Mercy for an Enemy
Title: Mercy for an Enemy
Reading for April 3: 2 Samuel 8-11
And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, "Mephibosheth!" And he answered, "Behold, I am your servant." And David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always." And he paid homage and said, "What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?"
2 Samuel 9:6-8
Who was Mephibosheth?
- He was a helpless man. He was lame, crippled in his feet (v. 3). Actually he was lame in both of his feet (v. 13), which would mean he likely depended completely on others to take care of him. Lame men like Mephibosheth often became beggars in ancient times.
- He was a descendant of David's greatest enemy, the former king of Israel (v. 1). Typically, in ancient times when a ruler took the throne from another man (especially one who did everything he could to keep the throne from him) all of that man's descendants were put to death.
- He was shown mercy by the king. David not only spared his life, but he showed kindness to Mephibosheth by allowing him to eat at his table like the rest of his sons (v. 11). Essentially, David adopted this helpless man, the son of his greatest enemy.
I don't know how we cannot see ourselves in Mephibosheth. We are completely helpless, and it was in this state of helplessness that Jesus died for us. More than that, we were Jesus' enemies that He showed us kindness by dying for us, giving us the right to eat at the King's table.
"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 8:6-8
As we eat at the King's table on the first day of the week, may our response be like Mephibosheth's as we say, "What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?"
Father, what love is this? We are so unworthy! We fall on our faces and pay homage!