Monday, August 20, 2007


For several years, four words from a certain Bible verse have really been "alive" for me and have held deep meaning.

These words from 2 Samuel 9:6 have even brought me to tears a few times: "Then David said, 'Mephibosheth.'"

Obviously those words need context...

We all know the story of the love-hate relationship between David and Saul. Even though Saul was on a mission to kill David, David was set against doing anything "to my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord." David swore to Saul that he would never cut off Saul's line of descendants.

David had been very close friends with Saul's son, Jonathan. What a great story that is. Well, it turned out that Jonathan and two of his brothers, as well as their father Saul, all died in battle together. This deeply grieved David, of course, even though Saul was his enemy. David ended up becoming King of Judah and at the same time Ishbosheth, a son of Saul, became King over all of Israel. Long story short, "There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker." (2 Sam 3:1)

Fast forward to 2 Samuel 9. After a series of events, David had become King over all of Israel. Even after the long line of hatred and war between his house and the house of Saul, David was moved to ask, "Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?" (2 Samuel 9:3). He then found out about Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan. (Mephibosheth had become lame years ago, when he was five years old as his nurse took him and fled after hearing the news of Saul and Jonathan's death).

So David sent for Mephibosheth. When Mephibosheth arrived, he fell on his face and bowed down before David. Not knowing why David had called for him, and having come from an enemy household, he probably feared the worst.

"Then David said, 'Mephibosheth."

This grips me to tears even as I type it! Knowing what's coming next, I hear compassion, kindness and love as David says Mephibosheth's name.

"Do not fear," David says, "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.

But there's no way that poor, lame Mephibosheth could ever feel worthy of such a thing. Again he prostrated himself and said, "What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?"

David ignored Mephibosheth's talk of unworthiness, and went ahead and did all that he had promised to do. "So Mephibosheth ate at David's table as one of the king's sons."

While we were still sinners and while we were enemies of God, Christ died for us and reconciled us to God.

Then God said, "Joel."

And God said, "(enter your name here)."

"Do not fear. For I will surely show you kindness and you will eat at My table forever." I believe God lovingly ignores our pleas of unworthiness and simply continues doing all that He has promised to do for us! Mephibosheth enjoyed the blessings of David, not because he was worthy, but because David was kind. He lived the rest of his life in the grace of David. He never earned anything that David had restored to him, and even though he had considered himself a dead dog, David treated him as a son.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:3-7 NIV


  1. *wiping tears here* This is so...beautiful. I have dearly loved the story of Mephibosheth too but I've been touched in a profound way today.

    I long for the kind of friendship that David and Jonathan shared. What a precious bond.

    ...not because Mephibosheth was worthy, but because David was kind. Awesome stuff!

    Thanks again,

  2. I have those four words, "Then David said, 'Mephibosheth,'" taped to my wall, and just looking at it sometimes brings tears to my eyes. Undeserved kindness... I'll never fully understand it, but I'll always receive it! ...and hopefully give it more and more...

  3. Yes. That is precious and I agree.