Your Dwelling Place
I lived in the same house from birth to high school graduation. I faced the same kids in the same neighbor and same school for years. I even graduated with some of those kindergarteners. My family attended the same church until I married and moved away. My life was filled with sameness. The familiar became my security.
On the other hand, my husband moved eight times in his young life. As a pastor’s kid, he had to follow his dad’s call. Whether he liked it or not, he faced a new school, new neighborhood, and new friends every couple years. He didn’t have a choice. God (and his dad so to speak) were in control. Every new place filled him with fear, but he learned to make the best of it. Even though he gained many life lessons, his security was not found in familiarity.
We don’t always have a choice where we live in this world, but we do have a choice as to where we dwell spiritually. We can live in a state of fear, unbelief, or bitterness rather than living in faith, obedience and hope. There’s a beautiful story of redemption in 2 Samuel that illustrates this principle perfectly. King David and Saul’s son, Jonathan, were best friends. They made a covenant to look after each other’s family if anything ever happened to one of them. After Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle, David became king over Israel. This is where our story begins.
2 Samuel 9:1-13 (excerpts)
David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom
I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Ziba, (a servant of Saul’s household) answered the king,
“There is still a son of Jonathan;
he is crippled in both feet.”
“Where is he?” the king asked. Ziba answered,”
He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in LO DEBAR.”
So King David had him brought from LO DEBAR…
When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David,
he bowed down to pay him honor.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness
for the sake of your father Jonathan.
I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul,
and you will always eat at my table.”
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant,
that you should notice a DEAD DOG like me.”
And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem because he always ate at the king’s table,
and he was crippled in both feet.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him
in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
in order that in the coming ages he might show
the incomparable riches of his grace,
expressed in is kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
God did this so that men would see him and
perhaps reach out for him and find him,
though he is not far from each one of us.
For in him we live and move and have our being.
Questions to Consider:
1. What stands out to you about David’s loyalty to his friend, Jonathan?
2. What is the significance of Mephibosheth being crippled in both feet? How does his condition affect his identity?
3. How does Mephibosheth view himself even after David’s offer of restoration? What might that indicate?
4. Compare Mephibosheth sitting at the king’s table to the verse in Ephesians. How does this apply to you today?
5. What do you learn from the Acts passage?
We’ve learned that Israel was not to go back to Egypt, a land of slavery and oppression. The story of Mephibosheth gives another warning. Don’t set up camp in LoDebar, a lowly state of defeat and insignificance. King David removed the shame of lameness and offered Mephibosheth a new seating arrangement. Not in Lo Debar but at the Palace table in Jerusalem. It’s interesting he found it difficult to accept the kindness and grace offered to him. He felt undeserving of his new position. We may feel unworthy to accept our new identity when we come to Christ. The free gift of salvation, grace, kindness, and love cannot be earned. Our covenant relationship with the King of Kings brings an invitation to sit at the King’s table. Co-heirs of the promises of God. Sometimes we choose to remain beneath our privilege. The King has offered you a place at His table. It’s time to take your seat.