“And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father and you shall eat at my table always.” 2 Samuel 9:7
Have you ever just stopped and thought about the implications of this story and how it really speaks to our relationship with our Heavenly Father? If you are unfamiliar with 2 Samuel 9, it is a story told from two perspectives. It is initiated by King David. He has in his heart the desire to show forth kindness, and not just to anybody, but to the house of Saul. Although David had shown great restraint and honor toward Saul, Israel’s first king had not been so kind to David. In fact, he had become his enemy.
In the heat of the struggle, Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth, was injured and had become lame in both feet. In understanding the culture of that day, to be lame meant that you could not enter the temple to worship and most likely, the only occupation that you could hold down was of a beggar. Now we don’t know exactly how Mephibosheth was cared for. We do know that a servant of Saul’s looked after him, but we also learn in the story that this servant was a bit self-seeking.
It stands to reason that Mephibosheth had a great insecurity within his being of living up to whom he truly was created to be; for several reasons, but mostly because he was considered lame and therefore not as valued as others. So we can also tell this story from his perspective. Not only can we imagine it, but most of have lived it.
We all come to the table with our own personal baggage created by the struggle with sin in our own lives. That sin is there because of the enmity of the devil toward our gracious Father. That wily serpent waged war on humanity as a way of usurping the rightful King’s authority. But what the enemy of our souls did not bargain for was that the very essence of who the Lord is cannot be defeated. And what is it that the Lord uses to get us to understand that we have been created to live lives above and beyond the lies that have entangled us – love, kindness, and invitation to eat at the King of King’s table.
The gesture of kindness that David bestowed upon Mephibosheth is really a picture of God’s heart toward us, His children. It’s His nature. That invitation is extended to all that will come. Why then do we not live like we belong at the King’s table? I believe it is because we focus on what is lame within. We believe the lie that our true identity has been lost and we live as though we are fugitives that have been injured beyond repair.
We look at the table and see the King and his bigger than life sons and we tell ourselves that we don’t belong. See, Absalom is there in all his rugged handsomeness. Adonijah dines with the king in all his strength. Maybe even Abigail is present as she displays her wisdom and gracious spirit, but all we see is our two lame feet.
Let me say this to you today, because the Lord has encouraged me with the same – you don’t belong at the King’s table because of anything you bring. You have nothing to offer Him within yourself. He is looking for one thing and one thing only – your heart. However, you do belong at the King’s table because of His kindness. He has initiated the invitation and He wants to dine with you. He wants to share His plans with you and give you a place within the inheritance. But it requires something from you. It requires that you stop looking at your lame feet and start running toward the table. You need only to look into the eyes of our Heavenly Father through the shed blood of His Son and know that He has healed all that is damaged within if we only believe and accept his invitation. You see, the King does not see your lame feet. He sees His son or daughter and He knows that the place where you belong is at His table drinking in His healing mercy and abiding in His love. The choice is yours today. Will you accept the King’s invitation or will you cower in fear clinging to what has crippled you? Oh Child of God, there is great joy and purpose at that banqueting table…come dine with the King.