By Dr VINCENT ABAYA.
Scarcely, do we remember his name. What is actually there to see in a lame man? So much! His story, among many other things displays the beauty, dept and effulgence of Divine grace. Lets check his story. 1Sam.9:1-13.
And David said, “ is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? “
David sat back and remembered Jonathan, the man he loved dearly and with whom he entered a deep covenant. A covenant that was not broken even after death. This covenant has never been removed from David’s heart for he had bounded it to his heart. So he asked is there yet any left in the house of Saul, for Jonathan’s sake I will show him mercy. I thought he would have said, that I might avenge all that Saul did to me in the days of my solitude and suffering. He sought for opportunity to show kindness. Yes the house of Saul was wicked and caused David much trouble but he did not keep that in memory rather he kept close to his heart the covenant he had with Jonathan.
These are all types, form, and shadows of the realities of Christ. This is a shadow of the effulgence of divine Grace. Actually, if David would mark iniquity as king. He would sentence all the remnant of the house of Saul to death. But Grace chooses the man who is most unworthy and lavishes kindness on him. Grace makes God to look away from the depth of our rebellion and abstinence. Instead of seeking us out for punishment, he seeks us out for kindness. Oh the glories of His grace that, makes God’s eyes search for the sinner who have continuously offended and rebelled against Him.
Why did David do this? For Jonathan’s sake. What qualifies us to be brought near is not of our own merit. But for Jonathan’s sake. Where Jonathan stood in David’s heart is what qualifies Mephiboseth for kindness. By what we had done we ought to be at once condemned eternally and thrown to hell but God’s heart kept searching for us. We did not look for him he looked for us. He sent his servants to his streets, the lanes and gathered us and brought us to dine with him, on account of no other but “ his Jonathan”. This “Jonathan” with whom the king of kings is deeply covenanted who has fully satisfied the king’s heart when he went to the cruel cross and poured his blood in obedience to him. Our Lord Jesus Christ, is our Jonathan. On his merit we qualify for Grace. On his merit goes the heart of God in search for the sinner. On his merit God desires to show us kindness.
No one could give the king information as to who was left of the house of Saul. [The house of disobedience, stubbornness and rebellion]. So Ziba was called and interviewed. So it was David who sought for mephiboseth, left for him he could never have come to David for some reasons:
$1(2) Ignorance/ misconception
$1(3) Arrogance and stubbornness.
At least he would have come to bow “all hail the king” But the combination of all of these had kept him away. The effect these three had on the heart of Mephiboseth will not allow him to come. With these his heart was blinded to the merciful king. And with “these” Satan blinds every sinner so that the light of the glorious gospel does not shine on them. More so, he was lame on his feet [both feet]. If somehow he desires to come on his own [almost impossible] he cannot come. The sinner man on his own can never make a correct choice, he can never chose the lord. Even if he does, he cannot find his path to God. Except he is cured, and helped by a messenger of the king he cannot come. The Kings of kings was the one who searched for us and sent for us. That we be cured, and helped to His presence for kindness.
Where is he? It was very interesting where he was. For where he was every sinner man is. Where he was is a correct, explicit description of where we had lived. A man is either a saint or living in the bosom of the King of kings. In the shadow of the Almighty or he is in the house of Madur, son of Ammiel in Lodebar. Lodebar is more interior to Mohanaim. Just like you say Lemu is interior but Fugeregi is more interior. Is like the interior of the interior. Mohanaim is a town in Gilead at the extreme in the trans Jordan region and Lodebar is a village deep in this region. He was living far from David’s court. It was indeed in a far country. Only heaven can tell the true distant between the religious sinner and God. He may draw near with his lips but his heart is actually in “Lodebar”. A soul in rebellion and disobedience is far from God as Jerusalem is far from Lodebar. Lodebar means a place of no pasture. A barren land. A land where no satisfaction or fulfillment can be found. An empty place. The land far from God is Lodebar. The man who is living in disobedient and rebellion is dwelling in a patched land. He cannot find fulfillment. He cannot find satisfaction. No matter the possession such a man has, he lacks divine dew from heaven and such lives remain dry and desolate.
But despite this God has made a provision for his upkeep in that distant land. God as his creator will not fail. He has a duty towards all creatures. He gives the birds of the air their food. He makes provision for the insects, animals etc. he made a provision for his “run away” friend. He located the house of Machir. A man sold to doing good. Machir means sold. He located him there to provide food and shelter for him. He lived there sustained but far from his inheritance and divine portion.
David sent for him. When he came he was overwhelmed by such display of kindness. His heart was captured and raptured. He fell on his face before his Excellency. David called him by his name Mephiboseth. He answered, Behold thy servant.
No long story, reconciliation has taken place. It is with men that to get reconciled you need panels, committees, explanations and clarifications. For David “Behold thy servant” and that was all. What a display of the beauty of divine Grace. As he stood before the King, he still had fears. Whether the king will suddenly remember the past, and change his mind like natural men do. He still had fears if the kindness on the face of the king was real. If real, for how long will it last? All these fears were still in the heart of penitent and repentant Mephiboseth. But the king said, fear not. I brought you here not to call your sins to remembrance but to show you kindness and restore to you all the land of Saul your father.
Reconciliation and salvation brings us restoration of all that man lost in the fallen nature. All that man lost in the Garden of Eden. Fellowship with our maker is restored. Joy and hope are restored. The gloomy face of Mephiboseth became radiant. The rays of divine Grace have fallen upon his heart. All the joy of his heart had longed for has suddenly come upon his heart. This was so with us when we believed.
‘Thou shall eat bread continually’. What a blessedness. Such also is our portion in Christ. The bread of his presence is now made available for us daily. The bread for the sustenance of our new found life not the cold bread of the world system that ends in the belly but the bread of life. From that day divine provision was made for Mephiboseth. If the sinner man knew what he was missing he will not tarry a minute long in the far country. Mephiboseth now had discovered who he was as the light of divine Grace shone on him. It is now actually that we knew who we were. Over there he would have been parading himself as the Prince, he would have shared with some people that David was a rebel and not too long the kingdom will be returned back to the house of Saul and he will reign. Such “big talk” is very common among men of the far country. But now he discovered that he was actually a dead dog. A dog is an animal known for its impurity. A dead dog implies a worthless person who deserves nothing but judgment. He really saw himself. But being a dead dog is what qualifies us for divine Grace being dead in sin. The same was Peter’s response at the beginning in the light of God’s graciousness. ‘Depart from me for I am a sinful man’. (Lk.5:8). Mephiboseth did not know that it was the tip of iceberg that David had more in store for him. He dwelt in Jerusalem and did eat continually at the king’s table. Oh the wonders of His grace by which a table is prepared for us to daily feast with Him and on Him.
‘…. Although he remained lame on his feet…’.
Lame on his feet implied he could do nothing on his own. He could go nowhere by himself. After a man has found grace we are to remain ‘lame’ in a way. We are not to have confidence in ourselves, in our human wisdom and strength. Anything we do must be God initiated. Grace must conquer our will and become the strength by which we live. Grace must become our new found energy by which we live and work. Except man is crippled by the excellency of divine grace his wisdom, strength and will, will carry him away from Jerusalem. He dwelt continually in Jerusalem because he was lame on both feet.