Mephibosheth's story. Read 2 Samuel 9:1-13.  Mi - fib - i –sheth

The text today focuses on two main characters: David and Mephibosheth the grandson of Saul and son of Jonathan. It is a story about friendship, promises, grace, love, compassion, forgiveness, hope.

David is generally thought of as the little shepherd boy who slew the giant Goliath, or committing adultery with Bathsheba or running for is life from King Saul. We remember him for being a man after God’s own heart and relocating the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. The bible says in 2 Samuel 6: 14.  And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.

 15.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.   16.  And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.


But this story is about his friendship with Jonathan, the son of Saul. It is this friendship with Jonathan that brings us to this story today.

Earlier in Samuel we see a very beautiful friendship between Jonathan and David.

1Samuel 1: 25.  How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.   26.  I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

Saul had failed as the first king and David is now king. At the time, Jonathan and Saul die in the same battle on Mount Gilboa.  Mephibosheth is only five years old at the time. It was chaotic, the king is dead, prince is dead now what will happen to us? The nurse picks up the child and while running for their lives, drops the Mephibosheth. While she saves his natural life, he is now crippled for life.

2 Samuel 9


1.     And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?


David and Jonathan had bonded together and were very loyal to one another in spite of how Saul felt about David. David and Jonathan had made a covenant of friendship to each other promising that whoever survived or outlived each other would look after each other’s families.


That kind of friendship certainly stands as a challenge to us today as to how we operate with our friends and what kinds of promises have we made, kept and/or broken. It is also a challenge to honor the promises that we made to our own parents, grandparents and descendants and to do so reflects how we also keep our promises to God.

We are certainly living in a time where all relationships are suspect and challenged. If you have a friend it just seems like everyone is wondering what is going on between them as if there is no such thing as pure friendship.

Folks get upset when friends are friends irregardless of the problems and perceptions of others. You know how it is, people want you to be mad at your friend, because they are; and they do not seem to understand it when you say, but that doesn’t have anything to do with me. People want you to be mad at a whole family because they had beef with one member of the family.


 2.  And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he.

 3.  And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.

 4.  And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.

Mephibosheth belonged to the royal line and thus lived in exile and fear from King David.

5.  Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.

His search landed his servants down in Lodebar, a city east of the Jordan River. A city that was barren, waste lands and devastation. His search took his servants to Lodebar, the city in the midst of the wilderness. Lodebar the place of no pasture. No greenery. It was desolate in Lodebar. Down in Lodebar, you can lose your rank in the family, your prestige, your respectability, your reputation, your superiority, your self-will and esteem. Down in Lodebar, Mephibosheth went from living in the palace to hiding and hanging out and going alone to get along.  Mephibosheth went from the prince to servant. Mephibosheth went from powerful to afraid.

 6.  Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!


Now in Lodebar, the orphan Mephibosheth is found and afraid for his life. King David did not want to take his life but save it and by restoring to him all that had been taken from him. Mephibosheth was going to have to trust David.


 7.  And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.

 8.  And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?


When Mephibosheth, now 20 years old whose name means “He scatters shame”, or destroying shame, came face to face with David, he fell flat on the floor in an act of submission. He referred to himself as a dead dog meaning he felt like he had no worth or value. Dogs then were not held in such high regard as they are now. Dogs didn’t have their own houses, clothes, doctors, food and the like. That was when a dog was a dog. Dogs were actually disliked and held in contempt. He was comparing himself to something very low and helpless.

He really didn’t know how things were going to work out. All he knew is that Kings had a way of destroying the remnants of the families. But he humbled himself, fell on his face, reverenced the David, confessed his unworthiness.


 9.  Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.


David’s love was exemplary of the love of God. He didn’t have to find Jonathan’s son, nobody else was there when he made the covenant, nobody knew but David what he had promised, nobody would have even cared. After the way Saul had tried to kill David 23 times, he could have said forget the whole thing. Let them make it the best way that they can. But David was gracious and sought out the undeserving and gave all that could have been his.


 10.  Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.


Mephibosheth was lifted from poverty to plenty through the grace of the king.

 11.  Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons.

 12.  And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.

 13.  So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.

Mephibosheth had been living beneath his rights. He had a covenant with the king and did not know it! He was living in Lodibar, which means a place of no bread. It was a horrible poverty stricken place; even perhaps like Haiti is said to be today!

For us it means a place where no revelation from the Word of God exits, no Bread of Life. We should always remember that we were "dead dogs" when Jesus found us, but because of God's covenant we are the recipients of God's grace, mercy and abundant favors.

God wants to bless us beyond our imagination, but He wants us to get rid of our "dead dog" the Lodebar attitude. We must have faith in God when we are face with “dead dog” like circumstances.  Jesus  said, Have Faith In God.

Mephibosheth is really a picture of you and me before God. Until we become God’s children by being born again into his family, we are enemies of God and exiled in Lodebar, but God had a special invitation waiting for you and I.

This story is a type of salvation that is available to us through Christ Jesus. Like David, Our Lord searches for us until he finds us. Like David did, Once Jesus finds us, he tries to have a little talk with us. Then if we are willing and ready, our Lord Jesus redeems us. Jesus restores and returns us to our Father’s table in peace. We too are heirs to our heavenly Father’s kingdom but sin dropped us while we were running our lives instead of allowing God to run it!

You may be content in Lodebar because you are alive. You might not have lame feet, but you might have a lame brain, but get up and come on out of  LodeBar. You can come out!  Come on, you can come on out.

You don’t belong there. You belong in the king’s palace of grace and mercy and you can come back.
Come out of Lodebar, there’s nothing but death for you there.
Come out of Lodebar, there’s only defeat for you there.
Come out of Lodebar, there is no green pastures there.
Come out of Lodebar, to a pure relationship with God.
Come out of Lodebar, to victory over Satan.
Come out of Lodebar, to victory in Jesus.
God has a place for you at His table in his palace.

Reverend Williams, Jr.  third suggestion of five for 2010.


“Fear Not To Trust God.”  IN GOD YOU TRUST

Proverbs 10

22.  The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Deuteronomy 1

21.  Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

Luke 12

31.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.   32.  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

Matthew 10

28.  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Malachi 3

10.  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and (“FEAR NOT”) prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 11.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

 12.  And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.


Rev. Sylvester Williams, Jr.

ICU Ministries, Inc.

January 17, 2010