READ: 2 Samuel 9:8-13
(8) Shuffling and stammering, not looking him in the eye, Mephibosheth said, “Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?”
(9-10) David then called in Ziba, Saul’s right-hand man, and told him, “Everything that belonged to Saul and his family, I’ve handed over to your master’s grandson. You and your sons and your servants will work his land and bring in the produce, provisions for your master’s grandson. Mephibosheth himself, your master’s grandson, from now on will take all his meals at my table.” Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
(11-12) “All that my master the king has ordered his servant,” answered Ziba, “your servant will surely do.”
And Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, just like one of the royal family. Mephibosheth also had a small son named Mica. All who were part of Ziba’s household were now the servants of Mephibosheth.
(13) Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, taking all his meals at the king’s table. He was lame in both feet.
When you go back to the first part of the chapter you find that this story of Mephibosheth actually begins with Jonathan. Jonathan was always a loyal friend to David and David wanted to repay that loyalty. So, David was looking for a way to honor his best friend after Saul’s death and this is what he chose to do.
THINK: Pause to become aware of how you relate to what is unfolding here. Which character do you identify with, if any? Why?
Initially, when I read this, I identified with Mephibosheth. I have been the recipient of much kindness over the past year and a half, and have found myself saying, many times: “Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?” I’m not lame, like Mephibosheth, but I feel like I’ve got enough baggage to make anyone second guess taking on a stray such as myself.
PRAY: Read the story a second time, being aware of memories, thoughts, or ideas it triggers. Read it one last time, listening for how the story’s message about honoring others relates to what it in you today. Spend time meditating on what you discover.
After reading the story a second time, I found myself thinking, “Well, who could I honor, in my current situation?” I don’t have much monetarily that I could pass on, but surely this passage can extend beyond monetary or material blessings.
Sometimes, it’s hard to bust out of the habit of always being taken care of and into the habit of helping others. It can be equally as hard to be the one being taken care of when you are used to being the one doing the caring for. I have found myself in both situations over this past year or so. I prefer to be the one doing the caring for. Usually. But, sometimes, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have nothing to give when you are in a situation where God seems to have taken “everything” from you. What I’m seeing is that, though I don’t have much, I still have myself, my time, compassion, patience, and kindness that I can give to others. And, often times, those gifts can be even more valuable than anything monetary.
LIVE: Ask God if there is something he is specifically inviting you to do based on your reading today. Is there anything standing in your way of responding? Explore it with God. Talk to him about what holds you back form following him completely.
As I was getting ready for church this morning, I was thinking about this passage, and more-or-less, asking God to show me what it meant, or if there was someone that I could honor today. I have to admit: when I first read this passage, I had an idea of someone I could honor. This lady is one that has been hard for me to get to know because, in my experience, she can be a bit on the clingy side. Today, I had a chance to serve her. And, there was a new family at our church (they sat right behind me in the church service), who had a child in my Sunday School class, that I was able to serve and greet. My goal was to help them feel welcome. I hope they did. And I hope I wasn’t the only one. But, I was to be obedient to God’s urging, whether He urged anyone else that same direction or not.
Dear Lord, help me to remember that my situation, my circumstances are never so dire that I cannot reach out and honor others by choosing to put myself on the back burner for a while.