October 13, 2006


Meaning: exterminator of shame; i.e., of idols

The son of Jonathan, and grandson of Saul (2 Sam. 4:4). He was but five years old when his father and grandfather fell on Mount Gilboa. The child's nurse hearing of this calamity, fled with him from Gibeah, the royal residence, and stumbling in her haste, the child was thrown to the ground and maimed in both his feet, and ever after was unable to walk (19:26). He was carried to the land of Gilead, where he found a refuge in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar, by whom he was brought up.

Some years after this, when David had subdued all the adversaries of Israel, he began to think of the family of Jonathan, and discovered that Mephibosheth was residing in the house of Machir. Thither he sent royal messengers, and brought him and his infant son to Jerusalem, where he ever afterwards resided (2 Sam. 9).

This past week I was able to attend a group of meetings for mission oriented church-planter folk. There were people with hearts for countries across the world…simply some interesting characters, and examples of how large God’s palette is even in the Vineyard. During these meetings was individual prayer time for those in attendance. The idea of this made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but I was eventually cornered and told to sign up for my prayer. Eventually my appointment came, and for the first time in my walk with Jesus I had someone read my mail. We didn’t pray for what I might wear on my lapel, but rather for what I carry on my back. I offer this story to you…Jesus loves you.

2 Samuel 9:6-8 – And 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!” 7And 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.” 8Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”

Read the whole story in 2 Samuel 9.

What do I have in common with Mephibosheth? As to culture, time in history and names, we are worlds apart! However, there is some common ground between Mephibosheth and me. In fact, there is something in common between Mephibosheth and all true believers. You see, all of us have had a similar experience—the experience of being given undeserved VIP treatment by a king, instead of being exiled as we deserved. This similar experience is certainly one of the reasons why God included the story of Mephibosheth in His Word. The relationship between David and Mephibosheth is meant to portray a picture of the relationship between God and us.

The story of David’s care and provision for Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9 is one of the most heart-warming accounts in all the Bible. The love and mercy which King David showed to poor crippled Mephibosheth went far beyond the call of duty. There was nothing that required David to take care of Mephibosheth, but David was very concerned about his condition and reached out to him in grace—with no strings attached. David’s unconditional love for Mephibosheth is a great illustration of the unconditional love that God has for us.

The verbal picture which God has painted for us in this chapter of His Word, could be entitled “Mephibosheth and Me.” In it we see ourselves in the figure of Mephibosheth—the “me” that’s been overwhelmed by the love of One greater than David, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Mephibosheth was a grandson of King Saul, the first king of Israel. Saul was the king who started out well but then turned away from the Lord. He not only stopped following the Lord, but he plotted to get rid of David, the Lord’s anointed king. Thus there was alienation and enmity between David and the dynasty of Saul. As a member of the deposed house of Saul, Mephibosheth deserved nothing from King David. In those days when a new dynasty came into power, the king would quickly put to death any possible rival threats to the throne. The best Mephibosheth could hope for was exile! But David not only showed mercy to Mephibosheth, he treated him as a prince and member of his own household. Even the “embarrassment” of having a crippled member of a deposed dynasty in the royal courts did not in any way affect David’s gracious treatment of Mephibosheth. What a fascinating picture of the undeserved mercy and over-whelming grace which God has shown us…

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