We heard stories about Davids characteristics these last sermons. It is worth to have a look again at the time when David was at his best. One of the reports describes his kind treatment of Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson.
Remember, David had subdued all his enemies and there was finally peace for Israel. Thinking in his palace he wondered if there is anybody left from Saul’s dynasty. He remembered that he promised his friend Jonathan that he will not wipe out the house of Saul when he will be king of Israel. He asked: “Is there anybody left of the house of Saul?”
Inquiries showed that one last descendant, Mephibosheth was still alive, a crippled person, probably needing help to survive, living in a remote unimportant place. He had nothing to offer.
And so David was asking for his appearance at the throne. David was determined to show kindness to an undeserving member of the house of Saul.
So Mephibosheth came, falling before David, respectful, fearful. “Do not fear, I show you kindness for the sake of Jonathan” (2Sam 9:7), David said. He gave him land that once belonged to Saul, thus making him rich, and people who were looking after him, a dead dog as Mephibosheth called himself, were suddenly working under him. He was a different person now. David even gave him a seat at the kings table to eat. What a privilege!
So instead of getting killed as a member of a former dynasty, as was the custom those days how kings used to get rid of all potential rivals from former dynasties, he got greatly exalted.
In that sense David did something that would be repeated by Jesus 1000 years later. This action shows us what will come later. Jesus also invited sinners to His banquet, also undeserving, unimportant people, people who had nothing to offer, some handicapped. And because Jesus calls them they are also promised to sit at His table, in the same way as David called Mephibosheth. David fulfilled his promise to Jonathan, showing kindness to Mephibosheth, in the same way Jesus will also fulfill His promise to His followers.