A Place At the Table –
A Promise For Those who Feel Displaced And Brokenhearted
The LORD was tremendously intense with me about the preparation and study that went along with the prophetic insights and words intermingled with this message.
I would like to encourage you to read it all thoroughly and to not only skim through it quickly.
This is an hour when the Word and the Spirit are being brought together to demonstrate the ultimate power of Christ!
In His Shadow, Mary
“Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate endlessly at the King’s table, even though he was crippled in both feet,” 2 Samuel 9 vs. 11b-13.
Just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to make her holy and completed, to perfect her by the washing with water through the word, and to establish her to himself as an exultant Church, without imperfection or wrinkle or any other defect, but holy and guiltless.
After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church for we are members of his body.
This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the Church.
Mephibosheth: meaning: “One who suffers shame,” Ephesians 5: 25b 32.
The name was a joining by two members of the family of Saul — his son and his grandson. Let’s look at this man Mephibosheth.
His life is a picture of a life of disaster, disappointment, and anxiety.
You think you have troubles?
In reading the story we already know that Mephibosheth is motherless and fatherless, because he is under the care of a nurse.
2 Samuel 4:4 also says that at the age of five his father, Jonathan, David’s best friend, was killed in battle along with Jonathan’s father, King Saul. To add injury to insult, we are told that when Mephibosheth’s nurse heard the news of the murder of Jonathan and Saul, she panicked as she ran from harm’s way.
And in her running, the nurse dropped the child — causing him to become crippled. So the baby prince who was in the line of succession to the throne became a crippled beggar living as an orphan in hiding.
What should have been a life of wealth became a life of misery, tragedy and heartbreak. While his family was being assassinated, murdered, and banished, his future, as a king would never be fulfilled.
And more than that, Mephibosheth was permanently scarred!
We can relate to Mephibosheth’s being a victim of sad circumstance. Perhaps you can even testify to being victimized by other’s mistakes for yourself.
Like Mephibosheth who trusted his nurse, some of us can relate to being dropped by those in whom we’ve placed our trust.
We’re living crippled lives because a person in whom we loved and gave our hearts to…has dropped us.
Just like Mephibosheth, we know what it feels like to be dropped by someone or something that we’ve trusted.
Our lives are still suffering from the crippling effects of those disappointments. Everyone has been “dropped” in some way. And if you haven’t, you will be!
Some are still so proud in heart that they never admit to any weakness and therefore shame those around them who stumble their way to the cross of redemption.
It’s no wonder that we are afraid to trust again, because we’ve been lied to or used as scapegoats for the escape of others who hide their sins and egos behind loud opinions about how others should behave or…might have done better in the way they have handled the things that have happened in their life’s journey!
Many are afraid to take chances because of past failures.
Many more are afraid to follow their heart because the plain idea of making one more mistake sends shivers through them. We can’t handle another anguish.
Sometimes it feels as though we are hanging on by a fine thread.
If God is a merciful God, we wonder when we’re going to start seeing the mercy. Our words echo the psalmist as our soul cries out, “LORD, have mercy on me!” “Have mercy on me, LORD”
But the thing is, there is mercy… …If you will see it.
If you will allow that mercy to saturate your soul. If you’ll see that you have an important role to play in that mercy.
In fact, “mercy” is really the only reason that you and I are existing today, whether you know that or not.
You are here today because at some level — consciously or subconsciously — you know that God has been and is merciful to you and you are expressing your appreciation for that mercy.
You are here today because you know that despite the hurts that have been inflicted upon you, you want to trust, you want to go on, and you want to find hope.
The truth is that there is both a bit of Mephibosheth and a bit of King David in all of us.
And, perhaps a bit of King Saul’s fear of the loss of power, position, and need for control and honor. That is, we have been hurt, but we have also been healed.
We have been helped, and we also have opportunity to help others. We really have received mercy, and we can offer mercy as well.
When Mephibosheth was called into David’s presence, he was terrified!
Why shouldn’t he be? As the grandson of dead King Saul, Mephibosheth was an heir to the throne that David now possessed.
So his first thought was that the king would kill him because he might see him as a threat.
Secondly, Mephibosheth has experienced little in his life that would make him believe that something good could happen to him, so he expected injury. His own words were, “What is your servant that you should look on a dead dog such as I?”
Then King David sent and brought him out of the house: Mephibosheth must have been terrified when messengers from David knocked at his door and demanded that he come with them to see the king.
