Sunday, April 27, 2014

Leaving LoDebar

A figure from the fountain at the Bronx Zoo

     Mephibosheth was a grandson of the first King of Israel - King Saul.  King Saul had died and David, of David and Goliath fame, had become the new king.  It was very common for ancient rulers to kill the relatives of a previous king in order to further establish their own claim to the throne and eliminate any competitors.  Mephibosheth was five years old when the news came that both his father and grandfather had died.  His nurse picked him up and fled to save his life.  Unfortunately, in the chaotic turmoil, Mephibosheth was dropped and his legs were permanently damaged.
     Fifteen years passed.  Mephibosheth grew to be a man, still dreading the knock on the door, hidden away in a town called  “the place of no pasture,” LoDebar.   LoDebar was barren and desolate, a place without nourishing green grass.  Mephibosheth went from prince to servant, from the lushness of the palace to a land of desolation, from wholeness to cripple, from security to fear.  Mephibosheth expected to die on the sword of the king, instead he received a blessing
     David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’  Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba.  They called him to appear before David.  The king 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.”  He is in Lo Debar.”  So King David had him brought from LoDebar.  When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.  David said, “Mephibosheth!”
     “Your Servant.”
      “Don’t be afraid 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.”
     Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
     Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.  You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for.
     So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.  Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table and he was crippled in both feet.  ~2 Samuel 9:1-13  Edited for length, but not meaning.  Please read this in your Bible for the complete text.
     When Mephibosheth met David, he fell flat on his face in submission and recognition of his tenuous situation.  He confessed that he had the worth of a dead dog, back when a dog was just a dog. Crippled Mephibosheth was restored by the anointed king.  He was invited to dine at the king’s table, to share the king’s bread, and to sit in the place of the king’s sons.  Instead of living in the place of no pasture, Mephibosheth lived in Jersualem, the king’s city, the city of peace.  He was no longer a helpless and poor cripple hiding in fear.  He was a wealthy and powerful man who enjoyed daily access to the king.
     Mephibosheth is a picture of you and of me.  An unhappy sinner hiding and running from God; exiled in LoDebar.  We have been made lame, dropped while running for our lives.  We do not walk the way that we should.  We know that someday we, too, will have to face the King.
     But the merciful Father rescued us through His Son.  Thanks to Jesus; His life, His death and His resurrection, we are suddenly taken out of LoDebar and invited to the city of peace.  We are brought to the banquet table in the household of the King. We are no longer orphaned and lonely.  We are made rich in Jesus and through Him have direct access to the King of Kings.
     Jesus says:
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.  ~Revelations 3:20
     Mephibosheth continued to be lame in both feet, but now those feet were under the king’s table.  I invite you today, to leave LoDebar and place your crippled feet under the King’s table.

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