Over the last few years, I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to the Kingdom Heirs’ rendition of the Ricky Atkinson song “Feasting on the Table of the King.” It’s from their 1999 recording The Journey Home.

Until recently, though, the first line had me stumped:

A poor and lonely man dwelling in the distant land of Lodebar

Not too long ago, when I was reading Amos 6, verse 13 jumped out:

You who rejoice over Lo Debar,
Who say, “Have we not taken Karnaim for ourselves
By our own strength?” (NKJV)

In the footnotes, it explained the phrase Lo Debar. Literally, it means “nothing.”

It’s a great play on words. If only more musicians did what Christian folk / Inspirational artist Michael Card does, noting Bible references or possibly obscure terms in the liner notes!

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  1. Hey Daniel, the CD title is actually The Journey Home. It’s one of my favorite Kingdom Heir CDs.

    • Point conceded . . . I knew that but had just mis-typed!

    • With you on that one Wes! That CD to me is the litmus test for all other KH recordings… At least the Sutton, Bennett, Stice years…

  2. You might remember a quartet called “chosen few”…they did a song called “movin’ out of lodebar” …I’m don’t remember what album it was on but I remember them singing that song when I would go to their concerts …they were good and I wish they were still traveling as that group!!

    • I remember the group, but not the song – but I do remember the song “All I Deserve are the Scars.” A powerful song someone should bring back.

  3. I’m fairly certain that in the Kingdom Heirs’ song, the Lodebar reference is more specific…Mephibosheth was from Lodebar. He is the “poor and lonely man” that David let eat at his table.

    The fact that “Lodebar” means “nothing” is part of the wonderful type of Mephibosheth as the sinner saved by grace. But in this case, it is also referring to something literal. See 2nd Samuel 9, particularly verses 4 and 5.

    • Now I wish even more that a reference had been in the liner notes! 🙂


  4. “Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.” 2Samuel 9:4

    Mephibosheth was living in Lo Debar, which consists of two interesting Hebrew words, lo, which means “nothing” and dober which means “no pasture.” Also the root word of dober is debar, which means “no promise.” So we see that this man was in a place with no pasture – nothing to satisfy his soul and spirit. And he lacked that pasture because he lacked the promise which only God can give, which represents the promise of eternal life.

    FROM: http://www.pursuingtheword.com/restored.htm

    • And, LoDebar, the place of no pasture, was on the other side of Jordan, outside of the provision of God. That’s where you and I used to live. But David the King sent and “fetched him” out of LoDebar and said “he shall eat at my table continually as one of the King’s sons”. O the fetching grace of God!

      • I love this insight! Fascinating!

  5. If you’d ever heard Ricky Atkinson & Compassion do this in concert, you would have probably known this. Ricky would set up the song saying that he could just see Mephibosheth sitting at a table in the castle telling servants about how it wasn’t always this way. Great stuff.

    Baptists used to love to preach on this. I used to hear 3 or 4 sermons a year on Mephibosheth.

    • Great to know! Now I’m itching to hear it live . . .

    • Adrian Rogers once preached a sermon called “The Blood Covenant” that is quite possibly the greatest sermon I’ve ever heard. It deals specifically with the tale of Mephibosheth and David. An outline is available online for free, and a DVD can be obtained of it, but I couldn’t find free audio or video of it anywhere.

  6. very interesting thread this one!

    it is worthy of note that David was desiring to shew kindness to ‘the house of Saul’ – which household was not deserving of any kindness, having forfeited it by the persecution of David. Also in the 2Sam 9 reference, at verse 3, it states that Mephibosheth was ‘lame on [both] his feet’. He was neither deserving or able to return to the place of God’s blessing, yet the grace of the King brought him back. His disability was covered by his very position at the King’s table! (9v13).
    A beautiful picture of the ‘Wonderful grace of Jesus / Greater than all my sin’ Praise His name!