Before David was made King of Judah, Saul and his sons were killed by the Philistines including Johnathan whom David loved. “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). The nurse would have tried to escape with Mephibosheth because it was customary for a new King to kill any remaining relatives of the former King.
David’s intentions were different and he mourned when he heard about the death of Saul and Johnathan. Later on in chapter 9, David enquired whether there was anyone left from the family of Saul to whom he could pay kindness. He was told about Mephibosheth who was living in Lo-debar and David sent for him to come to the palace. David told Mephibosheth about his desire to show him kindness and restore to him all the land that belonged to his grandfather Saul. “And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I”” (2 Samuel 9:8)?
Mephibosheth’s response showed how he saw himself. David was not concerned about his disability or the fact that he lived in Lodebar. David saw him as royalty and desired to bless him. The word Lodebar means no place, no pasture or communication. In bible times this town was considered as a ghetto and not held in high regard. It’s interesting how Mephibosheth’s environment and physical condition caused him to look down on himself. Moreso he did not consider himself worthy to be in the company of a King.
The reality is that God did not see Mephibosheth in that way that he saw himself. God’s favour was on him and that transported him from Lo-debar to the palace. I imagine that Mephibosheth felt that he was better off around broken or wounded people who were hurt in the same way that he was. At times it is useful to connect with people who can relate to our struggles. Other times we have to consider if some relationships are helpful in our healing, or help to keep us in a place of brokenness. Let us examine our current condition and be intentional about our relationships. The people that we surround ourselves with have a major impact on our identity and sense of self.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch not the unclean thing; And I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).