Summary: The story of David and Mephibosheth speaks volumes concerning the heart of David. It also points us to what Christ did for us on the cross.
The Mephibosheth Blessing
By Rev. James May
Throughout the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel we can read of the great conflict between King Saul and the man who would one day replace him as king of Israel whose name was David.
It all begins with David killing the giant Goliath when the Philistines had invaded Israel. As Saul and his army sat in fear, hiding from Goliath, David comes into the camp as a teenager, but David had faith in God and was willing to face the giant and trust God for the victory. Of course, when David won the battle, it made King Saul look more like a coward than a king and from day on Saul became more and more belligerent toward David until the time came that Saul led his army in an effort to find David and kill him, along with every man who had chosen to give their allegiance to David.
In all of this time, as King Saul hated David, mistreated him, and even tried to kill him, David had a friend in Saul’s own house. That friend was Saul’s son, Jonathan. Jonathan loved David as a brother and would often try to help David in every way he could, but in the end Jonathan’s allegiance was to his father.
After losing favor with God through his idol worship and consorting with the Witch of Endor, King Saul led his army into a place called Mount Gilboa to once again engage the Philistines in battle. This time there was no David to rescue him and the Philistines defeated Israel. In this battle, Saul and his sons Abinadab, Melchishua and Jonathan, David’s friend, were all killed.
Any family members of King Saul and his sons were now fair game for the Philistines and they knew that their only chance for survival was to run as far and as fast as they could and find a safe hiding place. The Philistines would surely seek revenge and kill every single one of them to keep the family of Saul from coming forth to claim the throne of Israel ever again.
Not only were they running from the Philistines, but they also feared the power of David who would certainly become the new King of Israel. The people of Israel were already proclaiming that David should be king in place of Saul before Saul was killed. As you can imagine the household of Saul would be considered a danger to any king that would rise to Saul’s throne, and when any new king would be appointed, it often meant that revenge would be taken out on the former king, especially one as evil as Saul. It wasn’t unusual to see entire families wiped out because of the revenge of a new king, even in Israel.
And so we find that Saul’s remaining family would simply disappear. They would vanish from the public eye, going into hiding for the rest of their lives, living in fear and perhaps even trying to change their identity in an attempt to survive the coming of the new king. They would live in obscure places, in caves, deep in the wilderness, or even in foreign lands.
In effect, they became prisoners of fear, always looking over their shoulders and on the run from danger and certain imprisonment or even death, all because of something that someone else had started.