If love is a diamond, then every time we turn it in our minds, or experience it in our lives, it means we’re seeing a new side of a gem. Learning a new facet. Basking in a new sparkle. Today, the sparkle comes from one of my favorite Old Testament stories—one you may or may not have ever heard before, but one that cannot be missed because true, unchanging love shines from it.
Join me in the book of 2 Samuel 4, where we’re introduced to one of the central characters of this incredible love story: Mephibosheth.
“Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.” 2 Samuel 4:4
Fast forward in the story… David is anointed king in Israel and spends a long season defeating the enemies of God’s people. God makes an incredible promise to David, a covenant that promises His love will never leave David and that David’s throne will be established forever. As a season of rest from His enemies finally comes, David begins to think through the past and remembers the deep friendship he shared with Jonathan, King Saul’s son. Let’s pick up in 2 Samuel 9. It’s a long passage, but hang in there. I promise it’s worth it.
“And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 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?” Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons. And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants. So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.” 2 Samuel 9:1-13
Here are a few observations that I hope will stir your heart to bask in a new sparkle.
1. Friendship. The love of a true friend is invaluable! Not the shallow, fickle love of a fleeting relationship… but the the deep and abiding kind of friendship that we see between David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18:1: “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”
I think these are the types of friendships God has designed for us to know in true community – where we love each other as we love ourselves, where we seek to show kindness for generations because of the way God has knit our souls together. Obviously, not every friendship will be like this, but the potential is there in some of your relationships. Invest in those. Cultivate them. See and experience God’s love in deep, abiding friendship.
2. Mephibosheth. Here’s the stunning reality: We are Mephibosheth.
We are the lame child who has been abandoned. Forgotten. Left destitute in our sin.
- David owed nothing to Mephibosheth. God owes nothing to us. (Romans 3:10)
- David pursued Mephibosheth. God pursues us. (Romans 5:8)
- Mephibosheth knows he offers nothing to David. We know that on our own, we bring nothing to God. (Psal 8:4)
- David LAVISHES love and care on Mephibosheth. God LAVISHES His love on us. (Romans 8:32)
- Mephibosheth is invited to eat at David’s table for the rest of his life. We are invited to eat at God’s table for the rest of eternity. (Revelation 19:6-9)
We are Mephibosheth, experiencing the undeserved, unfathomable love of God.
3. God. One of the characteristics of God that I’ve been meditating on recently (thanks to Jen Wilkin’s book, None Like Him) is His immutability (which means that He cannot change.) He CANNOT change. That’s different than Him choosing not to change. Immutability means that it’s simply against His character. He cannot change.
When we see God’s love we need to remember that He always loves. He is love. (1 John 4:8) Do you need to remind yourself of the reality of God’s generous, loving, pursuing love? I do! I need to read the story of Mephibosheth, see myself, be reminded of God’s deep, abiding, unchanging love for me, and then I need to let that transform me. Like Courtney reminded us yesterday, God’s love isn’t always “ice cream love”… but then again, sometimes it is. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that this is part of His unchanging character. HE LOVES US.
Do you see God’s love, friend? Revel in it. Bask in it. Drink it in. May you see a new sparkle today!