthened over the span of many years until the curtain rose once again and the spotlight found Mephibosheth now a man with a young son.
During those intermission years, David had been busy coming into his kingdom by God’s hand. Not only was he king over all Israel, David established a new capital city, brought in the Ark of the Covenant, and knew military success everywhere he went. He defeated and subdued the Philistines, Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, and the Amalekites. God gave David victory everywhere he went.
Then came a day when David remembered his dear friend Jonathan and a promise made to him to watch over his family. A search was made to find Jonathan’s family and it yielded one name, Mephibosheth. David called in this man, restored to him the land that belonged to his grandfather Saul, and declared that Mephibosheth would always eat at his table like one of his children.
I wonder what Mephibosheth thought of that encounter with David. For the first 5 years of his life, he knew the love of his father and lived in the extravagance that came from being the grandson of the king and then nothing. He spent years living and growing up in obscurity. Did he know love? Did he live in fear? What did he think about God- the God who so richly blessed David but left his grandfather Saul… the God who allowed him to be crippled?
Then opened the door for grace to be poured over his live. Yes, grace. Mephibosheth did nothing to deserve such favor yet the unmerited favor was poured out anyway. Riches were restored. A place in society was restored. Yet the greatest gift was the favor and love of David as he kept his promise to his dearest friend Jonathan.
The beautiful restoration story of Mephibosheth reminds me of the Christian life. None of us deserve restoration with the Father. Yet Jesus throws open wide the door and issues an invitation to come and sit at the Father’s table. When we accept, grace floods our lives- a grace so underserved!
Lord, thank you for this beautiful story that so parallels the grace you pour into my life. Thank you for a spot at your table. Thank you for every promise kept! Thank you for continuing to open doors and invite others to join you at the table! May I be like David to others and help them find their way to you. Amen!