Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Like One of the King's Own Son's

"And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David's table,
like one of the king's own sons."
2 Samuel 9:11

Who is this Mephibosheth guy? A little background on this verse. Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul. Yes, this is the same Saul who tried to kill King David. Because Mephibosheth was from the household of Saul, David, by law, legally had the right to kill him. So, first of all, Mephibosheth was a man who deserved death. Some more background; Mephibosheth was crippled in both feet. In other words, he was completely helpless and useless. He was an outcast. So here is Mephibosheth, who by law deserves a traitors death, and who by his own recognition in 2 Samuel 9:8, describes himself as a "dead dog". 

As the story goes, David, rather than killing Mephibosheth, rather than bypassing him as a social outcast, actively seeks to show him mercy and kindness. 2 Samuel 9 begins, "One day David asked, 'Is anyone in Saul's family still alive-anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?'" (2 Samuel 9:1). Where nothing but judgement was deserved, David delighted in, and sought to show mercy and kindness. 

The reason I love this passage (and am doing a Bible study on it tomorrow night, Wednesday) is not that it shows how great of a guy David is. It is because what David did for Mephibosheth is strikingly similar to what God does for us. David takes a dead dog, and brings him to the King's table, and adopts him as a beloved son. God takes us, sinners, who rightfully deserve death,  who are crippled and unable to help ourselves, who are outcasts, and offers us mercy and kindness. He takes dead dogs and makes us into true sons and daughters of the King. That is too good to be true! But the good news is that, yes, it is true. We are Mephibosheth. We are poor, crippled, broken, sinful people. But God's love and mercy are greater. Only the power of the gospel can take us from dead dogs to those who are "like one of the King's own sons." (2 Samuel 9:11)

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