Written by Cara Simmons
He sat in the darkness of his room, the dank stuffiness of the air surrounding him adding to his gloom. His servant had brought him breakfast and offered to open the curtains, but he had quickly shooed him away. There was no need to let the sharp bright light into the room just yet. He needed more time lay in bed and be miserable. There was nothing to get up for...nothing to look forward to. He had no hopes or dreams for his future; at least any that he felt he could speak of out loud. He had his lame feet to thank for that. Well, maybe his feet were not to blame. Maybe it was that careless nurse's fault! She had dropped him in her haste as she raced out the door as she tried so hard to save him their enemies who wished to slay the innocent baby. Then again, maybe it was the fault of his father and grandfather who had both been brutally killed in battle by the Philistines. For one fleeting hopeful moment the title of prospective king was held over his head. His father, Jonathan, had been King Saul's eldest son. He would have been the rightful heir to the throne and could have ruled the kingdom with such grace and selflessness. Yet, to his amazement, even at five years of age he had wondered at his father's words when he heard him talking to his mother about David, the shepherd boy hiding in the mountains from King Saul.
"David is going to be king someday," Jonathan, his father, had said one day. "I believe God has called him to sit on the throne instead of me."
"Jonathan, how can you say that?" demanded Jonathan's wife. "You are the son of Saul, King of Israel! You are the rightful heir to the throne! How can you let some grungy, common village boy take your place!"
Jonathan had just smiled at his wife. "Because it is the way God wants it to be. Samuel has already performed the anointing of David and only a few know of what is to come. My father suspects something is up, and has tried to kill David so many times, yet I will not allow him to hurt David. Our friendship goes deep to the heart because it is God that has knit our hearts together."
His mother's lip had trembled at the words. "I only wish our hearts could be knit together as closely as yours and Davids. It makes me jealous to see how you pine for your friend as he is out hiding. Why can't I be that close to you?"
Jonathan pulled his wife close and tenderly embraced her. "You are close to me, my love, yet I can't explain what it is that draws me to David. Maybe it is because I know he is going to be the king someday and I know I won't be alive to see him fulfill God's destiny for his life. I see God's hand protecting David, watching over him, and I want to have that same closeness, that same relationship that David has with God. It is God's love that draws me to David because He radiates from his very being."
Those words spoken so long ago. It was the last conversation he had heard between his parents. Shortly after, his father Jonathan had left to join the battle, never to return again to his family. It was probably King David's fault that he lay in bed, unable to walk again, unable to take his rightful place on the throne. Maybe his father had been willing to give David the throne, but if he had been able to walk and take a stand, he would never have let David rule the kingdom that was rightfully his.
A knock on the door startled him out of his daydream. "Come in," he grunted, clearly unhappy to be bothered. The heavy wooden door opened and his servant came in. "What do you want?"
"Sir, you must get up, wash, and dress." The servant threw open the curtains and the warm sunshine filled the room.
"I will get up when I feel like it! Close those curtains! How dare you tell me what to do!"
The servant hurried over to the bed and grabbed his hand. "Sir, you MUST get up. King David has sent a messenger to the door and requested that you go to his home."
"Me? Why me? What does he want with a useless crippled man like me?" Suddenly his heart grew cold. Could the king have heard his thoughts somehow? Maybe God had told David of his thoughts of anger and spite about his father and the throne? If God knew every thought then maybe He was finally going to take his miserable life away. Well, so be it. What did he have to lose anyway?
An hour later he was settled into his wagon, with a blanket pulled over his ugly, gnarled, twisted feet. He was carried to the door of the palace of King David by a group of servants and they took him inside and gently set him down on a couch in front of a great throne. He gulped and turned away. That should have been his throne.
A man in royal robes gazed down on him and he felt the stare of the King pierce his very soul. "Mephibosheth."
Yet, he swallowed again and answered, "Behold thy servant!"
Then King David said unto him, "Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually."
He could not believe the words he had just heard. Unsure of the meaning and still feeling a bit ashamed and afraid, Mephibosheth bowed low, and said, "What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?"
The words that poured forth from the King at that moment cleansed the hurting heart of a poor, lonely man that had lived in misery, thinking his life had no meaning, that God had forsaken him. The king actually loved him! He desired to take care of him for the rest of his life, he and his family, gaining back the land that once had been his father's and grandfather's. With the promise of servants to tend the gardens and fields, he would become a rich man and have all he had ever wanted. But the best part of it was the fact that he would be allowed to sit at the table of the king, to share in his dining, and be able to live inside the palace, where he should have been in the first place. With tears of joy, Mephibosheth humbly accepted the offer and happily took his family to the home of the King, who loved him for who he was. The heart of the king was good and kind, and now he knew why his father Jonathan had loved this man so much. The heart of God radiated from David's very being and now Mephiboshelth wanted to be like his king in every way that he could.
Is this not the same story we all can tell about our life of sin and misery and the great King that gladly took us in and someday we will live in a palace with Him in heaven? Think about it.
The story of Mephibosheth can be found in 2 Sam 4:4, 9:6,10-13, 16:4, 19:24,25,30, and 21:7-8
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