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Seeds of the Kingdom

Rights or Privileges

by Julie Smith

He shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.
2 Samuel 9:11, NKJV

I recently went to see the film, ‘The King’s Speech’ which tells the story of King George VI’s accession to the throne after his brother’s abdication. There is one scene where the abdicating king angrily demands, ‘Don’t I have any rights?’ to which his brother who is being forced into a role he wasn’t born for, answers, ‘You have many privileges.’

After watching the film , I began to think how, in a society that is fast being overtaken with the issue of ‘human rights’, even as Christians it can be so easy to be sucked into having this kind of heart attitude. We can have thoughts like, ‘I deserve better than this’, ‘What I want is important’, ‘Other people should consider how I feel’ or ‘God promises healing - I’m angry that He hasn’t healed me yet’. We don’t always voice these thoughts, but deep down we can be fostering the kinds of attitudes that underpin them which are, in reality, rooted in self-interest and rebellious against God.

As Christians we know that we gave up any ‘human rights’ we ever had at the fall, and every single time we sin. The simple truth is: we don’t have any human rights! But we do have many privileges.

I love the story of Mephibosheth, the crippled son of Jonathan (2 Sam 4:4-6), who also lost all his rights. He lost his rights to the privileged life of royalty when his grandfather, Saul, and his father, Jonathan were killed and David became king. But remembering the covenant of friendship he had with Jonathan, David later sought out Mephibosheth with a desire to show him ‘the kindness of God’ (2 Sam 9:3).

Mephibosheth knew he had lost his rights to royalty and fell on his face, prostrating himself before the king in fear (2 Sam 9:6). But David, a type of Jesus, said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness …. and restore you’ (2 Sam 9:7) and, true to his word, David gave back to him all the privileges of being one of the king’s sons. 2 Samuel 9:13 tells us that ‘he (Mephibosheth) ate continually at the king’s table’.

What a great story and a valuable reminder to us, who have no rights, that because of Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice, paying the penalty of death for each one of us on the cross, we have been given many totally undeserved privileges. Like Mephibosheth, we are redeemed, restored to sonship and have a place at our Father’s table, where we can enjoy intimate relationship with Him and feed on His Word and all His wonderful promises to us.

Prayer: Father, I’m sorry for the times when I have forgotten that the only righteousness I have comes from the shed blood of Jesus and being clothed in His righteousness. Please help me not to be someone who’s seeking for ‘my rights’ to be met, but one who is motivated by thankfulness for the underserved privilege of being Your child and the many blessings You have poured into my life. Amen.

Julie Smith is married to Roger, and they have two grown up children. Having received deep healing in her own life, primarily through ministry at Ellel Grange and then attending the Modular School at Glyndley Manor, she went on to join the Glyndley associate ministry team. She now works part-time for the International Director’s Office and is an associate teacher for the ministry. She is passionate to see others restored and released into the abundant life Jesus won for us all.

 

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