“So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem for he did eat continually at the king’s table and was lame in both his feet”
The account in this passage is familiar to all. David had been established as King over all Israel and his heart was enlarged to remember his covenant with Jonathan from many years ago. He inquires as to any who were worthy of this oath being of the house of Saul and sons of Jonathan. This was not an open invitation to ‘whosoever will’ or a potential blessing to any who applied for it, this was an inseparable commitment between David (the beloved) and those given of Jehovah (Jonathan). The love which David had for Jonathan was as a man loves a woman and lest any try to disgrace the intent it means that he loved him as he loved himself being bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
Many years earlier, word came that King Saul and his son Jonathan had been killed in battle. For reasons not revealed in the text, a nurse attendant of five year old Mephibosheth took him in her arms and fled in haste. It does not say what alarmed her, where she was going or why she was in such a hurry but through no fault of his, Mephibosheth fell from her arms and was caused to be lame in both of his feet. He did not deserve it as a punishment for his sin, as the disciples would ask Jesus “Who hath sinned that this man should be born thus?” nor was this a retribution against him for conduct of his father or grandfather. God is not a respecter of persons and He does not react to conduct. He orders it fast and sure according to His perfect will and therefore, since Mephibosheth represents a child of grace, this event was for good, though it did not appear that way.
Now, in response to the inquiry of the King, Ziba the servant of desires (Saul), advises King David that indeed there is one left of the house of Saul, but he is not worthy of any consideration. The natural superstitions of man, even one who has the hope of glory within, classify any abnormalities as being unsuitable for polite and sophisticated society and Ziba was sure to remind David that this one had a spot and blemish that disqualified him of any mercy.
He also told David that this crippled man was in the house of the ‘sold’ (Machir) in the land of ‘no pasture’ (Lo-Debar). This did not mean that there was no grass or fields but rather no word (debar) and yet David the King sent the Word of the King into the land of no word because Mephibosheth was of the ‘nation or people of my God’ (Ammiel). David did not send an invitation for Mephibosheth to come to him and he did not pester him like a telemarketer hoping he would relent and sign up for the bonus deal. Nor did he simply make this offer available to Mephibosheth and anyone else who wanted it. When the Word of the King came unto this one who had been made subject to the weakness and frailties of the flesh, through no fault of his own, he was made willing in the day of His power and he came forth. David did not just send for him to come forth, he sent and “fetched him out of the house of Machir” by paying the redemption. The word translated ‘fetch’ means to seize or buy. Mephibosheth (scatter the shame) had been sold into the bondage of sin in Adam and being carnal, he was sold unto sin (Rms. 7:14) and because he was of the people of my God and according to the covenant of those given of Jehovah, the Beloved sent and paid the price to redeem him out of the land of no word and bring him unto Himself. Mephibosheth had been made humble and contrite; he was esteemed a shame and embarrassment and was devoid of any power or intent to resolve his condition. He did not petition David based upon his oath with Jonathan and he did not ‘name it and claim it’ when it came to the kindness that David would give. He was as ignorant of the blessing as he was of his worth.
The Beloved set forth a table for him because of His love for His people (Song 2:4). He sends forth and seizes them and brings them into His presence and there they eat at His table continually. Not with the things of this world, though, but with a feast of fat things and wine upon the leas satiating the soul that hungers and thirsts after righteousness. Mephibosheth is not cured of his lame feet. He remains subject to the vanity of the flesh for the remainder of the time of his habitation until the body of this dwelling is dissolved, just as the thorn remained with Paul, to remind him of the love and the mercy of the Beloved. The frailties and limitations of this dwelling serve to remind the child of grace of the unprofitableness of the flesh and the grace of God wherewith He loved His people with an eternal love.
Ziba, that self serving entrepreneur, was set with his fifteen sons and twenty servants to ‘till the land’ and ‘bring in the fruit that thy master’s sons may have food to eat” (10). He was set in a station in life to labour in the land, just as Adam (Gen. 3:17), and to supply the needs of others but he could not satisfy the needs of those given unto the Beloved. They “shall eat at My table as one of the King’s sons” and “Beloved now are we the sons of God”. The servants of desire toil in the land as they have been assigned to supply for the natural things of this world and although they will slander and be at constant contention with the chosen of Jehovah (16:1-4) and through deceit they try to gain the possessions and blessing of the children of the King (19:24-30) yet shall they have no right, nor portion nor memorial in the oath of Jehovah (21:7).
What shall we say then to these things? Neither heritage in Adam, nor station in life, deformities of the body, or remoteness of location, neither the slanders of man or the lies which he can formulate, nothing above the earth or beneath the seas, nor thrones or principalities or powers, nor things present nor things to come can separate the ETERNAL UNITY OF CHRIST AND HIS BELOVED PEOPLE FROM JEHOVAH’S OATH. Therefore we conclude that this light humiliation, which is but for a brief time, cannot be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in the people of Jehovah.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
November 13, 2011