Invitation to The Father's Table

November 13, 2016   II Samuel 9   Mephibosheth     

 

   This story of Mephibosheth takes place during the reign of King David.   This is a wonderful story of grace and blessing.   David is the second king of Israel following King Saul.   The children of Israel sinned by asking for a King but God granted them what they requested and gave them a king so that they could be like the other nations around them who had kings.   The children of Israel were warned that if they had a king that he would take their sons and he would tax them.  II Samuel 8.     In their desire to be like the other nations or to be like the other people around them they rejected God in a sense and chose a king.   It is never a good decision to choose the crowd over God and it sure got Israel in trouble.   It will also be trouble for you to make a choice against God. 

   God granted their request even though it was not good for them.  God granted Israel’s request earlier before they came into the Promised Land when they requested meat, which seems innocent in and of itself, but they were whining and complaining before God and Moses and God sent them meat but also sent leanness into their soul.  So Saul is anointed king and he starts out as a humble king but becomes arrogant along the way and he does not follow God’s commands.   God decides to remove him from being king and instead has Samuel anoint David to be king.  

     The hand of God is upon David and David is blessed by God.   David has a warrior heart and is kind of a fearless guy.   David has a strong faith in God and as a young man who tended sheep he kills a lion and a bear with his sling.   The battles we face today are preparation for tomorrow’s needs, issues, and challenges.  David takes on Goliath a giant about 9 feet high and the people sing that Saul has killed his thousands and David his 10 thousands.   Saul gets zealous and tries to kill David a number of times.  About 400 men who are discontented join David in the wilderness. 

   Saul and Jonathan get killed in battle and David ascends to the throne and after a few years things settle down in Israel and there is peace in the land and David has pulled the nation together.    David had a number of negative things in his life and that is often what we see but here is a bright spot in David’s life. 

    David remembers the agreement that he had with Jonathan King Saul’s son and his loyal and loving friend that they would watch out for each other’s family and take care of them so David enquires if there be any of Saul’s family left.   Ziba was a servant in the house of Saul and they brought Ziba before David.   David asked him if there were any left of the house of Saul that David might show kindness to them and Ziba responds well there is one left but king he is crippled.

     It is like he is saying David this poor man is crippled and are you sure that you want to invite him into your house?   He is not going to be a mighty general in your army for he is different he is deformed.  This guy does not have lot to contribute.   David does not even ask about his deformity but asks Ziba where he can be found.   Mephibosheth was crippled when his nurse took him and ran when Saul and Jonathan his father were killed in battle.   Many times the children were killed of the king so that none of them could grow up and make a claim to the throne so the nurse took him and ran and Mephibosheth fell out of her arms and he was crippled.   Mephibosheth lived in exile.  He probably lived out in the desert and lived with little to nothing.   He most likely wore rags for clothes.  Mephibosheth was a poor out cast.    It is pretty hard to make a living when you are crippled in both feet.  David sends for him at once.  

   David sends out to get him at Lo Debar.   Lo Debar.  Poor Mephibosheth had probably spent his life in fear that he would ever be known.  His grandfather was the first king in Israel and his father was Jonathan was next in line.  It was in his blood line to be king. We could wonder what kind of dreams that he had.  Did he ever think about being the king in Israel?  What kind of greatness did he aspire to if anything?  Do you dream big?  What dream has God put in your heart?   For me it was lead some people to Jesus.  To what purpose are you on earth for?  To me it was make a difference in eternity.  Life is more than working, eating and sleeping

   I could believe that Mephibosheth lived in fear probably great fear.  The thing that he dreaded and the one thing that Mephibosheth did not want in life was to see men sent to him from the king.  The day came and Mephibosheth is being taken to Jerusalem to King David. He is crippled and he cannot even walk to the king.   The thing that he dreads the most becomes the best thing that ever happened to him.  It makes me think of many who fight against God their whole life and yet to embrace God is the best thing that life can give them and yet they resist.  We usually think we know what is best for us but only God can see the whole picture.  We need to embrace what God has for us.  We need to hear Jesus voice.  Jesus said his sheep hear his voice. 

