Monday, July 16, 2012

A Soul in Lo Debar

Kindness not only opens the heart of a person; it opens the door for Christ to be revealed.  We are called to be the light of the world; so kindness is the glow to reflect it.  If we desire to fulfill the mission of Christ, we must understand the condition of people.   In Mark 2:17 Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus was being criticized for eating and teaching to the “sinners” and tax collectors.  According to the religious leaders, He was sitting with the outcast who held no importance or value to society.  Our Savior came to the broken, outcast, and oppressed to offer salvation, healing, and hope.  With so many uncertainties, financial pressures, and worries people are broken hearted.  A broken heart can be mended with gentleness, with genuine concern, and God’s grace.  Some people will lash back with their hurt; their pain is very deep.  Whether it was their choices or the choices caused by others, everyone hurts.  Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  So, when the broken hearted speak; their words will cut.  We must be prepared for their hurt to erupt and offer assistance to help.

Mephiboseth was a man who was crippled in both feet due to a tragic accident.  When his father and grandfather died, (2 Samuel 4:4) Mephibosheth’s nurse feared for his life so she picked him up and fled.  While running with the child, she fell.  When she fell, it injured the child causing him to be crippled.  Besides the injury upon his body; his family dynasty collapsed.  When King David took the throne, he could have destroyed the whole dynasty of Saul.  According to custom of the time period, it wouldn’t have been uncommon.  Besides this custom, David could have attacked Saul’s family out of vengeance.  Yet, David made an oath with Jonathan, Mephibosheth’s father to show kindness to his family.  (1 Samuel 20:15)  David searches for someone to show kindness to Jonathan’s family. (2 Samuel 9:1) 

    Mephibosheth lives in exile due to fear of the king, he lives in Lo Debar.  Lo Debar means “no pasture” or “wasteland”, so he lived with no hope.  If you are summoned to the king’s house, wouldn’t you be afraid?  As Mephibosheth bows before the king to show his respect, David expresses his desire TO RESTORE him.  Yet, Mephibosheth questions why would you notice a dead dog?  All of the scars upon his life caused Mephibosheth to doubt his worth.  Yet, Mephibosheth (his name means shame destroyer/image breaker) was about to be restored with land and honor.  All of the land of Saul would be restored, servants would assist him, and he would eat at the king’s table.  He didn’t just eat at the table; he was treated as the king’s son.   As Christian’s we need to show kindness to all of the “Mephibosheth’s” of this world, so they can be restored.  Our Father desires to restore their identity, their lives, and spend eternity with them.  The banquet table is prepared; we are to invite them.  Although everyone will not accept this opportunity; all are invited.  If they accept the invitation, we need to provide the assistance to restore their life.  No matter what it costs the church, we need to bring them to the table, so they can enjoy the delicacies of God.