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Read His Words Before Ours!

2 Samuel 9:1-13
Psalm 40:16-17
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
Psalm 136:23-26

Today, we’ll peek in on the feasting table shared by Israel’s King David and Mephibosheth, the son of David’s dear friend. If you haven’t read of this gathering in 2 Samuel 9:1-13, take a second to check it out!

Let’s begin our discussion by introducing those gathered at the table.
King David was the primary human figure at the table. Anointed by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 16:1-13), David was known as a “man after [God’s] own heart.” (Acts 13:22) Prior to ascending to the throne, David built a loyal, valiant friendship with the previous king’s son, Jonathan. (1 Samuel 20; 2 Samuel 23:15-18) Though Jonathan’s father, Saul, sought to kill him, David refused to retaliate (1 Samuel 24), treating Saul with respect and maintaining his brotherly affection for Jonathan throughout his life. 

David’s wives, children, advisors, guests, and friends would also have fellowshipped around this table.

And of course, the all-surpassing Figure at the table, both in David’s day and today, is our God, Savior, and King, who is unlike any other king! He is holy and steadfast. (Psalm 136:23-26). He is the Good Shepherd and Overseer of our souls, the Fighter of our fears, the Prince of Peace. He is our dearest and best Friend. He is Provider and Hope-Giver.

Next, who was invited to the table?
Today, Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, will be invited to the table. Mephibosheth was lame in both feet due to an accident in the chaos following Jonathan’s and Saul’s deaths (2 Samuel 4:4); therefore, he would not ordinarily be welcomed at any table in that culture, much less the king’s table.

Yet, Scripture states David sees Mephibosheth “as one of the king’s sons,” not merely a guest or nephew. (2 Samuel 9:11) For the sake of Jonathan, David is adopting Mephibosheth, not merely extending charity. Furthermore, he was welcomed “always”; note the repetition of “always”! (2 Samuel 9:7, 10, 13) This highlights the unending nature of David’s invitation to Mephibosheth.

What was served at this table? 
David sees to Mephibosheth’s lifelong sustenance, not merely offering him a meal, but reinstating his identity and inheritance. Furthermore, he extends heart and family, purpose and abundance. In this one interaction, Mephibosheth transitions from the life of a self-described “dead dog like me” (2 Samuel 9:8) to one of an established landowner and close friend to the king.

How does this invitation apply to my life?
We are invited
to the King’s table through Christ our LORD. (Why all caps? Come Explore!
We are invited for always and eternity; God’s unending nature saturates this invitation.  
We are invited as daughters. (John 1:12-18)
We are invited from a place of enmity with God, just as enmity existed between Mephibosheth’s grandfather and David (Romans 5:5-11); yet through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, we are reconciled to God.

This brings awe and reverence, replacing my timidity and insecurity. God has good work for me, for us. He did not design us to simply flee one day into the next. He equips us to multiply His goodness on the earth, stewarding it well. 

What will we remember and proclaim?
As we’ve studied God’s Word, we beheld God’s kindness:
to David, to reconcile with Jonathan’s son regularly at the table,
and to Mephibosheth, to connect, protect, and provide for him.

In my own life, while researching this study, images of relational ruptures and repairs flashed through my mind. My own selfishness created some ruptures. Others were similar to David’s and Mephibosheth’s, clouded in confusion from others’ activity.   

I used to view a ruptured-then-repaired relationship as less meaningful or valuable, but God has shown me how He creates depth in the strength and beauty of a relationship after rupture and reconciliation. Could this be why, even knowing all that would come, He still spoke His Word in Genesis 1 and first breathed life into us?

Psalm 40:17 states, 
I am oppressed and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my helper and my deliverer;
my God, do not delay.” 

Today’s study shows how the lives of Mephibosheth and David embody this verse. My lameness is currently physically invisible, unlike Mephibosheth’s, but without Christ, I am still spiritually lame, poor, and needy. King David was human and he made some poor choices with his free will, but in regard to Mephibosheth, he imitated God well, in “taking thought” of the household of Saul and Jonathan, for “helping” and “delivering” and “not delaying.” May I do this with others too!

Reconciliation and fellowship around a table is initiated and sustained by God alone through our reconciliation to Him through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21) However, I confess to rushing the reconciliation process too quickly at times, “making up” with people rather than prayerfully partnering with Christ. 

Would you join me in prayer?

Father, thank You for the invitation to Your table and Your kindness to us. Help us receive them, laying aside our pride and, despite our spiritual lameness, walking dependent on You. Help us to lean into Your heart for reconciliation and be ambassadors of reconciliation between You and others at the tables in our lives. Amen.

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