Sunday 6 September, 2020

2 Samuel 4:1-5:5

4 When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. 2 Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab; they were sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the tribe of Benjamin—Beeroth is considered part of Benjamin, 3 because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day. 4 (Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.) 5 Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest. 6 They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away. 7 They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah. 8 They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.” 9 David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! 11 How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!” 12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron. 5 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’” 3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.

So much happens in today’s scripture, but the passage that jumped out at me was the verse in brackets, 2 Samuel 4:4 – Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth was only 5 years old and his carer was trying to flee with him to save his life. But she dropped the boy and he became permanently disabled as a result.  I find that in times of upheaval and uncertainty, sometimes actions need to be done in a hurry, but when things are rushed, there is a greater risk of things going wrong.

In Mephibosheth’s case the rush and hurry caused a devastating, grievous injury to him that had lifelong effects.

I wonder what mistakes that I have made in my life that have had a devastating effect on the world of others. I wonder how much of the brokenness in my own being is part of the mistakes that just happen in this fallen and broken world.

This passage is full of incredible victory, but in the mix there is this heart wrenching story of an innocent young boy, son of David’s best friend Jonathan, losing the use of his lower limbs.

God’s Word is raw and real. He doesn’t just tell the stories of success, he also shares anecdotes of agony.

But the story doesn’t end there – In 2 Samuel chapter 9, Mephibosheth is an adult, all grown up, but still unable to walk. And David invites him in to his world, to live at the palace, and to dine, daily, at his very own kingly table.

For me, this is the story of every believer – in spite of our brokenness and frailty. In spite of the fact I come from the wrong family and I am so unworthy, Jesus, in his grace, invites me to be part of his table. And in response, I need to do the same for others.

Lord, thank You that You have invited me to your table, and that you have called me to share my gifts and your grace with others. Help me to have eyes to see your grace and mercy at work, so that I can be part of what you are doing in those around me

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

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