2 Samuel 9:13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet
Saul, the first King of Israel, epitomises the attitude of man serving God according to his own agenda, the way of life based on human wisdom instead of faithful, willing obedience to God’s revealed truth. Saul is in every way a son of Adam – man wanting to make up his own agenda for spirituality.
By contrast, David foreshadows the Second Adam, the One who came only to do his Father’s will, regardless of the cost. David was fully committed to living life according to God’s wisdom, God’s agenda, although he still failed from time to time, because of the weakness of sinful human flesh (cf. Psalm 51). Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of Saul. He represents ALL of us, the sons of Adam, and, as he lost his inheritance as king because of Saul’s disobedience, so WE have lost OUR inheritance in God’s Kingdom because of SIN. In this way Mephibosheth foreshadows the WHOLE human race. As the Apostle Paul says: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). In other words, we have ALL INHERITED Adam’s sinful nature, rendering us spiritually DEAD (cf Ephesians 2:1-3), and rendering us guilty along with Adam because of our OWN ongoing disobedience!
Putting all this together: Because of God’s saving grace to us in Christ (cf Ephesians 2:4-10), 2 Samuel 9 beautifully encapsulates the essence of God’s saving grace to us. David would be expected to eliminate all Saul’s descendants as pretenders to the throne, but instead invites Mephibosheth (the helpless cripple) to live in his presence and eat at his table. In Adam we are spiritual cripples, worthy only of death – but Jesus invites us to EAT AT HIS TABLE! Amazing grace! Timothy Dudley-Smith puts it like this: “In Adam’s fall falls every man, with every gift the Father gave; the crown of all Creation’s plan becomes a rebel and a slave. … Yet Adam’s children, born to pain, by self enslaved, by sin enticed, may still, by grace, be born again, children of God, beloved in Christ! In Christ is Adam’s ransom met; Earth, by his cross, is holy ground; Eden, indeed, is with us yet, in Christ are life and freedom found!”
Sadly, as a sequel to the account in 2 Samuel 9, Mephibosheth’s servant, Ziba, out of jealousy, later falsely misrepresented Mephibosheth before David (see the full, sad story in Chapters 16 & 19), perhaps a warning to us about how we can expect the world to treat US when we come to put our trust in Christ! (cf John 16:33).
– Bruce Christian