2 Samuel 9
According to normal royal succession, Mephibosheth was next in line for the throne when his father, Jonathan, and grandfather, Saul, died in battle. He was permanently injured in an accident while trying to escape Jerusalem because his nurse feared the new regime would eliminate all threats to their sovereignty. And she was right to fear — standard practice when a king rose to power at this time in history was to eliminate any remaining members of the previous royal family.
So when David asked about members of Saul’s and Jonathan’s family, there was no guarantee that he meant them no harm. Mephibosheth, now grown up and lame, which meant he had no source of income or provision other than begging, was in hiding. Imagine being not only unable to work, but unable to provide in any way for your family, dependent on the kindness of strangers, and in fear of your life.
But David had made a covenant with Jonathan that he would show kindness to his descendants and he was looking for a way to honor the commitment that he had made to his friend. Not only does he provide for Mephibosheth, but he ensures that future generations of Jonathan’s descendants will receive their inheritance, the land allotted to their family, by providing for servants to work the land and maintain it until Mephibosheth’s son is grown. By taking Mephibosheth into his family and providing for him, he demonstrated the same compassion and grace that God extends to us. We’re lame and helpless to help ourselves, but He promises to provide for us and to give us a place of honor at His table. The effect of sin has left us crippled spiritually, but God provides us with healing through His Son. Our own fear and lack of understanding of God’s love keep us distant and we hide ourselves from Him, when His great desire is to bless us and draw us near.
There’s a song that is popular right now by Matthew West called “Broken Things,” which captures this idea: “I’m just a beggar in the presence of the King.” Yes, God uses broken things.