Mephibosheth was the crippled son of David’s covenant friend Jonathan and the grandson of Saul, the disgraced King of Israel. Following the demise of the house of Saul due to his own rebellion and disobedience, David, a shepherd at heart, sought for a descendent of Jonathan so he could show him covenant kindness on behalf of Jonathan. Covenant kindness is an intense and burning desire to show someone kindness with overwhelming force and power because of a sacred and irrevocable promise. The covenant minded man does not rest until he finds a way to express that kindness.
David was told there was a descendent named Mephibosheth living in a place called Lo Debar. Lo Debar was a place literally without a pasture, barren, fruitless, and destitute. King David ordered that a broken and isolated Mephibosheth be brought back to his house, that the wealth and land of Saul be restored to him, and that he would always eat at the King’s table. In a single day this lonely, fearful, and forsaken soul went from living in utter desolation in Lo Debar to enjoying the favor of the King and the social, spiritual, and financial restoration that only he could provide. The name Mephibosheth means “exterminator of shame.” It’s interesting that God would take this remaining obscure member of the house of Saul and use him to remove the shame from Saul’s family. Just think, you could be the person God uses to remove the shame from your family.
It’s truly amazing just how fast our lives can turn around when we are in right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It’s ironic that David, a shepherd by trade, would bring Mephibosheth into his fold and provide him with a rich, lush, and fruitful pasture to live out the rest of his days. Jesus is our good shepherd who promises that through him we can go in and out and find pasture and enjoy an overflowing abundant life (John 10:9-11). No matter who you are, where you’re from, what your family is like, or what you’ve done, the good shepherd will scoop you up as well and bring you to his pasture where he promises restoration, guidance, protection, provision, favor, and ultimately eternal life (Psalm 23).
So how do we go from Lo Debar to the wonderful pasture God has for us? First we have to accept the shepherd, the only son of God Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. The benefits of restoration belong to the children of God. Membership in the body of Christ does have its privileges. Second, we need to get back in the fold (a local Bible believing and teaching church) because restoration takes place in the fold. Too many Christians have bought in to the lie that it’s not necessary to be faithful to a local body. They suggest they can live out their faith on their own. The truth is, however, Scripture commands connection to and involvement in the local church so we can grow, experience restoration, and be there to help others as well (Hebrews 10:24-5). Finally, we need to listen to and apply what the shepherd has to say to us through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word through the under shepherds the Lord raises up to lead, guide, tend, and feed us. Our barren lives will begin to flourish when through obedience we release the anointing on the Word to bring to pass what was promised.