By James Cagle
The Bible (KJV) says, “And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth” (2 Sam. 4: 4).
Mephibosheth from his fall to his being placed at king David’s table and treated like one of his sons is a picture of how God reaches down to fallen man, and through His mercy, grace and forgiveness saves him and makes him one of His own sons, a member of the family of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ.
Mephibosheth was lame due to no fault of his own. He was lame because his nurse dropped him when she fled when she heard of the defeat of Saul and Jonathan (1 Sam. 29: 1). Men today are sinners due to no fault of their own. They are born sinners as a result of the Fall, when Adam sinned against God in the garden. Men sin because they are sinners, a fallen race.
Mephibosheth is actually, because he is a member of Saul, the previous king’s family, an enemy of king David. David takes the initiative and seeks Mephibosheth because he want’s to fulfill his covenant that he made with Jonathan (1 Sam.20: 14-15). God likewise takes the initiative and seeks to save and deliver and bless the lost who are His enemy (Rom. 5: 10). This God does because of the covenant that he would save all who came to Him through Christ Jesus (Lk. 1: 68-79; 1 Cor. 11:25; Heb. 9: 11-23, 13: 20).
The name Mephibosheth means, “one that destroys shame.” When king David found Mephibosheth, he was hiding in the land of Lodebar (2 Sam. 9: 4), a name that means “pastureless, or land of no bread.” He was living in the house of Machir, whose name means, “sold, to tumble into ruins, to perish; be brought low, decay.”
When Mephibosheth became a member of David’s family, his shame was removed. The state Mephibosheth was in describes the poor spiritual state the lost man is in before he comes to Christ for salvation (Eph. 1, 2). When the lost get saved their shame is removed and they glory in the Christ of Calvary.
David sent and had Mephibosheth brought to his palace where he was, as we would say, treated like an adopted son. He sat and ate at the table “as one of the king’s sons” (2 Sam. 9: 11, 13). Likewise when one gets saved he is adopted by God into the family of God and treated as God’s son (Rom. 8: 15, 23, 9: 4; Gal.3: 26, 4: 5; Eph. 1: 5), and is a member of royalty (Jas 2: 8; 1 Pet. 2: 9; Rev. 5: 10).
Mephibosheth was taken care of and was provided for by Ziba, with the help of his fifteen sons and twenty servants (2 Sam. 9: 10-13). The Christian is ministered to by God the Holy Spirit (Jn.3: 3, 5; Rom. 8: 11; 1 Jn. 2: 20, 27; Jn. 16: 2; Mic. 3: 8; Rom. 15: 16; Jn. 14: 16-26; Rom. 14: 17; 1 Cor. 2:10-16, et al). All our needs He will supply.
Mephibosheth went to the grave with his crippled legs. He was never able to walk upright. In this life the Christian will never completely overcome sin. He will never walk perfectly. He will however at death or the Rapture be completely delivered from his crippling sin nature and will then walk perfectly from then on throughout eternity (1 Cor. 15: 51-57; Rom. 8:30).