In the back of his mind he must have constantly anticipated the day when David would do as other kings did and murder every possible enemy to his throne.
Up to this point Mephibosheth and David never had a relationship and it was because Mephibosheth wanted it that way.
He avoided David out of unfounded fears. But David removes the fears of Mephibosheth.
Verses (7-8) So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”
Then Mephibosheth bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”
Mephibosheth didn’t feel worthy of such generosity. He considered himself a dead dog, meaning a worthless and insignificant person.
All the years of hiding from the king and Living in fear and poverty made Mephibosheth thinks of himself as Worthless.
The Offer of Mercy
David didn’t want to add to Mephibosheth’s Misery. David offered mercy.
Mephibosheth – in his amazement and skepticism – is restored.
No, he didn’t retrieve the ability to walk. Mephibosheth’s weakness did not vanish. The end of the scripture is clear about that. ” He was crippled in both feet.”
But he was given a place at the table of the king.
This goes far beyond giving Mephibosheth what was rightly his!
The honor of a close relationship with the king
David gave Mephibosheth the honor of a close relationship with the king. The miserable, unfair, undeserved events of his past didn’t change.
But he was re-established within the kingdom and given an opportunity to live out the rest of his life with dignity.
Because David — the King — was merciful.
David knows that he has been an object of God’s mercy in his life.
That he has already been delivered from extreme circumstances and from … his own unpredictable behavior.
David is merciful, because he has received mercy — a melody that will continue throughout David’s entire life, even when David didn’t deserve mercy.
And — on another level — David knows that, as he acts as the status of king —by God’s anointing, and not his own skill — that he must model the mercy of God within the kingdom.
Blemishes of the “Crippled” Bride
Just like in Ephesians 5 are the blemishes of the “crippled” bride… she is much like Mephibosheth.
Hiding, fearful! And…. the King of our souls, Jesus… restores and cleanses us… brings us to His table as His Bride, and covers our lameness, our disfigurement underneath the linens of the bridegroom’s table where no one dare point out our imperfections.
We are perfected BY His Mercy! David knew that human beings and a society that exist without forgiveness and mercy are already doomed to self-destruction by their bitter doubt.
Jesus died for this very reason.
So that we might model his kind of gutsy forgiveness and mercy.
And so the story falls to us as emerging leaders in the king’s kingdom!
We who are like Mephibosheth who have been injured by dreadful circumstances and by careless people; and we who are like David, have the opportunity to be instruments of mercy.
We who are like Mephibosheth and David who have received mercy; and we who must decide if we will live lives of resentment because of prejudiced facts or … live lives of gratitude because of undeserved and unexpected mercy.
The story falls now to us.
But make no mistake.
As we have been victimized,
We have also been delivered.
Remember, David — the King — had to decide if his kingdom would be one of dread or grace. David had to decide if his realm was going to be established on grounds of vengeance or the refinement of mercy.
In being an instrument of grace, David is setting the stage for his great, great, great grandson Jesus, who will be the ultimate expression of mercy to all of us.
In the entire history of humanity no one was more misunderstood or viciously abused than David’s ultimate successor, Jesus. Yet no person was ever more merciful.
As heirs of David and Christ it is now up to us to put into practice the very treasure that David honored in this story.
Loyalty, respect, unwavering love, and the well being of others.
Like David did for Mephibosheth, God has honored and blessed us with the promise of eternal life, inviting us to dine at His table, in His kingdom eternally.
Also, God does this, not because of any goodness upon our part, but “because of Jesus.”
That is why we are here today
and why we are part of the Bride of Jesus Christ.
We are here because we have been broken.
And because He has restored — and is restoring — US by His mercy, He invites us to His table, we MUST look around to see who else needs a place at the table, on His behalf! Not out of our great “earned reputations” or past accomplishments! No!
We as models of the Fatherly and Motherly compassion of a heavenly King invite others, to the table of “covering” and honor. We bring mercy, expressed with “tender hearts.”
The best person to want to be like is not always the strongest or the best looking!! When we become like Mephibosheth, we can truly understand mercy and grace.
Being like Mephibosheth means:
Realizing that the king sought me out.
Understanding what I deserved from the king.
Acknowledging the ones who brought me to the king.
Humbling myself in the sight of the king.
Rejoicing in the words of the king.
Accepting the provision of the king.
Adjusting my life to the requests of the king.
“Restore to me again the joy of your salvation,
And make me willing to obey you.”
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the U.S.A and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.