Have you ever heard the story of Mephibosheth? You may not have, it is not a very popular story nor is his name the easiest to pronounce. Let me start off by saying this is my FAVORITE story in the Bible! The depth to the symbolism and prophetic types is amazing. The story displays Davids character and through it Gods love for us.
In this post I want to share with you the types and meanings of this simple story.
The story takes place in 2Samuel 9 where David is already king and the former king Saul has killed himself in battle and his son Jonathan (David’s best friend) has also died in battle. In the opening verse we find David asking if anyone is still alive from Saul’s family line that he can bless for Jonathan’s sake. The reason behind this is because of a special covenant that Jonathan made with David back in 1 Samuel 20:14-16. Normally when a man became king he would kill or have killed the surviving family members so that no one with royal blood would or could rise up to power and take the throne back. However David did not follow this trend, he honored Jonathan’s covenant of love.
Searching For An Heir
In David’s searching for a survivor; David finds out through an old servant of Saul’s that Jonathan actually had a son named Mephibosheth who is still alive! In 2 Sam 4 it tells us that when Mephibosheth was 5 news came back to town that Saul (his grand father) and Jonathan (his father) had died in war and apparently an attack or riot ensued instantly. While fleeing the house the nurse of Mephibosheth picked him up and ran, she accidentally dropped him and he was from that moment on “lame in his feet”. Now, being lame in your feet back in 1000 B.C.ish was not an easy thing to live with, you could not work in the field, become a soldier, travel, or nearly anything that was required for a man of that time. So somehow this poor guy Mephibosheth got hooked up with and lived with Machir who probably provided for him as a father would.
In the next scene we see David asking for Mephibosheth to come before him (remember, David is now King and this is a big deal for a nobody) and he does. I can imagine he was probably filled with fear knowing the evil things Saul his grandfather had done to David. Upon meeting David Mephibosheth falls on his face in total surrender perhaps fearing death. David says to him “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan, your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”
To this Mephibosheth replied “What [is] your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”. David gives to Mephibosheth everything that his evil grand father owned instead of killing him, all because of his love and covenant with Jonathan.
It gets better: David then says that Ziba (Saul’s old servant) would be commissioned to work the land that Mephibosheth was given by David and bring in food for Mephibosheth. And also that Mephibosheth would eat bread at David’s table ALWAYS like a “kings son”.
2Sa 9:13 NKJV – So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table. And he was lame in both his feet.
So what’s the big deal I’m making about this simple little story?
Check these parallels out:
Saul was the king previously who ruled Israel but slipped in to sin, lost a battle and killed himself; Adam ruled the entire Earth with Eve, gave in to temptation and experienced death (natural and spiritual)y.
Saul had a son named Jonathan which in Hebrew is Yonatan and it means “Yahweh (God) has given (a gift)”, whereas Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Yeshua: “Salvation”. These two names are remarkably close in the Hebrew language.
Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul and suffered an accident from early childhood making him basically crippled; we are from Adams lineage (the first man) and are born with a sinful nature because of that connection, it is like a handicap that we are incapable of curing on our own.
Because of Mephibosheth’s handicap he was unable to fulfill his usual duties; because of our handicap of sin we need a savior. David called Mephibosheth before himself and out of love for Jonathan he gave all things from Saul to Mephibosheth and his descendants; God asks for us to come before his thrown and fear Him however out of His love Jesus and the covenant of the cross He gives us all things that belonged to Adam (intimacy with God, the Earth, blessing, multiplication).
David says that Mephibosheth will eat bread at his table forever as a king’s son; the saved believers will commune with God in heaven forever, we also eat the bread of life which is Jesus’ sacrifice and we have been adopted as children of God.
If you are a believer you are mephibosheth, you were crippled at birth by the handicap of sin but God is seeking after you and desires to restore to you everything that Adam lost to sin and more! He wants to provide for you and be in relationship with you, He wants you to live in His house forever. Will you accept His request?