“David asked, “Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.”‘
2 Samuel 9:3, NIV
This crippled man was named Mephibosheth. He was injured by the actions of a nurse; she dropped him as she was trying to escape the palace (2 Sam. 4:4). It was not of Mephibosheth’s doing, but someone else made a mistake, and it totally and irrevocably changed his life.
He would always be disabled.
If you haul out your old musty commentaries, you’ll find that Mephibosheth’s name means, “shame,” and I really believe that this would’ve been an integral part–maybe ‘subtle’ is a better word here, of how people treated him. But David was a different sort of king (as kings go), and he elevates Mephibosheth to the feasting table.
King David wants to include him!
Interesting. I believe that there are a great many people like Mephibosheth. They’ve been injured by someone else’s stumbling. It seems we pass these things on to each other. And the lameness we inflict may not be physical. It may be spiritual or emotional. Sometimes we injure others without knowing what we have really done to them.
Jesus made some powerful statements about people who injure others.
Some of the most vicious and evil woundings that are done are usually on a moral or spiritual level. People can heal physically over time, but the wounds of the spirit are incredibly devastating. When someone harms us on this level it can completely undo us, for a lifetime. (And perhaps, maybe forever).
We are capable of much evil. We affect others in ways we don’t understand. We need to seek God’s grace right now; we cannot allow ourselves the luxury of diminishing or minimizing what we have done. A vital point to consider: We cannot go on crippling others without injuring ourselves.
Wounded people wound. But healed people can often become healers themselves.
We can read of King David’s truly majestic treatment of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9. He actively blessed him, and perhaps that is the proactive action we ought to take. We must make the effort– to bless others.
As a king, this was a very minor incident. Hardly worth recording in the lofty affairs of state. But as a man–to restore Mephibosheth, was definitely one of his greatest decisions. Kindness and gentleness should always be a key part of someone who is in authority, especially over others.
There’s another concept here– we discover something that is profoundly true about us in Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus. It’s here, in 1:5, that we see that God our Father, acts like David, and receives Mephibosheth; just like God receives us to Himself. We find that we’re adopted, loved, and held, and we get a prime place at the table!
We may use crutches, but we walk by faith. And that may be the greatest lesson in this portion of scripture–and the most profound experience we can have as believers.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
Ephesians 1:5, NLT