One of my favorite Old Testament stories centers around Mephibosheth. You can read about him in II Samuel 4-16. He is clearly a type of redeemed sinners. He is a lot like you and me!
He was the son of Jonathan, David’s dear friend. He belonged to the royal family and was in the line for the throne, but he was crippled by a fall (II Sam. 4:4). And because of the behavior of his grandfather Saul, he had to live in exile. He was only allowed to return to Jerusalem because David wanted to keep his covenant with Jonathan and protect any of his descendants.
It was the merits of his father that allowed him to be called into the presence of the King. “And David said to him, fear not, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake and will restore to you all the land of Saul thy (grand) father. And you shall eat bread at my table continually.” (See II Sam. 9:1-7)
Redeemed. Not because he deserved it. Redeemed. Even though he was a crippled young man who scraped along the stone floor every evening as he entered the dining room of the King. He did not bring anything to the palace. He took from the King’s good graces and sat routinely at his table feasting on the meal provided.
David could have ignored this young man. Palaces were for the elite. The strong of body and mind ruled and reigned in Israel. The crippled were discarded. But David took a different attitude. He sought out the scarred, imperfect young man and gave him a lofty position with rights and privileges.
David’s attitude reminded me of a cute story found in Bruce Larson’s book, Ask Me To Dance. “You ever feel like a frog? Frogs feel slow, low, ugly, puffy, drooped, and pooped. I know, one told me. The frog feeling comes when you want to be bright but feel dumb, when you want to share but are selfish, when you want to be thankful but feel resentment, when you want to be great but are small, when you want to care but are indifferent. Yes, at one time or another each of us has found himself on a lily pad, floating down the great river of life. Frightened and disgusted, we’re too froggish to budge.
Once upon a time, there was a frog only he wasn’t really a frog. He was a prince who looked and felt like a frog. The wicked witch had cast a spell on him and only the kiss of a beautiful maiden could save him. But since when do cute chicks kiss frogs? So there he sat, an unkissed prince in frog form. One day a beautiful maiden gathered him up and gave him a big smack! Zap! There he was, a frog turned handsome prince and they lived happily ever after. So what’s the task of the Christian? Kissing frogs, of course!”
There has to be a Mephibosheth in your life. Look around. He is disguised as a frog. And it is our job this week to give him or her a big SMACK. Imagine what our world would be like if we believers ran around looking for frogs to kiss.
And don’t forget, that’s how we got invited to the palace for dinner too!