Friday, June 13, 2008

The Table of Covenant Kindness

Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1)
David had come into a place where he was able to bless people like he never could before, for he had now assumed his position as king of Israel. When the dust of his conquests settled, he remembered that there was some business to take care — to remember his covenant with Jonathan.
Then Jonathan and David made covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18:3)

[David to Jonathan] “Therefore you shall deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the LORD.” (1 Samuel 20:8)
Jonathan did deal kindly with David, and though he and his father Saul were now dead, David still honored the covenant he made. “Is there still anyone who is left of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, who had been injured in an accident when he was a child and was now crippled. He was living in the house of Machir, which means “sold,” in the land of Lo Debar, a place “not a pasture” (Brown, Driver and Briggs Hebrew Definitions) or “without treasure” (Lo means “not,” and Zondervan’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible says Debir means “treasure;” s.v. Debir). It was not a good circumstance, especially for one who once had been destined to be a prince.

David sent for Mephibosheth, and when he arrived said to him,
Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually. (2 Samuel 9:7)
Then David made it known: “As for Mephibosheth, he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons” (v.11). And so it was. “Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table” (v. 13). David blessed Mephibosheth for the sake of the covenant he made with Jonathan.

Like Mephibosheth, we also have a place where we may eat continually because of covenant, the Table of the Lord. On the last Passover Jesus shared with the disciples, He took the bread and said, “This is My body which is given for you” (Luke 22:19). Then He took up the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (v. 20).

The covenant He made with the Father is one cut in His own blood, but it was on our behalf and for our benefit. His body given for us, His blood shed for us is the kindness of the Lord spread before us at His Table.

Jesus invites us to this table, we who were without pasture, without treasure and sold into slavery by sin. With the bread He says, “Take, eat; this is My body” (Matthew 26:26). And with the cup, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (vv. 27-28). “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).

The Father remembers this covenant. It is ever before Him and He is looking for those to whom He may show His goodness for Jesus’ sake. To us has been given the privilege of feasting continually at the Table of Covenant Kindness.