    Mephibosheth comes before David in great fear.   Again generally the new king would kill all the previous kings’ children so that none could claim the throne.   David immediately puts him to ease.   God does that many times also in the scripture when an angel or the Lord would appear to someone.   David tells him I am going to show kindness to you because of your Father’s Jonathan’s sake.  Mephibosheth went from the desert and exile to the palace.   Mephibosheth I am going to show you kindness.  That is so awesome.   That is what God has done for us.  God tells us I am going to show you kindness.  I am going to die in your place.  I am going to make you clean so you can come before me. God tells us I have set you free from a life of sin and selfishness. 

    Here is an invitation for Mephibosheth to go from rags to riches.   It is the same invitation that God extends to all people.  We are sinful and unholy and God is holy and pure.  We are selfish and we tend to consider and think about our self.  We need to consider who we are and who God is.   God so loved us and is so giving and unselfish that He sends His son to die for us who are unworthy.   God invites us to feast at His heavenly table and those that reject Him will be cast away from God forever.     What we do with God and Jesus are important. 

    Now can you imagine what happens when Mephibosheth comes to the king’s table?     Can you imagine the people whispering who is this lame guy that is coming to the Kings table?    It would be tough to be lame.   You can’t walk yourself anywhere.   We need to be compassionate of others.  David probably put those comments to silence by saying this is Mephibosheth Jonathan’s son and he is going to be eating with us from now on at this table.    He is a guest of mine.  It is nice to put people at ease.  At the dinner table you want folks to be relaxed.  It is a time to communicate and a time of joy.   It is a time to enjoy the blessings of the Lord. 

    The king’s table is an elegant thing.  We see that Solomon who was the next king of Israel had 30 cattle and an hundred sheep and deer and gazelles and many birds served at his table every day. That is a lot of beef which will feed a lot of people.  Can you imagine needing 30 cows for one day to feed all the people?  A 1200 pound steer has about 500 pounds of boneless trimmed meat.   Dinner was a big deal at the king’s table and David invited Mephibosheth to be at his table every day.   Generally we think that folks had some bread and maybe some fish and not much meat but this was the kings table.  The feast that we will have in heaven will be beyond anything that we can imagine here on earth.   Mephibosheth ate at David’s table with all of David’s sons.  

     David also blessed him with all of the land that his grandfather Saul owned.  He did not deserve it other than he was Jonathans son.  God will bless us with an inheritance beyond comprehension if we serve and love God with all our heart.  Mephibosheth not only came in fear but came with a lowly heart.   Consider the humble response of Mephibosheth.    Who am I that you should notice a dead dog like me?   Mephibosheth felt the pain of his condition.  Many people have similar feelings because of one thing or another.  Many people feel out of place and alone.  Many children are bullied and it can impact them for life.   Some parents were not raised with self esteem and their children turn out the same. 

     If Mephibosheth felt that way before David how do we feel before God?   Maybe some feel like they are like a dead dog.  Well no you are not a dead dog because everybody is important to God.   You and I have a message for others and that message is that their life is important to God.  Everybody’s life can be made beautiful.    Every person who comes into this church is important to God and to us.  The last verse of this chapter says and Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem because he always ate at the king’s table and he was crippled in both feet.   God extends a much greater invitation to you and me.  God does not force us and we can refuse to sit at God’s table.   Those that do not want to eat at His table will stand before God someday and will be judged.  They will be sent away from God forever and will be destroyed forever.   Jesus is not willing that any should perish.  Jesus desires to come into people hearts.   Jesus wants you to sit at His table everyday.   We have a wonderful message for people.  What can be more important in life than sharing Jesus and God’s word?  

     We are crippled and in a way unlovely because of sin but God invites us in to sit at his table.  We can have the ear of God just Mephibosheth had King David’s ear.  David wanted Mephibosheth to sit at his table.  God invites us to sit at his table.  It is a table of plenty.  It is a table of grace and mercy.  It is a table of peace and healing.  Come and dine the master is calling come and dine.  You may feast at Jesus table anytime.