The King's Table
by Ryan Duncan
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. – John 14:2
One of my favorite Bible stories is 2 Samuel 2:1. The story begins a few years after David has finally become King of Israel. Before this, his life had been an endless string of running, fighting, and hiding, as he was mercilessly pursed by Saul, who wanted nothing more than David’s head on a spike. Now Saul was dead, and David would have been perfectly justified in dishing up some well-deserved payback on the royal family. Instead, he does something completely different.
David reaches out to Saul’s last living grandson, a poor cripple named Mephibosheth. Despite being Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth’s life hadn’t been that great. His legs had been broken as a baby, both his parents were dead, and he was living alone in exile. When he heard David was coming, Mephiboseth probably assumed that was it for him. Just imagine his surprise at what followed,
"Don't be afraid," David said to him, "for 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." Mephibosheth bowed down and said, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?" Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "I have given your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master's grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table." (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) Then Ziba said to the king, "Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do." So Mephibosheth ate at David's table like one of the king's sons. Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all the members of Ziba's household were servants of Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table, and he was crippled in both feet. – 2 Samuel 9:7-13
The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart, and I think here we can see why. The story of David’s compassion to Mephibosheth is in some ways a foreshadowing to God’s compassion for all of us. We are all the broken children of Adam and Eve, people who turned their backs on God. Yet instead of abandoning us, God has made a place for us at his table. He has brought us out of exile and taken us home.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Whatever trials you may be facing, always remember that you have a place at God’s table.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."