“Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar…” (2 Sam. 9:5).
What does it take to qualify for membership in the Kingdom of God? The world tends to place great emphasis on physical aesthetics. We like to look at muscular men and women with Coke-bottled shapes. Basically, our focus is on things that are pleasing to the eye. However, these things do not guarantee that those people with these physically attractive features qualify for a position of honor within God’s Kingdom.
The same is also true concerning those who have broken down intellectual barriers and have exceeded previous generations within a very short span of time. While we are at it, we should also include those who are financially astute and members of powerful families. None of these things matter to God. If none of these things qualify us for a seat at the King’s table, then what does?
Understanding The Text
In the text, the scene has shifted from David’s solidifying his rule in Israel and establishing his government to a moment of reflection (v. 1). One day, while sitting upon his throne, David asks if any of Saul’s house is still alive. At this point, one would wonder if David is thinking of whether there are any additional threats to his kingdom. However, David has other things on his mind.
At this juncture, we must place ourselves into the story alongside David. We remember that David made a covenant promise to Jonathan to always show the same kindness (loyalty) to his progeny as he did with Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:14-17; 1 Sam. 23:18; 1 Sam. 24:21-22). Unlike many, David is a man of his word. He intends to honor his friendship with Jonathan by upholding his portion of the covenant promise.
David is introduced to a man named Ziba. Ziba, then, comes before the king, who asks the question that is on his mind concerning the house of Saul. Ziba informs the king that Jonathan has a son named Mephibosheth, who is alive and living in Lo-debar.
There are two interesting things of note within this section of Scripture. One is that David is unaware of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, despite his close friendship with him. The other is what the place wherein Mephibosheth is currently residing truly represents.
Mephibosheth is not an important threat to David because of his physical limitations. He received his injuries as a child while trying to escape an enemy attack. His nurse carried him and he suffered from a fall which caused him to be lame in his feet and unable to walk. In Old Testament times, this would cause a person to be looked down upon, especially if the person was a male. In other words, it would basically diminish the person’s stature within society…(…to be continued)…
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”