In the first chapter of 2 Samuel we read of the death in battle of Israel’s king, Saul, and his son Jonathan, at the hands of the Philistines. Saul had lost his kingship because he rebelled against God’s commands. Jonathan, Saul’s son, was a godly and righteous man, and a close friend of David, the man chosen by God to replace Saul, and described by God as ‘a man after his own heart’. During the time that Jonathan was alive, he’d asked David to promise that, if he was killed, David would never ‘cut off his kindness’ to his family (1 Samuel 20:14-15).
After Saul and Jonathan’s deaths, the power struggle began among those ambitious to reign in Saul’s place. Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s five-year-old son, was being looked after by his nurse. When news came of his father’s death, the nurse picked him up in panic to flee, assuming his life was in danger as an heir of his grandfather Saul’s estate. In her rush to escape she dropped the boy, and in that fall both his feet were injured, leaving him permanently crippled.
As we move on, perhaps twenty years, to our verse from 2 Samuel 9:1, we see David, now established as the king of Israel, remembering the promise he made to Jonathan so many years before. Mephibosheth had taken refuge in the household of a man called Makir, and has grown to adulthood. David summons him into his presence, and we see him trembling before the king, expecting the fate that had caused his nurse to flee with him all those years earlier.
We see a man who has no real estimate of his worth. He compares himself to a ‘dead dog’ Who would have any real use for a dead dog? It wasn’t only Mephibosheth’s feet that were crippled when he was dropped as a child - his heart was broken, his spirit crushed.
Instead of a death sentence we see this broken man lifted up, as David restores all of his grandfather Saul’s estate to him, and declares that, from now on, he’ll eat at the king’s table in Jerusalem. In 2 Samuel 9:12 we read these beautiful words, ‘So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons’.
Perhaps, like Mephibosheth, you’ve been wounded in your past, and have limped and struggled through life since then. There’s a king who reaches out to you to show you kindness – His name is Jesus. Like Mephibosheth, you may see yourself as of no value, I know I once did, but God sees you as precious and worthy of love and He longs to give you a place as a son or daughter at His table.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You’ve shown Your love for me on the cross, and call me to come to You, just as I am. Even though I may have seen myself as without worth or value, I come to You today, believing that You’ll welcome me and show me kindness. Amen.
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