II Samuel 9
One of the greatest stories in the Bible about mercy, compassion, grace, and great love is the story of King David and Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth was a son of Jonathan, King Saul’s son and David’s best friend. On the day his father and grandfather were both killed in battle, Mephibosheth and his nurse or caretaker were escaping the violence and were running to the hills. In their haste, the nurse dropped little Mephibosheth. The damage must have been severe, because he was lame in both feet and could no longer walk on his own.
Flip the page, and we see David, longing to fulfill his vow to his friend, that he would take care of any known relatives of Jonathan.
Stop right there!
In those days it was common, and even expected, that the new king would seek out and destroy any known relatives of the former king, so that there would be no one seeking to steal the throne.
So, here we have David, doing something no one expected, searching high and low to find anyone who was a part of his best friend’s family in order to show them mercy. And we have Mephibosheth, hiding in exile, no doubt expecting to be hunted down, and totally unable to protect himself from any vengeance coming his way. He lived in a place called Lo Debar, which means “without pasture”, or “without God”.
Think about that. Mephibosheth lived in a place where there was no green grass, essentially no life! Forgotten, kicked out, and paralyzed.
Then, along comes David, and asks to meet with him. I imagine someone probably had to carry him in to the throne room. David tells him all of his father’s possessions, even that of his grandfather’s, would now belong to Mephibosheth! And tops it all off by promising that he would now eat at the King’s table for THE REST OF HIS LIFE!!
But listen to this man’s response! “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?” Mephibosheth believed that his disability made him completely undesirable, coupled with the fact that his grandfather was David’s enemy, and any other king would have immediately executed him.
Calling yourself a dead dog seems a bit extreme, but we are all “dead dogs” in our sin, compared to the perfection of the holy God!
But here’s what I really want to say about this story: When Mephibosheth sat down at the table with the King, his feet were not visable to anyone dining with them, and certainly not to the King!
King David searched the land, looking for someone to shower with grace and compassion, just like another King I know of.
God has been searching the whole world over, just looking for YOU!!! And He doesn’t care about whatever weaknesses you “bring to the table.” We came from a line of sinners, just like Mephibosheth. And we are just as cursed as he was. BUT, we are also loved and redeemed, as he was! What a beautiful story. A man who came from a place of “no life” finally finds one. And it is at the King’s table!
And this is my story, too. I am weak, full of pride, worry, and every other bad and horrible thing. YET, He loves me, and wants me to sit with His family at the table.
He loves this dead dog, and I am so glad He does!!!