2Sa 9:3 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."
Tucked away in the OT is an account of the kindness David showed to Mephibosheth, one of Jonathan’s sons. Every time I go through this passage I see something of the grace that God shows sinners that I can identify with and reminds me why I must love the Lord with all of my heart.
This time I noticed that there were two things about Mephibosheth that removed any chance of him doing anything for David to earn his favor. He was from a cursed family and he was crippled in both feet. Without doubt these two things are mentioned in this passage to point to the fact that I also was from the wrong family and enslaved to sin and unable to do anything that pleased God.
Mephibosheth’s grandfather was Saul who had been rejected by the Lord and eventually killed in battle. It was typical for a new king who had disposed the previous one to kill his relatives lest they lead a rebellion to take back the kingdom. Mephibosheth realized this as is seen in the humble, fearful way he approached the king, 2Sa 9:6 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."
We are all born into a cursed family line as well. Our “grandfather” dared rebel against the King and brought condemnation upon us all. The Bible says that the sentence of death hangs over everyone born from the first Adam. But like Mephibosheth, we are also born of one who has a special relationship to the king, 2Sa 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?" Jonathan was also born of Saul but he had entered into a previous covenant with David which promised life to all his descendants. So while condemned by the first Adam, Saul, he gained pardon by being from the second Adam, Jonathan. What a marvelous picture of Jesus born in the line of Adam but also being God pleased the Father in a way that no sinner ever could.
That took care of Mephibosheth’s first problem, wrong family, but what about his inability to please the king; his lameness meant he had nothing to offer King David. We read that he was given a powerful servant that was commissioned to take all of Mephibosheth’s possessions and bear fruit for David, 2Sa 9:9 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. 2Sa 9:10 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.
So God gives us his Spirit to work in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure. He takes what we were born with and empowers us to use it for the Lord and no longer for sinful purposes.
In fact Ziba played a big part in bringing Mephibosheth to David to begin with, 2Sa 9:4 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." 2Sa 9:5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. Ziba was sent and brought Mephibosheth to David. As with our salvation this story is all about what David did for Mephibosheth, not what Mephibosheth did for David.
I praise and thank the Lord that when I was both helpless and cursed, unable and unworthy, he sent his Son to bring peace and his Spirit bring me back so I can now eat at the King’s table and serve him with a new heart. All glory to God!