Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Christian Approach to Differently Abled2 Samuel:9
Key Verse: (2 Samuel 9:7-8) “So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”.
This chapter in the book of 2 Samuel, focuses on the story of King David’s grace towards a potential enemy, an heir to the previous ruler, King Saul. In ancient times, a direct descendant or heir to the past ruling dynasty would likely be hunted down and executed by the affiliates of the current ruling dynasty. In the book of Samuel, King Saul was the ruling king and Jonathan was his oldest son. When waging a war with David, King Saul brought about his own death as well as the death of his son Jonathan during battle. Once this had occurred, the prophet Samuel anointed David as the next King. Now David, who is now King David, had asked his servant if there are any descendants of Saul living amongst them. David’s servant Ziba informed him that Jonathan has a son, Mephibosheth who was “crippled in both feet”. David asks to have Mephibosheth come to see him at once. When Mephibosheth arrives, he bows down immediately and humbles himself before King David, possibly frightened that he may die due to his relation to the past King.
Yet, in verse 7, David tells Mephibosheth, “do not fear”. David empathized with Mephibosheth and felt his fear enough to reassure him that he does not have a reason to fear. This is similar to how God empathizes with our fears, and reassures us in another bible verse written in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you”. God encourages us not to fear people, trials, death or illness. He assures us that he will be with us, enduring all things with us. Surely, this act of kindness gives us an increased sense of hope and peace. The same way David showed empathy to Mephibosheth for Johnathan’s sake, God also shows his empathy towards us, for the sake of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Though we may not deserve it, God grants us his grace and mercy. We, in return, should offer this same empathy, mercy and grace towards others, even if they do not possess the same physical, societal, or financial features in life similar to our own. These individuals, who may be incredibly different from us, should also be shown the same sense of empathy and kindness as King David shows Mephibosheth, the direct descendant of King Saul.
In a sense, we are like Mephibosheth, crippled by fears, sin, doubts and weakness. In Verse 8, Mephibosheth compared himself to a “dead dog.” Clearly, he did not feel worthy of the King’s favor, blessings or acts of kindness. We should aim to be more like King David and show grace to those who may not deserve it, those who are different from us as well as those who may feel unworthy of any blessings. As King David honored Mephibosheth by offering to continuously share his table with him, we should also honor those such people. We should treat them with respect and grant them our blessings. This is how we appreciate God’s loving kindness towards us through his Son. We should share it freely with God’s people, no matter who they are, what their abilities may be, or how deserving they are of these gifts.
Dear God, Thank you for helping us understand the grace and mercy you have shown us for the sake of your son Jesus and through these biblical examples. Thank you for offering your blessings and kindness when we ourselves may not be worthy of them or believe we are worthy of them. Help us to offer these gifts of grace, mercy, kindness and respect that we receive from you, freely towards others as well. Help us to follow your paths and emulate your loving kindness in our daily lives. Thank you for your listening to our prayers O Lord. We ask all this in your Blessed Name, Amen.
Thought of the day
The Bible teaches us the Golden Rule: “Do unto others, as what you would like to be done unto you”. May we strive to follow this teaching in our daily lives.
Staten Island Mar Thoma Church, New York