Once David had been king for a while, having established his name through military victories and appointed a political cabinet, he appears to have enough time for some proactive kindness. “And David said, ‘Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’” (2 Samuel 9:1). David had promised that he wouldn’t cut off all Saul’s offspring (1 Samuel 24:21-22), and this goes further. It turned out, there was a surviving, though crippled, son of Jonathan named Mephibosheth. David sent and had Mephibosheth carried over 100 miles back to his palace.
“David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” (2 Samuel 9:8). “So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons” (2 Samuel 9:11).
This story does not have a fourth-layer allegorical meaning. It does, though, illustrate a principle, and gives us some parallels to consider.
When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
God purposed to show us kindness for His name’s sake. We share with Him as sons and daughters of the King. He has promised us an inheritance of His everlasting kindness. He has brought us near, and we commune “around the table of the King.”