“Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, “Mephibosheth?” And he answered, “Here is your servant!” So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?””
II Samuel 9:1, 6-8 NKJV
The whole earth is full of contention, as it seems as if everyone on the planet is holding a grudge and is taking it to the streets. Many countries are divided, as enemy combatants vie for the high ground. For many, victory is won when the enemy is completely vanquished.
Back in the biblical times, when a king took the throne through war, it was customary to destroy the entire line of the previous king. All the heirs were killed, that there be no one to challenge the new king. David was a different kind of king, in that he was a man after God’s own heart. As God is merciful and filled with grace, so David often reflected this in his heart.
He had defeated the house of Saul, and was on the throne. In a quiet moment, having won the war, he desired to show the kindness of God to a descendent of Jonathan, his beloved friend.
As read the passage in II Samuel this morning, the remembrance of God’s grace flooded my mind, as I found myself reflecting on this “dead dog”, this one filled with sin, and worthy of hell.
The King of Glory, the King in all His beauty, came to die for sins of dead dogs. He looked upon me, and through His grace chose me. I had no worth, but He is Holy and worthy.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
Like Mephibosheth, we bring nothing to the throne of God. We have no standing, no reputation, no deep Christian pedigree. We are sinners.
“As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3:10, 23 NKJV
In our contentious world, we have the commission to go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. We do not have the commission to join enemy camps, taking sides in the culture war. It is not our calling to sqaure off with adversaries, but turn adversaries into brethren.
The message of the Gospel has the power to transform hearts and break down barriers that separate people. True justice can only come through Jesus.
In the conflicts happening in our world today, there is little talk of grace and mercy, as all dsire total victory and destruction of the enemy. It is all or nothing. In the midst of any conflict there is always room for mercy. We can choose to forgive, just as Jesus chose to forgive us.
Let us not forget that we are all dead dogs, all worthy of destruction, as we are descendents of the enemy king, the devil, who has been defeated. But God is indeed merciful, and full of grace. He offers each us, offspring of His vanquished foe, adoption as sons, saved from sin, cleansed, and redeemed.
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
Romans 5:10-11 NKJV
Through Jesus, we can eat at the King’s table.
Consider today the kindness you can offer to others. Instead of looking at people as adversaries, look at them as potential brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray for them, that they be saved from the wrath to come.
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