Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. (2 Sam 4:4 ESV)
Saul is dead. Jonathan is dead. Except for the nurse who apparently loves him, Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son, is alone. He's five years old when news comes that his grand father and father have been killed in battle. Israel is engaged in civil war; it makes sense that the death of Saul and Jonathan's heirs would be top priority for the new king. Upon hearing the news, the nurse picks up the child to escape. Perhaps she assumed David would come for Mephibosheth.
It's a tragic story.... The nurse's intentions were good, but her logic was faulty--she didn't have all of the facts. Maybe she wasn't aware of the covenant David and Jonathan had made with each other years before (1 Samuel 20:12-17). It was a covenant that promised mutual respect, love, protection and provision to Jonathan's descendants. Because she didn't know what was available to the child through the covenant, she ran to keep him safe. As she makes her escape, he falls. The result is a crippling injury for Mephibosheth that will render him lame the remainder of his life.
Are you on the run?
It's often the same for us. Because we're unclear regarding the love, protection, and provision of the covenant, we, too, run. Many of us are unaware God's plans are to prosper us, not harm us. He wants us to thrive. In Christ Jesus, God has manifested the promise of hope, love, and peace with Him. There is no wall of division to separate us. The King is on our side--He is for us! (Rom 8:31)
What about you? Are you on the run from the King? I will admit a similar pattern frequently shows up in my life. I often get the sense God wants to put His finger on something. I perceive He's coming for me. If I think too long (or too wrong), I'm likely to strap on my running shoes--I'm on the run from the King. I convince myself it's the right thing to do, or, worse yet, that I'm not really running. Let me describe what my running looks like:
I avoid Bible study and devotion times because the last thing I want is for the mirror of the Word of God to expose my heart. I skimp on prayer.... The intimacy of it is sure to reveal the hardness or inconsistency of my heart. I carefully craft my communications with friends and accountability partners so it sounds-like I'm allowing God to do work in my heart. In fact, I'm really working over-time to manage the perceptions my friends have of me.
The King is on your side!
David made a covenant with Jonathan because he loved him as a brother. The nurse had no idea there was a place (provision) in the king's palace, at the king's table, and in the king's heart for Mephibosheth. Don't miss the point: there is a place in the King's heart for you, too! He is inviting you to quit running and to stop sustaining self-inflicted injuries. It's time to come home...sit at the table and eat.
Are you familiar with the covenant the King has made on your behalf? He promises abundant and eternal life in Christ Jesus. In John 3:16-21, Jesus makes it clear He didn't come to condemn the world, but save it. His Holy Spirit will convict us of our sin--show us where it is and let us know change is necessary. When we're responsive, process moves us toward repentance and closer to God. God loves you whoever and wherever you are. Stop running, pursue the King, and embrace the love and provision He has for you. Until next time...
Stay close to Him. Live beautiful.