There’s a fantastic story starting in 1 Samuel 20 going through 2nd Samuel about a man named Mephibosheth. He was the son of Jonathon and grandson of King Saul. When he was five years old his nurse dropped him causing him to become lame in his feet.
I shared this story with the men in jail tonight in an attempt to show them a perfect picture of the grace of God. The name Mephibosheth means, “To be ashamed, to be disappointed or delayed.” The place he lived didn’t give much hope either. The name of his home town was Lo-debar which means “pasture-less” not a very nice existence. I know some of the men in jail see themselves that way too. They are ashamed and tired of trying and failing and ending up in jail. Just like Mephibosheth they need someone to rescue them but I’m getting ahead of myself.
King Saul had a son named Jonathon that was good friends with David. Saul had become angered with David and made it his life’s mission to kill him, but Jonathon loved David. They had made a covenant with each other swearing to each other in the name of the Lord, saying, “The Lord will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever.”
This is where Mephibosheth comes into the story. Years later after Saul and Jonathon had died in battle and David had become King he sent men to find Mephibosheth. David had inquired whether or not there were any descendants left of the house of Saul. When he found out about Mephibosheth he sent for him and had him brought to his house. Now you have to remember Mephibosheth was lame in his feet and was scared because he thought David would have him killed. This is where God’s grace enters the scene.
As soon as Mephibosheth entered the room with David he fell at his feet and offered himself as David’s servant. David quickly responded telling him “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathon, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” You see it was customary for a King to get rid of any rivals to his throne, and Mephibosheth was a grandson to the now deceased King Saul. David wasn’t like other kings though; he had the heart of God.
King David went looking for the son of Jonathon, seeking him out in order to bless him, all because of the covenant they had made years before. I shared with the men that this is very similar to what God has done for us in Christ. We too were lame in our feet. Like Mephibosheth, all of humanity fell in Adam and God had to come looking for us because we were spiritually lame and unable to come to him. Mephibosheth came to David as a servant, but David made him a son offering him a permanent place at his table.
The Bible promises us one day we too will eat at Jesus’ table and it will be called the marriage supper of the Lamb. I shared with the men tonight something my friend Brian Coatney said a few weeks ago. He said, “I was thinking about the marriage supper of the Lamb the other day wondering who I would be sitting with.” He went on to say it dawned on him “I’ll probably be sitting with a bunch of men that I’ve only known to wear orange” meaning of course those men sitting with us right then in the jail. Why not? Why wouldn’t it be those men? I told them it made sense to me, but one thing will be different. When we’re eating at the marriage supper of the Lamb we’ll all be wearing white and we can eat anything we want. We can have salt, butter, chocolate etc. We won’t need to watch our weight because there will be no diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity or any other thing to hinder us from having wonderful fellowship together. We might even get the chance to talk to Mephibosheth and hear him tell us his story in his own words.
Written by Louie