One of my favourite Bible stories is from 2 Samuel 9. David was finally king of Israel, and he wanted to show kindness to someone from Saul’s house for the sake of Jonathan. David and Jonathan had been closer than brothers.
David sent for someone to find anyone from Jonathan’s line or even from Saul’s line. They finally find Mephibosheth (I think this is the real reason a lot of people don’t know this story, because Mephibosheth is so hard to pronounce). Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son! But it turns out Mephibosheth is a cripple.
If you don’t know much about the Old Testament or culture in those days, you can be sure of this one thing, if you weren’t able-bodied you were worthless. All men had to physically work for something, if you weren’t in the army, you were in the fields harvesting. It’s not like Mephibosheth could have gotten a 9-5 office job. Even if he could have, he was the grandson of the previous king, and people didn’t really like him.
So there was nothing that Mephibosheth could do to prove his worthiness of anything, and David comes out and says “Don’t be afraid, I am going to show you kindness because of your father Jonathan, and I am going to give you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you are going to eat at my table always.”
So David finds Mephibosheth, a lame worthless man, and because of who his father was he was shown kindness. Not only shown kindness but he was restored to his grandfathers wealth and he would always eat at the king’s table. David is essentially signing off on protecting and providing for Saul’s grandson, Jonathan’s son. For the rest of Mephibosheth’s life – he is set. He will eat the best of the best food, even in the midst of famine.
Eating at the king’s table completely changed Mephibosheth’s life. But David’s choice to bless Mephibosheth didn’t just affect him, it also affected Ziba, the servant from Saul’s house. Ziba’s sons and servants all had jobs now. After a change in regime, the servants would have been kicked out of the king’s house. But now Mephibosheth has wealth and food, Ziba has a job and Ziba’s sons and servants all have jobs.
The only thing Mephibosheth had to do was sit and eat. How many times do we forget that our seat at the table is given to us for free? We don’t have to do anything for it. Simply because of who our dad is we are seated right next to the king, and it changes everything – where we live, what we eat, and it even changes the lives of those around us.
Obviously this is way easier said than done. I have struggled with my sonship and feeling like there are things that I need to do in order to prove my worth. But the truth is there is no way to earn a seat at the table, God’s love invites us to take a seat at the table and eat with him forever, whether we are worthy or not. And the truth is, we aren’t.