Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Place Card With Your Name On It

"...[you] will always eat at my table"

Trying to find our place can bring out insecurities. Have you ever had that awkward feeling while attending a wedding reception or another social affair where there is reserved seating?  Entering the reception room and looking with other guests for your name on a place card is exciting and yet nerve wracking.  

Where is my name?  Where is my place card? What if they forgot me?

What a relief when you find your place card with a table number on it.  You are reassured there is a place set for you.

In 2 Samuel 9, we find King David purposely looking for members of Saul’s family that David could bless.  Saul had set himself up as David’s fierce enemy, even trying to literally pin David to the wall and kill him.  Though David had opportunity to retaliate and take Saul’s life, David did not.  David’s responses to Saul’s vicious attacks against him were mature, founded in grace and security.

David had a close friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathan, who had passed away.  For the sake of David’s friendship with Jonathan, David wanted to show kindness to someone in Saul’s family.  David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’” (2 Samuel 9:1)  A servant named Ziba told David about Mephibosheth, one of Jonathan’s sons, who  happened to be crippled in both feet.  So David had Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth brought to him.

Mephibosheth must have been shocked when someone from the King’s staff showed up on his doorstep to take him to see King David.  Being crippled in both feet, his world was probably very small and I imagine social outings were not on his daily agenda.  Certainly he never imagined receiving an invitation from the king.  
Verse 8 gives us a painful glimpse into  how Mephibosheth felt about himself. Mephibosheth bowed down and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?’” 

Mephibosheth felt hopeless, downtrodden, like an outcast, like a dead dog.

And yet here was King David seemingly not even noticing Mephibosheth’s disheveled appearance, his crippled legs or his dead-dog stench.

 “Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, ‘I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.’ (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)” (vv 9-10)

Because of the kindness of the king, this crippled dead dog suddenly one day was given everything that belonged to his father’s father.  And the servants were commanded to “farm the land for him and bring in the crops” for Mephibosheth’s provision. 

And did you catch that part in the parenthesis?  There were thirty-six people commanded to plant and harvest food for this hopeless, unsuspecting, dejected dead dog!!!  

Mephibosheth would never be hungry again.  He would now be served all of his meals at the king’s table.  He would never wonder where his next meal would come from or how he would try to prepare it with crippled legs.  Now he had all of those people taking care of all that for him!  Amazing!

“So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.” (verse 11)  What a memorable, life-changing day that was for Mephibosheth!!  A gracious, loving invitation from a king to crippled dead dog.  Mephibosheth’s life was changed forever.

Do you ever feel like a crippled dead dog?  Mistreated? Unnoticed? Unworthy? Unuseful? Forgotten? 

There is a King who invites us to dine at His table forever.  He invites us to sit and enjoy the bounty He has prepared for us.  He longs for us to accept that invitation, to open His Word daily and to fellowship with Him.  And He promises us “You shall be filled at My table…” Ezekiel 39:20

You have a place at the King's table.

Invited.  Remembered. Placed. Filled.

Photo Credit: Toni Valentini


Shelly Burke said...

I can SO relate to the awkward, uncomfortable feeling of trying to find "my" place! What a wonderful feeling to know that the Lord has invited me to His table and I will never feel awkward or uncomfortable. And I'm sure I'll sit by someone I like, too! :-)

THANK YOU for sharing this encouraging and reassuring devotion!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your blog and can relate to this as well. Leeland has a song called "Carried to the Table" based on this passage of scripture. It brings me to tears every time! A beautiful reminder of what Jesus does for us!

Nancy Amendt said...

I came across this blog while searching for something else. The anointing of the Holy Spirit on the words that you shared caused me to stop in my tracks and give God the praise for reminding me that I do have a place at the table with Him. May you be blessed many times over for sharing.