For those who have felt the paralysing effect shame has upon the soul I offer this post.
The son of Jonathan was Mephibosheth the grandson of King Saul who had tried for years to kill David. Mephibosheth means ‘Dispeller of Shame’. Not only does this boy’s name cover him in shame but he is also lame in both feet.
2Sa 9:1 Now David said,
Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? 2Sa 9:3 Then the king said,
Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?
And Ziba said to the king, There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.
His name means to BE ASHAMED and to BE DISAPPOINTED.
How many can stand in his shoes today and know what it is like to be ashamed of themselves, and to be disappointed with themselves? Maybe you are ashamed of things you have done? Maybe you carry shame because of things your family has done? Is your dad in Jail? Do your parents fight all the time? These kinds of things bring a feeling of shame to us, a wounding. Shame can be in our life and we do not even know why.
Maybe like Mephibosheth your feet are lame? He was dropped as a baby. You might not remember things that happened to you as a baby, but your Father God does. Some of us carry shame from birth. My dad wanted to have me aborted, and told my mum when she discovered at 16 she was pregnant. She refused and her mother looked after my mother until I was born. All my life I carried shame around like a label on my heart without knowing where it came from. But when I brought all that hurt before the Lord and forgave my dad in prayer, God’s love and kindness came flooding in. He wants to show His kindness to you too. He is really into making those who are lame walk again.
Maybe you are disappointed in how your life turned out? That’s what Mephibosheth felt I am sure. That is what his name means. Many carry a sense that they are a disappointment to others. They feel that they have disappointed their parents, their friends, their family, their wife, their husband. They live under a constant sense of being a disappointment. As a teenager I showed a fair bit of promise at school. I was getting high B grades in English at the half year mark in my final year of high school. But during the last half of the year I hung around with some older guys and smoked dope and didn’t study, went surfing instead, and got 32% for my final exam in English! I carried that feeling of being a disappointment for decades until the Father showed me His kindness again and again.
Shame and disappointment cripple our walk as people whether we know Jesus or not. It makes us lame.
The word ‘lame’ in 2Sam9:3 is “nakeh” and it means: smitten, that is, (literally) maimed, or (figuratively) dejected: – contrite, lame.
So descriptive of so many of us! Dejected! So many youth are dejected, maimed and broken inside. Many are taking their own lives…BUT King Jesus the son of David is scouting around looking for someone to show His kindness to. King David was an amazing man…like the Lord Jesus, those who were dejected were drawn to him. The maimed and crippled came to Jesus because they could feel His love for them and sensed no condemnation from Him. David was like that. Would that we were all like that hey? We have this same Jesus in our hearts—the One who has compassion and said,
Luk 14:13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. Luk 14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
The kindness of God seen in King David is truly transformational! The Hebrew root meaning of the word for kindness has in it the idea of nodding the head and neck to an equal. Did you hear that!!?? The King wants to shower His love upon you and raise you up to an equal place with Him. This is the humble heart of our Saviour Who is always lifting others up. But will you accept that exaltation from the Lord?++ Or does the shame get in the way? ++ Oh I pray right now that His love saturate your fearful heart and you allow Him to touch your hurts. The compassion of Jesus is reaching out today to all who are lame and broken, to all who are filled with shame and disappointment..He does not say much, He just wants to embrace you with His love. Jesus paid the penalty we could never pay. Our sins and lawless deeds were piled up upon Him. Not only our sins , but also our sickness and pain and poverty(the results of sin) were all put upon Him. He is our substitute, He carried it all upon Himself because He loved you that much! It was the Father’s will to crush Him with the weight of our sin and the horror of God’s rejection.
He did it for us, He did it for you! God went looking for someone to show His kindness to, someone undeserving, someone lame in their life. Is that you today? Do you see that your life is lame and broken even though you may be a success in the eyes of the people around you? God sees those with broken hearts and wants to lift you up out of the ash heap of sin today.
Mephibosheth did not do anything to deserve this kindness from King David. It was all David’s doing based upon a covenant that he had previously made to his friend Jonathan. My friend, God has made a covenant as well. He made it with His Son Jesus Christ’ blood. This is the covenant I will make them…He said I will have mercy on their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember NO MORE Heb 8:12
Because of that covenant God is searching for sinners, those who know they are lame and broken, those who know they are completely unable to live the life, really and truly. His love is reaching out to you today.
Are you one who He can lift up out of the miry clay today and seat at the Kings table?
Think about it. Say yes to God today. Admit your need of Him friend. Be blessed and healed in Him of your lameness! Prayer Lord Jesus thank you for coming out to look for me, because I have been hiding myself away from life and from people! Lord I have felt so alone at times, so broken and even so disgusted with myself!
Lord I need you! Take my lame feet and heal them, take my bitterness and wash it clean, take my disappointment with myself and with life and turn it into joy. Lord I forgive all those who hurt me and degraded me. I bring it all to Your blood and I wash it there. Lord here I am pour Your kindness upon my life! Pour your goodness on me! Make me brand new and set my feet on straight paths that lead to my birthright. All my mistakes I give to You! All my shame I give to You! I leave it on the cross. I accept my place at your table, in Your heart, by Your side. Thank you Lord Jesus! Thank you. I Bless you!
WHERE IS HE?
