Ultimate Identity Swap

2 Samuel 9:7  “’Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan.  I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’”

Observation:  After serving as king for a number of years, David asks his retinue whether there was any surviving remnant of Saul’s family to whom he could show kindness.  Eventually he found Mephibosheth, son of his dear friend Jonathan, who had been five years old when Jonathan had died (v4:4).  Surely David had once known the boy, but years have now passed and Mephibosheth has a child of his own.  Mephibosheth had a tough life, having been crippled in both feet through an accident.  Dispossessed of land and inheritance even though his grandfather Saul had been incredibly wealthy, Mephibosheth has been reduced to living with a kind patron these intervening years.

Application: For Mephibosheth, literally everything changed the instant he came into the king’s presence.  It was in David’s heart to be generous and kind to Jonathan’s son.  Upon meeting David, Mephibosheth’s first thought was fear, but then he heard David’s reassuring, “Don’t be afraid.”  Imagine coming into the presence of the great king, the one who now owns all the assets of your ancestors.  Fear is a reasonable response, but David’s desire was to cancel fear and to show Mephibosheth kindness.

The next thing Mephibosheth heard was that all the family wealth would be restored, and that he would forevermore dine at the king’s table.  It was almost as though David was adopting this one who was once lost.  Astonishing!

What a wonderful depiction of my own relationship with the King of Kings.  I come to him in brokenness and poverty, crippled from life’s pain, and find there
a great and generous king eager to bestow His love and acceptance, a king who has made provision at His bountiful table for me.  Having humbled myself before Him, there will be no recrimination for my heritage of opposition.  Instead, He gladly restores that which was lost and bids me live under His protective covering for the rest of my days.

In that instant my poverty is traded for His plenty; my lameness is no longer a handicap.  Just as David himself longed to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”, (Psalm 27:4) so now I am invited to do the same.  Once a prince in a rebellious house, I now rejoice, as Mephibosheth, at being given new identity.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your pursuit of me has been faithful and long.  I fully receive afresh today Your offer of relationship and a place at Your table.  Thank You for seeking me among the lame and the poor, and for giving me new life in Your house forever.

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