My friend Tony said something on our radio show last night that triggered some very fond memories. Tony asked if we remember how we felt about the fact, and when we first realized how much God loved us. I do remember vividly for I had to pull over on the side of the road because I was crying so much with tears of joy, I could not drive.
I was listening to a series on the blood covenant and it was during the time the teacher was explaining the relationship between David and Jonathan. The Scripture states in several places that these two men entered into a covenant. The traditional items were exchanged like weapons, armor and belts, and while the Scripture does not specifically state it, they most likely make a blood brother covenant. This standard action involves cutting themselves and leaving a scar, thus a permanent reminder of what they have committed to each other.
One of the key parts of this covenant is that it not only affects the two parties directly involved, but all those who would come from these two men generationally. David and Jonathan’s children would automatically be in the covenant. They had nothing to do with the act, yet received all of the benefits from the covenant entered into before they were even born.
Enter Mephibosheth. Now there is a name you do not here too much today. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son that had become crippled when his nurse dropped him as a child. The nurse was fleeing for her life during a time of political upheaval, she tripped, and Mephibosheth was maimed as a result. Mephibosheth grew up in a lonely place called Lo-debar, which is on the backside of the desert.
Since Mephibosheth was a direct descendent of Saul, he most likely had a strong hatred for the new King, David. Being raised by those that David had displaced, I am sure they did little to endear him to the new king. In fact, it would be very probable that Mephibosheth heard such things as this: “If David finds you he will kill you.” “David hates you and will do everything possible to establish his kingdom and that means death for you if he finds you.” “David stole the throne that you are rightly entitled to,” and other choice comments.
We know from reading 2 Samuel 9 that David does look for Mephibosheth. In fact, he discovers that he is living and sends for him. Mephibosheth was most likely afraid for his life, fell down before the king, and called himself a dead dog. The king begins his discussion with Mephibosheth with “Do not fear,” which is exactly what he was doing in the kings presence!
Mephibosheth probably had no way of knowing about the covenant his father had entered into for he was just a baby when his daddy died. Those around him had no way of knowing either for it was done in secret. David knew and he wanted to honor it. Mephibosheth probably expected to hear, “off with his head,” but he never expected to hear what he did.
The king said to him, “I will show you kindness for the sake of your father, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather and you will eat at my table always.” Wow. Mephibosheth might have had some thoughts like, “I am not worthy of this,” or “I have hated you all my life and this is what you do for me.” Whatever his thoughts, what he came to understand is the same thing we must understand.
What took place before we were even born was signed, sealed, and delivered by others. In our case, Jesus and the Father made a blood covenant, cut on the cross over 2,000 years ago. We enter into this covenant not by our works, but by being born again into the family. We can do nothing to deserve it and even while we were God’s enemies, He sought us and desired to do good for us.
Maybe Mephibosheth was eating breakfast one day and someone said to him, “You have a lot of nerve being at this table, how dare you!” About that time, David passes the butter and the scar comes into view. Or, Mephibosheth could point to the armor standing over in the corner and say, “That’s my dads, and because of what they did, I do now get to be here. Of course I don’t deserve it, but it was all decided before I was even born.”
When I realized that Jesus loved me so much to enter into a covenant with the Father, I wept. Jesus endured beating, bleeding and dying for my sin. I did not deserve anything, but received everything by His actions centuries before I was even born. Realizing how much it cost to forgive us should move us to tears, repentance and love. I do not deserve anything but judgment but have received everything good, in this life and the one to come.
I cannot work up anything and I certainly do not deserve anything, but I have received everything because of something that I had nothing to do with! What a blessing to consider! God the Father and Jesus worked out everything before the foundation of the world, and if you are born again, you are one of the family! The blessings we receive are not earned, but are given because of a covenant cut by Others. Think about that for a bit and I bet you move to tears and worship, at least I did, and still do.