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The record of the little-known royal resident of Jerusalem named Meribbaal (son to Jonathan and grandson to king Saul) in the book of 2 Samuel is anything but irrelevant or remote . . . and all about choices made during and after that one moment when we wake up from a disturbing dream only to realize a reality nightmare has come calling . . . a nightmare that uproots all that was certain, expected, secure and safe.
In Meribaal’s case, he would spend the bulk of his childhood and early adulthood years in Lo-debar . . . and all of it as a bullied and forgotten Jew who had lost the use of his feet due to a tragic fall from the arms of his nurse on the day of his escape at age five, shortly after news of his father and grandfather’s death in the Battle of Mount Gilboa. Lo-debar would become the designated hideout for Meribbaal . . . a natural target of the Philistines, and because of his attachment to the house of Saul, an expected target of King David. This one-time heir to the throne turned to cripple-in-hiding would receive a new name . . . “Mephibosheth” (literally “one who scatters shame”).
Lo-debar would not become Mephibosheth’s permanent home, for King David’s loyalty to his deceased best-friend Jonathan would prompt him after many years of successful battle to search for any surviving members of Saul’s household and provide for their care. A new season dawns in Mephibosheth’s life . .
“’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’.” – 2 Samuel 9:7
. . so he and his newborn son Micah find themselves welcomed back to Jerusalem and are offered a permanent place at the king’s table . . . but not before a series of choices would have to be made by Mephibosheth.
This is David “JB” Miller reminding you about the importance of choices more difficult than any final exam . . . choices that serve now in your life as they did then in Mephiboshheth’s as a barometer to the degree of drivenness and the always-tethered-companion bitterness . . . or serve as an indicator of trust in a faithful God . . . even through the trials that are in plentiful supply in “the land of nothing”.