Saturday, March 26, 2011

2 Samuel 8-10

Today's reading includes one of the most beautiful stories in all of the Old Testament; the story of Mephiboseth.  It is easy to miss in this great saga that belongs primarily to King David, but please linger on it for a moment and consider how much Mephiboseth's story is like our own.

Mephiboseth is Jonathon's son which makes him a grandson of King Saul.  He was born into the palace lifestyle and had all of the advantageous of being the son of a prince.  I don't know what that would have been like, but I assume that nothing was denied him as an infant, he had every advantage that being born into the family of a King could have.

And then came the tragedy of Saul's death and with him the death of his sons including Jonathon, the father of Mephiboseth.  Mephiboseth was only 5 years old and the palace was filled with terror at the news of the fall of Saul.  Surely the Philistines would press on to the capital city and the palace and put all of the royal family to the sword.  That was what usually happened to the King's survivors in those days.  Mephiboseth's nurse wanted desperately to save him from that possible fate and she was trying to gather him and his things quickly and escape into the countryside when somehow, in her haste, she dropped little Mephiboseth and severely damage his little legs.  Maybe in a better time, doctors could have repaired his injuries, but there was no time to wait, his life was in danger so they hurried on.  As a result, his injuries became permanent and he was crippled for the rest of his life.  I don't know quite what that means, perhaps he walked with a limp or perhaps he needed a cane or a crutch; whatever the case, he was crippled in both feet and was limited in his mobility.

Years later, Mephiboseth is living in obscurity, his palace days a mere memory.  David has ascended to his throne and has brought peace and prosperity to Israel.  He remembers his promise to his great and true friend Jonathon and asks is there anyone left of Jonathon's family that he might show kindness to  because of the goodness that Jonathon had once shown him?  Someone in the King's court remembered the crippled son that lived in the country.  David summoned Mephiboseth to the King's court.  It had to be a scary moment.  What could the king want with me?  Remember in the days of the Kings the throne would fall to the eldest son and be passed from generation to generation in that way.  Could David want to rid Israel of the one descendant of Saul and thus insure that no other families could lay claim to the throne?

No....that wasn't the reason for the summons.  David wanted to bestow an unearned kindness....a bit of grace upon Mephiboseth because of the goodness of Jonathon, his father.  Saul's lands were returned to Mephiboseth and his family and Mephiboseth was invited to eat at the King's table. 

This story reminds me of the great mercy and grace that is mind because of the goodness of my Savior Jesus.  He died in my place and because of his great love for me, God has said that I will one day eat at the table of the King.  I will be restored to the position for which God created me and I will dwell in the palace of the king forever.  i did not earn such a wonderful reward.  It is mine because someone else did a great kindness to me.  Just as Mephiboseth has earned grace at the table of David, I will one day share in a reward that was earned by someone else's great love.  How great is God's goodness to me through the grace and love of my Lord Jesus Christ!! 

I hope your weekend is filled with grace and that you have a little time to celebrate God's great gift of Love.  Thanks to all who came by Church this morning and helped with our clean up projects in the sanctuary.   Blessings and Peace to you.

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