Mephibosheth

Sitting at the King’s Table

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Mephibosheth is a difficult but fun-to-pronounce biblical name. When you read his story, you won’t be concerned about pronouncing his name—you won’t forget him. His name means “he scatters shame”. His father was Jonathan and his grandfather King Saul. When Mephibosheth’s nurse heard the news of Saul and Jonathan’s death, she picked the five-year-old up and fled, fearing for his life. However, “as she hurried to leave, he fell and became crippled”(2 Samuel 4:4).

When David became King after Saul’s death, he acted on his promise to Jonathan and Saul that he would not destroy their descendants when the dynasty changed (1 Sam. 20:14–17). David sought out this descendant who had probably escaped death because the nurse had hidden him or because he was a handicapped child.

Even though Mephibosheth considered himself a “dead dog,” David had compassion on him and confirmed him as the rightful owner of Saul’s lands (2 Samuel 9: 1-13). Moreover, David conferred on him the position reserved for his own sons. Mephibosheth would eat at David’s table. Whether Mephibosheth actually ate at David’s table or his own at home, Mephibosheth occupied the position of “eating at the king’s table.” He was officially adopted into David’s family.

Mephibosheth’s life symbolizes our position in Christ.  When we were spiritually dead, Christ our King conferred his grace on us and saved us. Paul tells us in Colossians 3 that though we continue to physically live on earth, our life is spiritually hidden in Christ. Adopted into the royal family, we enjoy all the benefits as heirs of the King. Though we cannot see all these benefits now, someday we will be reunited with Him and “when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

DIG DEEPER:

Read the story of Mephibosheth and Ziba in 2 Samuel 16:1-4 and 19:24-30. Contrast the two men’s loyalty to David.

Read 1 John 1:1-2. What are Christians called? Why is that significant?

Read Ephesians 1:3-10. What are some of the spiritual blessings lavished on us in Christ? When will the complete fulfillment of these blessings be realized?

Nancy J. Baker

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