Mephibosheth and Prodigals

Saul is dead, and his sons are dead, including David’s best friend, Jonathan.

David is now king.

But David and Jonathan had made a covenant with each other, that Jonathan would protect David’s life from Saul, and David would protect his life and the lives of his descendants (1 Samuel 20:14–16).

King David inquired, “‘Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’” (2 Samuel 9:1).

When Ziba, a servant of Saul, told him Jonathan’s lame son, Mephibosheth, was still alive, David sent for him and restored all of Saul’s lands to him, tasking Ziba, his descendants, and his servants with taking care of the land and raising crops to provide for Mephibosheth (v. 10). However, Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like his own sons.

David honored his oath between Jonathan and himself by showing kindness to Mephibosheth, restoring his land, providing for his family, even sparing his life when the Gibeonites demanded that seven descendants of Saul be delivered to them to be put to death (2 Samuel 21:7).

The Lord honors His covenant with us, too. Hebrews 9:15 says, “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

David treated Mephibosheth like a son, and God actually makes us His children: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heir—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16–17).

What does this have to do with prodigals? Mephibosheth was lame, penniless, and the grandson of the one who sought to kill David, but David had promised. When Mephibosheth clomped into the royal dining hall among the king’s family, who were undoubtedly dressed in royal apparel and perfectly formed, he was still welcomed and treated the same as the royals. No matter the condition of Mephibosheth, he was welcomed as a son. And, no matter the condition of our prodigals, they will be welcomed as children of God, welcome at the royal table!

As Daddy wrote: “[O]ur Shepherd has a table spread in the presence of our enemies. Prodigals have so many enemies who are trying to pull them away from the Lord. But, right in their presence, God prepares a table before them that only His chosen can partake of.” 

That is our hearts’ cry, that our children, our spouses, our parents, our siblings, our family and friends, will be children of God, that they will call Him Father!

(Special thanks to my Daddy, Bishop A. L. Henderson, for pointing me toward Mephibosheth and sharing wonderful points!)

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