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How Mephibosheth Typifies Our Salvation Experience

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How Mephibosheth Typifies Our Salvation Experience

Post by Harry on Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:11 am

How Mephibosheth Typifies Our Salvation Experience

July 25, 2018 by Jack Wellman

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The way King David treated Mephibosheth, the late King Saul’s grandson, is a picture of God’s saving grace given to every believer.
Grace and Disgrace
After Samuel the Prophet anointed Saul as king of Israel, it wasn’t long before Saul was filled with jealousy and saw David as a threat to him and his throne, so King Saul turned against David, a man who would have done anything for him. As a result, David spent years running for his life from the king and his men. After Saul and Jonathan’s death, David searched for any living relatives of the house of Saul so he could show kindness for Jonathan’s sake. Jonathan, Saul’s son, had been David’s closest and dearest friend. During this time in history, kings typically sought out the descendants of the last king, but it wasn’t in order to show them favor like David did (2 Sam 9:1). Normally all of the last king’s descendants were killed so that the throne could lie securely in the hands of the reigning king, but David was no ordinary king. His gesture toward Mephibosheth was a picture of God’s saving grace, and it will become clearer as we read the account of David extending kindness to the house of Saul, a house that formerly sought his death!
Johnathan’s Son
In 2 Samuel 4, we first hear about Mephibosheth. He was a son of Jonathan who was the son of King Saul. It says Mephibosheth “was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth” (2 Sam 4:4), so think of Mephibosheth as representing the lost sinner, and like all of mankind, he has suffered from the fall in the Garden. After King David’s throne is established, he asks, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake” (2 Sam 9:1)? Notice it wasn’t for Saul’s sake but for Jonathan’s sake, and also David sought out Mephibosheth. That is a picture of God’s sovereign grace where He sought us and He bought us and He taught us how to become a child of God. Mephibosheth would never have thought to seek out David for fear of losing his life. He was likely in hiding in a place where no one else would want to live (More on that later), but David sought and found Mephibosheth. He wanted to show kindness to him, but not because of who Mephibosheth was…but rather, because of who Jonathan was. Mephibosheth did nothing to earn this or anything to deserve this. That’s a picture of grace! Even though Mephibosheth (and we) was in a fallen state, God’s grace is greater than his fall, and all of us fall infinitely short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23).
Works
When David sought out Mephibosheth, he was found to be living in the house of Machir (means “sold”), located in Lodebar (means, “no pasture”), so Mephibosheth was living in a barren land (2 Sam 9:4) and brought no benefit at all to the king’s table, but David said, “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” (2 Sam 9:7). In similar fashion, God through Christ will bring us to the marriage feast of the Lamb of God (Rev 19:6-9), even though we were found to be in a fallen state. And it wasn’t on account of us that God did this…but on account of Christ. Mephibosheth recognized one thing. He, like we were at one time, we were dead in our sins (Eph 2:1-4), so Mephibosheth says, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I” (2 Sam 9:Cool? Good question, isn’t it? I can see no reason God would save me and not someone else. There is nothing inherently valuable in me anymore than there was in the crippled Mephibosheth. Just like him, I couldn’t bring any works to the table. Mephibosheth couldn’t tell David, “I can serve you, or I can work for you, or I can garden for you.” He was crippled, unable to do any works, just as we cannot do any works to save ourselves from the fall (Eph 2:8-9). If Mephibosheth had insisted on earning his way to the king’s table by works, and works of which he could boast to King David, then the Apostle Paul would have said to him, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace” (Gal 5:4).
Restoration
Not only does David allow Mephibosheth to dine at the king’s table the rest of his life, David tells him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 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” (2 Sam 9:9-10). Now Mephibosheth has servants working for him…and he’s set for the rest of his life. In the kingdom, those who trust in Christ will be kings and priests and rule with, but under Christ. When Mephibosheth first heard the king wanted to see him, it must have passed his mind that he was going to die. Maybe that’s the idea. God gives grace to those who don’t deserve it. He doesn’t give us what we deserve (His righteous wrath); He gives us what we need, and that’s grace. David sought out Mephibosheth just as God seeks out those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Conclusion
In the end, Mephibosheth ate at the king’s table for the rest of his life. That’s what a child of the king does, so for those who trust in Him, they have the awesome privilege of entering into the kingdom and dining at the great marriage feast of the Lamb of God, and will be “always at the king’s table…like one of the king’s sons,” so come…sit… at the King’s table.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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