grace

MEPHIBOSHETH; THE STORY OF GOD'S GRACE.




Understanding the basis of relationship with God and His character brings freedom from the clutches of religion which breeds fear. God is love and his love is independent of the perfection or good behavior of the object but rather perfects the object. Grace stems from God’s nature of love and is totally independent of the object on which it is bestowed. The entire scriptures from Genesis to Revelations exude God’s grace. Just like the alabaster box of ointment with an exquisite fragrance that was poured on the head of Jesus saturated the house of Simon, so are the scriptures saturated with God’s grace and it is absolutely impossible to miss.

Often times while studying scriptures, I get so caught up in the beauty of God’s grace and wonder how we manage to get pass this extravagant grace of God on the pages of scriptures and set out to earn it. I think it is because we study scriptures with the wrong lens; the lens of initiation, with the notion that scriptures is simply about us; how we must prove our love for God, and we begin to ask questions like: What must I do to get God’s attention? What is God asking me to do for Him?’’ What must I do to be saved?’’ Etc. With such anxiety and preoccupation with self, it is very possible to miss the entire message of scripture which is simply about the love of God for humanity revealed in the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of His Son Jesus.

Eugene Peterson once said, ‘when we submit our lives to what we read in scriptures, we will find out that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s;’’ These stories reveal God to man and change their perceptions about Him. 

Let’s take a look into the grace of God in the story of David and Mephibosheth. I know we are familiar with this particular story as recorded in second Samuel. After the death of King Saul, David is crowned king of Israel and as was the custom in eastern dynasties, when a new king took over, all the family members of the previous dynasty were exterminated to take away the possibility of revolt. This custom probably led the members of Saul’s family to flee upon the news of his death in battle, and it was in this process that the nurse of Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth making haste to flee accidentally dropped the child and he became lame.

Mephibosheth was taken to live in Lo-debar, a remote town of little stature that served to hide Saul’s heir from the anticipated vengeance of David’s house. But David did the unexpected; the unimaginable because of his deep love for Jonathan and the oath of perpetual love he swore to his friend. He intended to show kindness; an ‘unfailing, unsought, unlimited mercy and kindness of God. The nature of this kindness was “the kindness of God,” the type of kindness that God shows to men, unmerited and gracious kindness.

‘‘AND DAVID said, is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake? And of the house of Saul there was a servant whose name was Ziba. When they had called him to David, he said to him, Are you Ziba? He said, I, your servant, am he. The king said, is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the [unfailing, unsought, unlimited] mercy and kindness of God? Ziba replied, Jonathan has yet a son who is lame in his feet’’ 2Samuel 9:1 AMP

Mephibosheth must have been gripped with fear when the king’s representatives arrived in Lo-debar and summoned him to appear before king. But he had no need to be afraid because David’s intent was not to harm but bless him abundantly. This passage provides a glimpse at the grace we were offered in the finished work of Christ in that:

1. Just as Mephibosheth, once enjoyed royal fellowship, so we in Adam once enjoyed fellowship with the King until out of the desire to be who we already were, ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which resulted to the fall. However, via the work of the second Adam we've been redeemed.

2. Mephibosheth, due to the fall became incapacitated, so also we because of the fall became spiritually dead but have now been made alive with Christ unto everlasting life.

3. King David sought out Mephibosheth in his place of hiding; in the place of no pasture (that's what Lo-Debar means) to redeem him. In the same way, God sought us in our hiding by sending his Son to redeem us and restored our fellowship with Him. Notice, it wasn’t David that was hiding and Meph seeking but the reverse. The initiative was all David’s idea from first to last not Meph’s!

4. Meph received unmerited favor for the sake of Jonathan and was adopted by David into his family. We’re recipients of God’s grace by the finished work of Christ and have been called the children of God. We have been made co-heirs with him; with every right to all he is, not based on our self-efforts.

5. Mephibosheth’s new place was not subject to his good or bad behavior but strictly on the goodness of the king. Same way our new position in Christ is not subject to what we do or didn’t do but based on the efficacy of the work of Christ. It is an everlasting position and cannot be undone!

On a final note, every character and story in scriptures teaches us something greater concerning the character of God and his work on behalf of mankind in Christ. If we take off the lens of self (religion) we will see this clearly in the pages of scriptures and rest in the finished work of Christ for us.

Grace to you.

About Jemine James

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