Guy with a Funny Name (but a Great Story!)
Founder, Refined Family
Kerry Tittle is a mother of 10 children and a 20+-year homeschool veteran. She is the founder of Refined Family. Her desire is to honor Christ while comforting others with the comfort she has received from the Lord.
My journey the last four years has provided great insight to my heart and to the character of God.
Before my world collapsed, I was fairly certain that my faith couldn’t be shaken. I’m sure I thought God was glad to have someone as faithful as me on His side. I was as spiritually surefooted as they came!
After the trial, the reality of that disillusion exploded. I was left in pieces. Humbled and broken, clinging to anything that resembled a life preserver. As time wore on, I found myself shackled to the shame of legalistic life, afraid to lock eyes with God. The truth was I never had anything to offer God.
This brings me to a beautiful story I found this morning.
Mephibosheth is a guy with a funny name but an amazing story.
Mephibosheth seemed to catch the bad end of the deal very early in life – like five years old early. Reports began to come in from Mount Gilboa where the unthinkable for any five-year-old boy had happened. His father, Jonathan, had fallen in battle. He further learned that his grandfather, Saul, cowardly fell on his sword.
But he didn’t have much time to process the loss. It was common in those days that whenever a king had been defeated the family would be killed so there was no one left to reclaim the throne. This didn’t leave Mephibosheth in a good position.
His nurse, realizing such a young child couldn’t get too far, quickly picked him up and fled. In her undoubted fear and the chaos of the environment, something tragic happened and Mephibosheth was hurt badly, leaving him to be crippled for the duration of his life.
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. 1 Samuel 4:4
So this is the hand that Mephibosheth was dealt: young, crippled, heritage lost and hunted.
And as if matters couldn’t get worse he lived out the rest of his days in a desolate place named Lo Debar. The Hebrew translation is “a thing of nought.” Literally means land of nothing.
This is a pretty grim story for the life of a human. In his culture, disabilities would have not only have limited him but left him considered worthless to society. But the story takes an astounding turn.
One day Mephibosheth, probably aimlessly going about his depressing, dreary, dead end road life, encountered a messenger from the KING requesting HIS PRESENCE! I can only imagine how his heart pounded as he quickly put whatever was left of his pitiful life in order, believing that it was going to end rather quickly.
Being escorted before King David, undoubtedly quaking and maybe just wanting to quickly get it over with, his response makes sense:
6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, “Mephibosheth!”
“At your service,” he replied.
7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “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.”
8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” 2 Samuel 9:6-8
What just happened? Well, we need a quick history bunny trail. Scripture tells us about an amazing friendship in 1 Samuel between Kind David and Jonathan (Mephibosheth’s father).
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 1 Samuel 18:1-3
So King David was determined to honor the memory of his beloved friend by showing kindness to his family. This rags to riches story happened so fast it made my head spin. But believe it or not we are in the same position.
This is a beautiful story of our redemption! We have nothing. We are broken, and have a list of handicaps that holds us back from the King. We have nothing to bring but our mess, our hurt and our shame. Yet He offers for his children a royal inheritance and to eat at the King’s table forever!
Friend, the Author who wrote this story is the same Author who is writing your story. You may still be walking around the barrenness of Lo Debar, but there is a chapter coming. A chapter that is even better than eating at the table of King David and having the wealth of Saul! A chapter where your hurt and your pain will fade into memory and you will stand before the King of Kings with no more shackles to this broken world.
Don’t put the book down.