Covered: 2 Samuel 1-3, 5-7, 9, 11-12, Psalms 18, 23
Not Covered: Psalms – A lot of Psalms! 1 Chronicles 1-20
Scripture Memory: His Provision – Romans 8:32, Philippians 4:19
This week we get to read one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament, the story of Mephibosheth (a great name if you’re in the market for a name for your new baby). Right in the middle of the story of David finally coming into his kingship, after waiting for a couple of decades after being anointed, we see one of the most obvious stories of grace and mercy pre-Jesus.
David gets set up as king, and one of the first things he does is utter this statement “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake.” Most of the house of Saul had died because of Saul’s disobedience as king. But David still asks the question, is there anyone left that I can show grace and mercy to? David had a great relationship with Jonathan, Saul’s son, while he was alive, but even with that relationship, it didn’t make sense that David would show grace to any of Saul’s house. Saul had tried to kill David on numerous occasions. David had to wait for 20 years after being anointed king of Israel before he was actually appointed king, and much of time he spent on the run and in hiding.
In the surrounding nations, when a new kingly family was on the throne, it would have been common to completely destroy the former king’s family so that no loyalties would be placed anywhere other than who was in charge. And Mephibosheth was the absolutely wrong person to be shown grace in the eyes of the people of Israel. He had a physical disability, and that would have disqualified him from so much during his life to those around him. There was no earthly reason for David to show grace. It didn’t make sense.
But then again,
that’s the nature of grace. It doesn’t make sense. I love this story because it
puts grace squarely before our eyes. Here we see the one person in the world
that could actually bless someone like Mephibosheth LOOKING for an opportunity
to show grace. He wanted to show grace to a family in the world that least
deserved it. He wanted to bless simply because he had been blessed.
I love that this is included in the middle of the story of David because it reminds me of what grace really is. I am not someone who is “pretty good” but just couldn’t quite make it to heaven on my own. I didn’t just need a little push toward God. I didn’t just need a little help to be “good enough.” I was completely separated with no shot and nothing to do about it. I was Mephibosheth… and so were you.
You and I are from the wrong family… the family of Adam, the family of humanity, the family that brought sin and rebellion against God into the world. You and I couldn’t just walk back to God because, just like Mephibosheth, our feet were lame, we couldn’t take one step toward Him. You and I had nothing unless Jesus invited us to His table. The only reason we can be a part of the family of God is that Jesus was intentionally looking to show grace, but He didn’t just invite us to His table, He died in our place to make a way for us to come to His table. He took a nail through His feet to make up for our lame feet. The only thing that separates me from Mephibosheth is that he knew very clearly that he did not deserve his place at the table… and sometimes I forget what grace really is.
Written by: Steve Elworth
Photo Credit: Hannah Busing