2 Samuel 9: 1- 7 (MSG) An Open Table for Mephiboshet 1 One day David asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul’s family? If so, I’d like to show him some kindness in honor of Jonathan.” 2 It happened that a servant from Saul’s household named Ziba was there. They called him into David’s presence. The king asked him, “Are you Ziba?” “Yes sir,” he replied. 3 The king asked, “Is there anyone left from the family of Saul to whom I can show some godly kindness?” Ziba told the king, “Yes, there is Jonathan’s son, lame in both feet.” 4 “Where is he?” “He’s living at the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.” 5 King David didn’t lose a minute. He sent and got him from the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar. 6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan (who was the son of Saul), came before David, he bowed deeply, abasing himself, honoring David. David spoke his name: “Mephibosheth.” “Yes sir?” 7 “Don’t be frightened,” said David. “I’d like to do something special for you in memory of your father Jonathan. To begin with, I’m returning to you all the properties of your grandfather Saul. Furthermore, from now on you’ll take all your meals at my table.”
Sisters and Brothers the word today unfolds in a place called Lo Debar which means no pasture, no life, and barren, dead, lame, disabled. The primary person of this passage, Meshiphibosheth expected judgment but David said don’t be afraid. As we eat God’s word daily we have food, pasture, we are enabled, and gain life to our dead situations and have healing for our shame. We read how our God carries out his Grace through us his people. Do you have any areas in your life that can be called Lo Debar meaning dead or Meshiphibosheth which means shame?
Shortly after David became king, he remembered his covenant with Jonathan to show kindness to his family. David promised Jonathan that he would show loving kindness to his family forever (1 Samuel 20:14-17). David vowed to Saul that he would not kill any of the children that came after him (1 Samuel 24:21-22). Now that Saul and Jonathan were dead, and David was king, it would have been easy for David to forget his commitment. But David not only remembered his commitment to Saul, he went far beyond it.
This is such a beautiful demonstration of love and acceptance, but it’s even more beautiful when we understand the culture in which David and Mephibosheth lived. During this time in history, when one King took over another King’s throne, the new King would kill the entire family of the former King. This was to insure that the family of the old King would not try to regain the power they once had. This explains why Mephibosheth bowed down out of fear. This also explains why David comforted him and told him not to be afraid. The tradition of the time would have called for David to kill Mephibosheth. But David treated Mephibosheth as an honored guest. David didn’t follow tradition. He didn’t follow culture. He followed God.
Mephibosheth had not done anything to earn this kindness and blessing from David. He was not a mighty warrior who had fought a great battle for the King. He had never gone to war because both of his feet were crippled from the time he was a young boy (2 Samuel 4:4). He was not courageous. In fact, he was deeply afraid to even appear before David. No, Mephibosheth did not earn the King’s favor. David did not bless Mephibosheth because of anything he had done. These blessings were freely given to him as a gift. And they were a gift that he could never repay. We can’t repay the Gift of God in our life either, because it’s all free!