Have you ever been in a place where you felt unwanted or abandoned, lonely or desperate? If you have, then you can relate to a person named Mephibosheth.
2 Samuel 4:4 says, “Saul’s son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, who was crippled as a child. He was five years old when the report came from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle. When the child’s nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled. But as she hurried away, she dropped him, and he became crippled.”
2 Samuel 9:1, 3b-4—“One day David asked, ‘Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’
Ziba replied, ‘Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.’
‘Where is he?’ the king asked.
‘In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.’”
Mephibosheth was born into royalty, with what we would call a silver spoon in his mouth, but he ended up in a place named Lo-debar. Lo-debar was a very dry and desolate area. It was full of bandits, and the people there were unwanted and adrift. Anyone can feel like they live in a place like Lo-debar; it’s easy to become desperate or feel lonely or forgotten, and Mephibosheth surely felt that way a lot of the time.
There are a lot of things that can leave us in a desolate place. Relational distrust—whether it’s in marriage, a work relationship, or with friends—causes us to disengage and isolate ourselves from others. It’s easy to let insecurity creep in; we try to prove ourselves to the world and we become prideful. Greed can cause us to burn the bridges we’ve built with others as jealousy takes over. Or we walk around with our past mistakes because we haven’t let go of them.
2 Samuel 5:9-13—“So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home. His name was Mephibosheth; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, ‘Greetings, Mephibosheth.’
Mephibosheth replied, ‘I am your servant.’
‘Don’t be afraid!’ David said. ‘I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!’
Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, ‘Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?’
Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said, ‘I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and servants are to farm the land for him to produce food for your master’s household. But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will eat here at my table.’ (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
Ziba replied, ‘Yes, my lord the king; I am your servant, and I will do all that you have commanded.’ And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table, like one of the king’s own sons.
Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. From then on, all the members of Ziba’s household were Mephibosheth’s servants. And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem and ate regularly at the king’s table.”
David did for Mephibosheth what God did for us; he showed him kindness.
John 3:16-17—“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
Sin—missing the mark of God’s glorious standard—keeps us from knowing God. David showed Mephibosheth kindness just as God shows us kindness. Romans 2:4 asks, “Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” We have an opportunity to be a part of the Kingdom because of what Jesus did on the cross, and we should respond as Mephibosheth did: bow before the King, thank Him, realize that we did nothing to deserve His kindness, and allow Him to cover our sins so that we can spend eternity with Him.
Watch week four of our summer series Splash Here
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