Leaving LoDebar…

Living beneath your privileges just doesn’t make sense.  Can you imagine a king’s kid choosing poverty over prestige!  Well, there’s the saga of a man like that in the Bible. His name was Mephibosheth, the grandson of King Saul.

Saul was an insecure leader who became jealous of a shepherd boy named David who played his harp for him.  You see, when the shepherd boy grew up, he became a warrior mightier than Saul and the best friend of Saul’s son, Jonathan. You may have heard the story of Jonathan and David; they were best friends for life.

Jonathan and David were in covenant, an agreement where one commits to the well-being of another.  What one loves, the other pledges to love.  What one hates, the other hates.  There was an exchange of robes, weapons and belts to signify such a commitment.  Jonathan gave up all rights to his father’s throne because he recognized God had anointed his best friend to be king in his place.

You can imagine how Saul reacted.  His fears tormented him…the shepherd boy had stolen his fame; the shepherd boy was stealing his son. Saul firmly believed David was ultimately conspiring to steal his throne.  It made him hate David all the more, and with Jonathan’s help, David fled for his life.

After many years, there was a battle where both Saul and his son, Jonathan, were killed.  David mourned their loss even though it meant his time to be crowned king had come.  He never forgot his covenant with his best friend, Jonathan, to whom he had pledged generational allegiance when he committed not only to care for Jonathan but his descendants as well.  This explains the invitation David extended to Jonathan’s only living relative who was dwelling in a place called, LoDebar, which means “pasture-less.”  David, once a young shepherd, invited this pasture-less, shepherd-less young man named Mephibosheth to come to the palace.

The Bible tells us that Mephibosheth was crippled in both feet because of an accident he had as a child.  In an attempt to flee the Philistines who were attacking the palace, this boy’s nurse grabbed him up in her arms only to fall on him as they ran.  He became lame.  It was as a lame and lowly man living a life of poverty in LoDebar that Mephibosheth came to the palace.  When he was brought before King David, he asked David why he would show such kindness to a “dead dog” like himself. 

You see, Mephibosheth had been living in poverty and lowliness for so long, it became his identity.  While God chose David and his family to reign over Israel, God had provided for Mephibosheth through a covenant made long ago with his father.  There was blessing for the taking, but when it was offered he couldn’t accept it without an argument.  It seems there were just too many “lo’s” in Mephibosheth’s life that he refused to let go of. 

The king wanted him to come up to a higher place.  David even invited him to sit at the king’s table for every meal.  In essence, David was saying, “Leave LoDebar behind, Meph!  You’ve got rights and privileges because of whose you are.  Pack your things and vacate the valley.  There’s better food, better surroundings, better conditions, and better land awaiting you.  Step up to the plate and take what is rightfully yours.  It doesn’t matter that you’re lame in both feet; it doesn’t matter that you consider yourself a dead dog.  What matters is the covenant I made with your father!! I want to take care of you, shepherd you, simply because you are your father’s child!!”

How many times do we prefer living in places beneath our privileges?  We berate ourselves because of past failures, never fully accepting all that Christ died to give us.  Abundant life!  It’s ours for the taking, but we sit in self-inflicted mental, emotional and spiritual poverty crying, “But, oh, I’m so undeserving.  Look at me…where I’ve come from.  Look at the pathetic mess I’ve made of my life.”

How often do we refuse the tender care God wants to provide to us through the truth of His Word that tells us we are loved and called to lives of purpose?  We refuse to believe what His Word says about us.  We even neglect to cultivate relationships with his people whom He wants to use to bless us.  We choose to entertain lies like, “How could God love someone like me?”

I’m telling you today, where you’ve been and who you used to be doesn’t matter!  Grace doesn’t require perfection.  Jesus Christ, The Good Shepherd, made a way for you to live in the blessings of God because He made a covenant with the Father.  He’s saying to each of us, “Come sit at the table I’ve prepared for you.  No more excuses.  No more self-condemnation.  No more living in LoDebar!  You have a choice.”

Sick of that depressed and lowly state where you’ve been dwelling?  God wrote out your name tag:  “Father’s Child”.  Pin it on and pull up a chair.

2 thoughts on “Leaving LoDebar…

  1. That is a great story and something to remember. God is great and I am so blessed to finally see that He wants me to be happy and live an abundant life. I really want everyone I know to “get” this too!

  2. When I read this I get the understanding that God is telling us that He hasn’t forgotten us. No matter how bad things have become you can still come up and not stay in a place of lack or shame. He has already made provision for us. Even before we were born. It is our birthright to live an abundant life. To others you may appear to be cripple or not good enough. Even in our own eyes we somtimes feel insignificant but to the Most High God you are His beloved child. He has made us a promise and He can not lie. All we need and want are in Him we just have to receive it.

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