By Rune B. Hansen
Have you ever read this story? In short, it’s a great testimony about God’s kindness to those in need of it. King David decides that he wants to bless any surviving descendant of Saul, and do so because of Saul’s son, David’s late, good friend, Jonathan. David uses the words, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” (v. 3). He finds out that this man, Mefibosheth, a cripple living in a place called Lodebar, is still alive (v. 4; Lode bar means “pastureless”). He is a son of Jonathan. And for no other reason than to bless the house of his former friend, David, the “shepherd-king,” having once written “He makes me to lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2b), now sends for the crippled man from “pastureless.” He brings him to Jerusalem, the “city of the Great King.” He gives him back the land that once belonged to Saul, his grandfather, and grants him a lifelong seat at the king’s table, and to eat from it continually (v. 7). Many of these things speak about what God has done for us through Christ Jesus.
What I really appreciate about this story, is that Mefibosheth has done nothing to deserve these things. In fact, he’s just related to the right person. He doesn’t expect it either. The first thing David says to him when he is brought to Jerusalem is even, “Do not fear” (v. 7), indicating that Mefibosheth was afraid of David - he knew that his grandfather had persecuted him.
We were also the enemies of God. He is the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth and had every right to punish us because of our sins. But someone near and dear to God also died, and because of Him, God now wants to bless and restore us. Not because of anything we have done, but because now, we, through faith, are related to this person, His Son, Jesus. It all applies. He brings us out of darkness, out of our “pastureless” state, and we can now call Him our Good Shepherd. He can restore things to us that have been lost, and also, He lets us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). He grants us to eat from His table – kingly rich food for our souls, and daily bread.
All this is due to God, who lifts us up and strengthens us, carries us, and promises to continuously do so until our old age (Isaiah 46:4). He is our spiritual rock, that provides us with life-giving water on the journey (1. Cor. 10:4).
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
If you have yet to meet The Shepherd and Overseer of men's souls (1. Peter 2:25), please have a look at our articles in "Christianity 101."