Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” 2 Samuel 9:8

For years David ran from King Saul, fearing for his life and waiting for God to make good on His promise to place David on the throne as Israel’s king. Finally, God’s promise came true and David was made King. Scripture gives accounts of David’s great victories over all of Israel’s enemies until there was peace throughout the land.

One day David sat with his advisors. Life was good. God was good. He no doubt was looking back over the years and thinking of how he’d finally gotten to where he was. Then a thought came to David. He missed his very best friend in the world, Jonathan, the son of Saul. Jonathan had been the bright spot in David’s years of running. He’d protected David, advised David and become his most trusted friend. But Jonathan had been killed in battle alongside his father, Saul.

David asked if there was anyone left from the house of Saul that he could show kindness to for the sake of his dear friend Jonathan. This wasn’t an odd question. Traditionally, when someone became King, the previous king’s family was wiped out to prevent any dissention. David was told of a son of Jonathan’s named Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth had been tragically hurt  when Saul’s family fled after Saul’s death. As a result of his injuries, he was crippled for life. He lived for years in hiding from David in an obscure town.

You can imagine the fear that came over Mephibosheth when he saw David’s entourage coming down the road! All his hiding was for naught. Most likely, death was imminent. Hoping for mercy, he bowed down before David, referring to himself as a dead dog. He was, in his eyes, just a worthless cripple and of no value to anyone.

But David wasn’t there for revenge. He was there to show grace. He took Mephibosheth to the palace where he lived in luxury for the rest of his life!

Mephibosheth wasn’t taken to the palace because of anything he had done. He didn’t live in luxury because he deserved anything. David certainly wasn’t obligated, but societies standards, to show any kindness at all. It was only because of David’s friendship and covenant with Jonathan that Mephibosheth was shown any kindness at all.

There are times in each of our lives when we may feel like Mephibosheth. We see how we look in the mirror and see fat and ugly. We reflect on our past and see failure as a result of one poor decision after another. We doubt we are of any use of any value to anyone. But God sees us differently.

Because of Jesus we are welcomed into God’s family. We have the right, because of His forgiveness to live as kings. It doesn’t matter what physical or emotional deformities we have. Our past is of no concern to Him because He washed all those failures away at the cross.

Don’t look at yourself as a dead dog; as one that is of no value or worth to anyone. Because of Jesus you are a child of the King.

PRAYER: Father God, I thank you for the story of Mephibosheth and for the reminder that in your eyes I am not a failure but a beloved son. There are so many times when I find myself wishing I was better at this thing or that; so many times when my past mistakes come back to haunt me. Empower me by your Spirit to see myself the way you do and to live with the assurance of your love and acceptance even when others see me as a failure. Amen.

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