2Sa 9:4 “Where is he?” the king said to him. Ziba said to the king, “He’s there, in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar.” 2Sa 9:5
So King David sent word and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.
Indeed I say again.. WHERE IS HE?!
Where is the one I want to show kindness and favour to? Says the Lord. Mephibosheth was in the house of Machir. This young man was in the house of mâkar which means: to sell, literally as merchandise, into slavery, or figuratively to sell away, to sell self.
He was the last of Saul’s line and he was being kept at a salesman’s house as merchandise, a commodity! Here is a picture of being sold as a slave into bondage to the Evil one. This young man’s soul was bruised and dejected and had not known the validating experience of being treated as an equal with other men. I wept as I read my previous post realising how this young man has been me. The joy of His acceptance filled my heart and soothed and healed over the old soul wounds of shame and disappointment.
When we feel that we are only merchandise or a commodity that God will use some day or maybe discard when He is finished with us , we have the wrong concept of His heart. So many live in this bondage to slavery Paul wrote about in Romans 8. It is crippling! It is the house of shame. It is no life to live!
Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Rom 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
This is our God! This is our king! The One who rejoices to lift us up with Himself and to seat us at His table as His joint heirs. He is looking and He says with compassion and genuine concern, “Where is he?” “Where is she?” Where is _? put your name in the blank. When you are not coming to commune with Him anymore–He says where is he? When your heart is filled with shame and dejection He is looking for you and coming for you.
He will come right into the house of Machir, the sleezy salesman and rescue you from there. He paid the full price for you, He redeemed you with His blood and you are His property. He did not buy you to be His slave though. No. Jesus bought you to be His equal and to sit at His table enjoying His food and wine. Oh the grace of God that is in His eyes for us. The love that burns in His eyes for you that will NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! He says I want to promote you to my table, I want to exalt you son or daughter, and immediately shame jumps up between us and protests.
No Lord not me! I am a sinful man. I will disappoint You, I will let you down! Don’t you know how weak and foolish I am!?
What does He do in response? He looks straight into your eyes with full acceptance and full knowledge of you and He just smiles. He smiles that smile that makes you crumble into a heap in His arms. Soon you are not crying but laughing uncontrollably with joy. The joy of His acceptance of you even though you know He knows all things about you. You try to tell Him again of your mistakes and He just increases His smile into your spirit and you are being turned inside out with Love and more love and – wooooooooooeeeeeeeeeee!
How can it be that my Saviour would love a wretch like me?!
So this Mephibosheth, the dispeller of shame, as that is the meaning of his old name is about to be visited with the love and kindness of God as he languishes like a long forgotten cracked pot that failed to sell in the Christmas sale years ago. He is ashamed and disappointed, dejected and forlorn. It is said that Machir the salesman is the son of Ammiel. Now things are starting to look up!
Ammiel means people of God. A people, a tribe, a congregation. Here was Mephibosheth living alone in the house of Machir but he was about to be surrounded by the sounds of people all around. He was about to have a change of environment. Instead of lonliness brought about through his inward shame and disappointment he is about to be lifted up and virtually adopted by David into His palace and into the heart of his family.
Isn’t that exactly what has happened for us?
This young man who in one day lost his grandfather and his father in the battle, has grown up with such inner pain is about to find restoration at the Kings table. Something else. It is said that he was living in a place called Lo debar. The name means pastureless…and also: “no fold” as in a sheep fold. In other words Mephibosheth was in the wilderness, without any sheepfold or protection, or any food to sustain his soul. It is a bleak picture, but one that describes what shame and bitterness do in a life.
2Sa 9:5 So King David sent word and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. 2Sa 9:6 Then Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan son of Saul, came to David, fell on his face and prostrated himself. “Mephibosheth!” David said. “Behold your servant!” he answered. “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 of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat bread at my table.” 2Sa 9:8 Then he bowed down and said, “ What is your servant, that you should turn to look at such a dead dog like me? ” TLV
Such a wonderful scene of God’s restoration unparalleled in Scripture! David restores his dignity and his honour, he takes no notice of his shame but lifts him up with his word. The word of a King is powerful! Look at those words and let them become yours.
Don’t be afraid! I will surely show you kindness, favour, blessing which will lift you up.
I will restore all that has been lost, all the dignity and honour and wipe away all the years of devouring.
I will seat you at my table and you shall eat from me says the King- ALWAYS!
The story finishes with a happy ever after —
“But Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly, though he was crippled in both his legs.” 2Sa 9:13 Hallelujah!!!
So friend Where are you? As the King says “Where is he? where is she?”
“Quickly, go out and gather them into my house and seat them at my table! Take off their shame filled clothes and put upon them righteous linen for they are welcome at My house, they are all my children and I will dwell among them and they shall walk with Me, for I delight in the sons of men and would that all come to Me.”
Lord I accept your kindness towards me. I accept your desire to want to lift me up higher. I accept your desire to promote me to your right hand. I accept gladly! Thank you Lord for looking upon me in my lowly state and lifting me up. I accept it, where once I ran from it. Shame is no longer controlling my heart…I open wide the doors to your love… I welcome your healing touch…your tender look. I love you Father.
Originally 18 July 2008, then added to 17 Jan 2016 after the Father showed me his love again.