2 Samuel 4:4
"And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was
lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came
of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and
fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell,
and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth."
Believe it or not, this one
paragraph tells us a lot. You see, at this time in history, it
was common for a new king to slay the family of the former king to
make sure no one challenged his authority. In this case,
Mephibosheth and his nurse were fleeing from David, the new king.
They thought he wanted to kill them, but King David had no such
intention. In fact, David wanted to bless him - not harm him.
The next time Mephibosheth is
mentioned is in 2 Samuel 9. This entire short chapter is about
him. In essence, King David wanted to show kindness to someone
in Saul's family. Saul was the previous King. Upon
inquiry, he learned of one of Saul's grandsons that was cripple in his
feet, but alive. So King David sent for him. We pick up
with verses 6-8 of that chapter. This starts with Mephibosheth
arriving before King David:
"Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of
Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And
David said, "Mephibosheth." And he said, "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 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?"
There are countless lessons in this small and
seemingly insignificant story for us. I have highlighted a few
of the ones that the Lord showed me.
Lessons from the Story of Mephibosheth:
The first point that God showed me
was that the nurse that was in charge of protecting Mephibosheth
actually did him a great disservice. It seems from Scripture that she
was the fearful one--recall that Scripture says, "And
it happened that in her hurry to
flee, he fell and became
lame." So the first question
has to be, 'was she really trying to protect herself and not him?'
I think we as Christians today can relate to this on many levels.
Sometimes those that we trust to take care of us and protect us end up
hurting us instead. Many times, their are keeping us from
blessings and not harm - as was the case with Mephibosheth.
Second, they were running from
blessings and not from harm. This has great implications for the
lost as well as the saved in the world. People that are lost in
the world are running from the blessings of God, and then questioning
and even blaming Him when things go wrong. If you were
Mephibosheth would you be asking God why he let you fall and get
crippled? Would you blame God?
Many times in my own life,
looking back, I can see where the bad points in my life happened when
I was running from God and His blessings. God has a path for us,
and when we get of of that path there are thorns and briars and
quicksand. He allows these things around us so that we will stay
on the path. God wants fellowship with us, but we run. We
run from His blessings. People blindly believe that giving their
life to Jesus is a sacrifice and that they will have to give up so
much of their fleshly desires--so they run. But as any Christian
will testify, the things given up pale by comparison to
the blessings received. All things we "give up" are bad for
us anyway. More on that later.
Mephibosheth came to King David and
did not flee. Even though Mephibosheth was afraid, he came when
his king called. And when he came, he humbled himself before the
mighty King David. This is all that God wants when He calls us.
He wants us to hear His voice and to answer. In Revelation,
Jesus says that Behold He is standing at the door and knocking.
He says that if anyone will answer, He will come into them and dine
with them. What an awesome thought, the God and Creator of the
universe is knocking at our door and wants to fellowship with us.
When Mephibosheth came and
humbled himself, the King promised to restore to him the possessions
belonged to his family. This is similar to the Lord restoring
our lost fellowship with Him to us as well as our heavenly
inheritance, when we humble ourselves and call on the Lord Jesus.
There is another side to the Mephibosheth story
that will be examined soon. Check back for part II.
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