Mephibosheth

There was a slogan thrown about the house of King David. “The Blind and the Lame shall not come into this house.” This is not in reference to the temple of God, this is in reference to David’s house. We are told how it originated: 2Sa 5:6-8 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.” (7) Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. (8) And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ who are hated by David’s soul.” Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.”

It is not that David had a hatred for the disabled, but that they were, in their weakness, used by the Jebusites to taunt David; “The cities defenses are so strong that even the blind and lame will keep you out.” David used the taunt to motivate his men as he sent them up the water shaft in essence saying “they will be weak, their defended by the blind and lame” After the victory the household continued to use the phrase to suggest the enemies of David are weak and would not be allowed to come into this place.

This is a small detail I had never paid much attention to as I read through the narrative of Scripture. But it sheds light onto another story that is set in the chapter before this story and is completed a few chapters later. In Chapter 4 we read of a grandson of King Saul and son of Jonathan. When news came that Saul was dead and Jonathan fear came into the house. Anyone close to the throne would be seen as a threat for those wanting to take the throne for themselves. 2Sa 4:4 Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth would go to hide himself far from the house of David in Lo-Debar. His grandfather’s house would wage war against the house of David for seven years. Imagine the fear when David one that war and established his house in Jerusalem, a house where the lame cannot come…the weak enemies of his rule. Mephibosheth is literally lame and would be a threat to the throne. His heart must have dropped the day the servants of David found him and brought him to appear before David.

2Sa 9:6-7 And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” (7) And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.”

David showed such kindness and mercy that he gave Mephibosheth land and wealth but invited him to sit as his table, adopted like his own son. The lame enemy of David, by his grace, dines like his son at his table.

This is a picture of God and his grace toward us. The blind and the lame were not allowed to enter into the presence of God at the temple. Their physical imperfections were a picture of our universal shared sinfulness. Yet God through the sacrifice of Jesus made a way for the lame enemies to dine as his children at his table.

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