Mephibosheth – Who was he?
Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and grandson of Israel’s King Saul. The boy was only 5 years old when his father and grandfather were killed in battle with the Philistines at Mt. Gilboa by the Jezreel Valley. Learning of the death of his son’s in battle, Saul took his own life.
It was customary that when a ruler was defeated that his family would be killed as well so that there would be no lineage of that ruler left to reclaim the throne. However, we find in 2 Samuel 4 that Mephibosheth survives.
“Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became crippled, his name was Mephibosheth” (2 Samuel 4:4).
Mephibosheth – What became of him?
Mephibosheth had grown and had a son of his own when King David inquired of his whereabouts. King David and Jonathan had been very close friends and became as brothers. Because of their relationship and an oath David made to Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:15-16; 42), he wanted to honor it by finding and caring for Mephibosheth.
One of Saul’s servants was questioned and told King David of the young man’s location. Mephibosheth was summoned to appear before the King. Though afraid, Mephibosheth came not knowing if he would be killed or what might happen to him. He was a cripple, had lost his heritage, and lived in a desolate place named Lo Debar. Translated, the name literally means “land of nothing”. Mephibosheth had been reduced to having nothing.
2 Samuel 9 describes the meeting of Mephibosheth and King David. The young man humbly bowed and David told him to not be afraid. “I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul and you will always eat at my table” (2 Samuel 9:7). Mephibosheth bowed and asked why David would “notice a dead dog like me?” in verse 8. Mephibosheth was made the promise that he would be honored with restoration of profits from his grandfather’s wealth and would always eat at the King’s table. This was despite Mephibosheth’s low self-worth, physical handicap, and shame brought to him by his grandfather’s sins, defeat and resulting suicide.
Mephibosheth – Redemption
Mephibosheth is a wonderful example of the redemption available to those who come humbly before the King of kings. Jesus is that King and offers to one and all a chance to eat at the King’s table forever. No matter that we have nothing, have been shamed and rejected or that we are handicapped and hurt, young or old, black or white or red or green. We are offered an inheritance of royalty.
When one accepts Jesus as Christ, the Messiah, and Son of God, we too become children of God. Romans 8:17 says “Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” If you have never accepted this gift through Christ Jesus, won’t you consider it now? His hand is out-reached to everyone; we simply must believe and take his hand with faith.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions