Crippled receives the king’s kindness and gets an invitation to come to his palace.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” (2 Samuel 9:7)
Many Christians may not have even heard of Mephibosheth’s name. He was one whose name is hidden somehow because he is not famous like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses or Apostle Paul. But his story opens up our eyes to see the grace of God and the greatness of His salvation that He offers. In fact, his life history is indeed a fantastic picture of a loving covenant and an unexpected beauty of mercy and kindness.
1st phase of his life.
Mephibosheth’s name and story first appear in 2 Samuel 4:4. When he was introduced there for the first time, he was a small boy just five years old. He was Saul’s grandson and Jonathan’s son and was lamed in both of his feet. The passage there informs us he was not born lame or crippled. He was crippled at the age of five. Philistines fought with Israel in a war. This time the battle went heavily against king Saul and on the same day both Jonathan, Mephibosheth’s daddy, and king Saul, great daddy died. When the news of their death came from Jezreel, his nurse took the young boy and ran away to protect his life from enemies. Fear and confusion surrounded his heart at an early age. Just in a moment, his life has changed entirely. He lost his dad and granddad. King David is going to take charge of the kingdom in Israel. Now his life is in danger. This is why his nurse took him in her arms and fled away. On the way, as she was rushing and running away to protect the child, the five-year-old boy fell from her hands and crippled both of his feet. Maybe she dropped him from a higher floor to a lower floor while coming down in a hurry. But the result was a game-changer for this young boy. He lost both of his parents and now became a cripple on the same day. One after another tragedy hit him. His nurse accidentally dropped him and in an instant, he got crippled on both feet.
Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
We cannot escape from the thought that Mephibosheth’s story is our story as well. Like the nurse dropped Mephibosheth and he became lame, all humanity became crippled and lame because of the original sin of disobedience of Adam. When our earthly representative, our first parent, Adam disobeyed God, we all became crippled and lame. Bible says, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12). Adam dropped the ball and we all became crippled with sin in our life. Through one man (Adam) sin entered this world and death came to all as a result of sin. When Adam sinned, all sinned in him. The 21st-century notion that man is good and ok is not true. None of us are ok. We all have a serious problem. Like Mephibosheth was crippled because his nurse dropped him on the way, we all are crippled by the original sin of Adam and consequently, none of us are ok. We have an issue. All of us now have an issue. The daily newspapers, TV news channels, and internet news remind us of this fact on a daily basis, we are all under the influence of sin. The issue is we all are sinners by nature. Bible says, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; we all are under sin…. THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE.” (Romans 3:9).
No one can say that they are not under the influence and power of sin. No exception period! The power and influence of sin taint all people, everywhere. We all had to feel bad and say sorry many times just because we all do sin.
2nd phase of his life
The second phase of Mephibosheth’s life began as he fled to a place called Lo-debar. Most probably his nurse may have taken him to Lo-debar because he was disabled and he needed daily help from someone else. Also, she tried her best to protect him by transporting him to a distant place so that his enemies would not know where he resides. He lived there for a period of time without anyone’s knowledge. The meaning of the word Lo-debar is ‘no word’ or ‘no pasture.’ It gives the picture of a barren place where there is no grass for cattle to eat. It is a desert kind of experience. The absence of ‘word’ and ‘pasture’ gives us the impression of sin and consequent curses on the ground. Sin always takes people to a barren and desert experience in life where there is no pasture and no word of God. In contrast, the place of God’s blessings is filled with His good pasture, His word, and promises. The presence of God leads us into the green pasture and still waters (Psalm 23:2). In contrast sin and wickedness always turns land into barrenness with no pasture. (Psalm 107:34).
His nurse dropped Mephibosheth, and he got crippled on both of his feet, unable to walk by himself and now living in a place called ‘no pasture’ and no ‘word’. This shows the powerful influence of sin, sinful lifestyle, and as a result away from the presence and blessings of God. Mephibosheth went down, down, and down as the years progressed in his life. He lived every day in hopelessness, loneliness, and fear. He knew anytime a servant of the king could come and execute him. What a fearful situation to live in, right? No joy, no peace, no grace and blessing of the loving God. Are you living in Lo-debar?
3rd phase of his life
The third phase of Mephibosheth’s life began when King David remembered his covenant with his best and loyal friend Jonathan. Jonathan, Saul’s son, was very loyal to David in his afflictions and they both became best friends. Jonathan knew and believed that David would become the king of Israel one day and he was aware of the evil plot of his dad toward young David. One day, when David fled away because Saul tried to kill him, he and his friend Jonathan made a covenant because of their love for one another.
Listen to the covenant they made with each other.
Jonathan said to David, “And may the LORD be with you as He has been with my father. If I am still alive, will you not show me the lovingkindness of the LORD, that I may not die? You shall not cut off your loving kindness from my house forever, not even when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD require it at the hands of David’s enemies.” Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him because he loved him as he loved his own life.”
Jonathan made this covenant with David for both of them individually and for their children’s sake. Soon after the covenant, David had to run away to hide from Saul and Jonathan returned home to Saul’s palace. Now God gave the kingdom to David, and David kept the covenant in his heart and asked Ziba his servant, “Is there anyone in Saul’s house alive that he should show kindness for the sake of Jonathan? Ziba said yes, there is one son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.” David immediately sent a person to get Mephibosheth from Lo-debar to his palace.
That day, like all other days, was yet another day of sorrow, frustration, loneliness, and hopelessness for Mephibosheth in Lo-debar. But now this day made all the difference in his life. Suddenly, unexpectedly, King David’s luxurious palace vehicle parked right in front of the house of Mephibosheth. He thought that is the last day of his life because his grandfather tried to kill King David on many occasions and he did not know anything about the covenant between his dad, Jonathan, and David. So he really got afraid. King’s person came and rang the bell at Mephibosheth’s house. With hesitation and much fear, he opened the door. The King’s man said I came here to take you to the palace because the king wants to see you and talk to you. Tension increased in Mephibosheth’s heart and his heart started beating fast. Because of the king’s order, he decided to go with the man. With a lot of puzzling questions in his mind, he came to the palace. Why king called me? I am unable to walk and I am a nobody. What is going on? The moment he reached the palace and saw king David, he fell down on his face and prostrated himself on his feet of David. David called him, “Mephibosheth” and he answered, “here is your servant.” David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your [c]grandfather Saul; and you shall [eat at my table regularly.” Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?” (2 Samuel 9).
King David wanted to bless Mephibosheth for Jonathan’s sake. Not because of anything in Mephibosheth. But entirely for Jonathan’s sake.
Dearly beloved, the covenant between Jonathan and David resembles a much older covenant in the eternity past. Before God created this earth and heaven, in the old eternity past, in the counsel of the Godhead between God the Father and God the Son, they drafted a plan. God the father knew that He would create the earth and heaven and after that man in the garden of Eden knew well in His foreknowledge that man would fall by disobeying God’s commandment. They drafted a solution for man’s problem right then to save them from their fall. God made an eternal covenant between Himself and His son. This is called the eternal covenant of blood (Hebrews 13:20) in which God asked who would accomplish the salvation for man. Son said I would go down to earth, live in this world, and die for their sins. (Psalms 40:8). God, the father, said I would raise you from the dead, and whoever comes and believe in you, I will accept as my child and allow them to enter my presence in heaven and live with me.
My friend, like King David, thought about helping and delivering Mephibosheth from Lo-debar, the king of the whole universe thought about you and your deliverance from the old kingdom of Satan and sin. Do you know He thought about you even before the foundation of the world and that is why He sent His only begotten Son to die for you on the cross for your sin? King David wanted to bless Mephibosheth because of the covenant he made with his best companion, Jonathan. The great King of all, the God of the universe, wants to bless you, deliver you and bring you to His palace in heaven because of the eternal covenant He made with His son, Jesus Christ. Per the covenant, precisely at the fulfillment of the time, Jesus came into this world through the virgin birth, carried your sin and sorrows on His body, and then died, buried, and rose again to bring you back to a loving God and His heaven.
Like King David sent a person to go and call Mephibosheth from Lo-debar. The king of the whole universe, the God in heaven, is sending this message to you and invites you to come to Jesus Christ. Why? Because God wants to talk to you and show His kindness for Christ’s sake. You do not need to waste your time in Lo-debar, where there is no pasture, barrenness, no hope but only fear and uncertainty. You do not need to spend your days in a sinful lifestyle. Sin never gives you true and lasting joy and happiness. The prodigal son thought this world and what it offers would give him joy and happiness. He thought it is boring to live in his loving father’s house and he wanted to enjoy the pleasures of this world. That decision finally took him to where he had to eat pig’s food. In fact, even the pig food, nobody would give him, and starved to death. Come out of your Lo-debar. King is calling you to come and talk to Jesus Christ today right now. Bible says in Revelation 3:20 the invitation of Jesus. Jesus said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Will you come home? Jesus, the King of King and Lord of Lords, wants to come into your life, save you and bring you into your father’s house where all God’s kindness and blessings are waiting for you.
The fourth phase of his life
The fourth phase of Mephibosheth’s life was so beautiful and blessed. The king restored all the land of his grandfather Saul. Besides, he became like one of the children of King David, and he ate at the table along with King David and his royal son every day in the royal palace. You see God can easily restore all you lost in the past because of your sinful life. He can multiply you abundantly. You will eat with the royal children of the great king all throughout your life and even after death. You will be in heaven, right with royal sons like Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Ezra, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Zecharia, Peter, James, Paul, and John. You will sit with them at the table along with all royal princes in heaven. Bible says in Psalm 113:8 that God makes you sit with princes, with the princes of His people. He has far better blessings in store for you. Jesus is calling you. Come out from your Lo-debar like Mephibosheth did and meet the King Jesus.
Would you accept His invitation and come to the loving God to receive his kindness, forgiveness, blessings, and salvation for Jesus Christ’s sake. God shows His kindness for the sake of Jesus Christ. Those who have Jesus Christ have God’s mercy, grace, kindness, forgiveness, and salvation. Those who have Jesus Christ have eternal life and they become the children of God. Those who won’t come to Jesus Christ does not have eternal life and His sonship. Would you receive the invitation of His kindness now? If so, please pray after me now.
“Father in heaven, I accept the invitation of your kindness, grace, and mercy today. Please grant me kindness for the sake of Jesus Christ. I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord. I believe he died, buried and rose again for my sin. Please save and deliver me. I seek your blessings in my life. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”[bctt tweet=”Crippled receives kindness of the king” username=”sam2017insights”]