As I was reading this morning, I came across a story where King David shows great kindness to his friend Jonathan’s son who he did not know. Read this Scripture if you will: 2 Samuel 9.
1 And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”2 Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.”3 And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.”4 The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.”5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.6 And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.”7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.”8 And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”
9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson.10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’st table, like one of the king’s sons.12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants.13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.
There are a few things that quickly jump out after we read this text. First, the king was obviously very honored, which of course makes sense. He is the king after all. Second, while David knew Mephibosheth’s father, he did not know Mephibosheth himself in order to bestow this honor upon him for any good reason. Third, Mephibosheth reacts in calling himself a dead dog; he realizes his place in comparison to the king. Fourth, David gave Mephibosheth gifts and a place of honor. Fifth, the text says he ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons.
In recognizing these significant points, we can see a beautiful picture of a king giving someone honor they don’t deserve. I want to propose to you that in this text, David is a picture of God and Mephibosheth is you and I. God is the king and in comparison to Him we are but dead dogs, dead in our sin. This is our place in comparison to the king. Mephibosheth did nothing to deserve all David gave him. Yes, he was Jonathan’s son, but he did not choose that for himself. He literally had done nothing. Likewise, we have done nothing to deserve God’s grace. God sent Christ to die for us and impute His righteousness to us and become our sin. Let that sink in for a minute… we did nothing to deserve this. We are but dead dogs without Christ. Mephibosheth was given a place of honor though. He from then on sat at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons. Do you see that? When God saves us, we are adopted and invited to enjoy Him at His table and He calls us His sons and daughters! What a gift! What a beautiful picture of the Gospel we find here in 2 Samuel.
If you happen to be reading this and you don’t know Christ, but sitting at a king’s table sounds pretty good, then I’d invite you to know Him today. All He asks is that you recognize that you are a sinner and that without Him you are dead in your sin. He asks for you to repent, which simply means to turn from your sins and follow Him, and to believe, which means accepting that Jesus is the Savior of the world and died and rose again so that you might have life eternally.
May we live in the joy of being adopted as sons and daughters of the living God!