Living in Lo Debar: The Story of Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 8:15 – 9:13; 1 Chronicles 18:14 – 17)

The latter part of 2 Samuel 8 speaks of the reign of David over all of Israel, and lists all his officers of the kingdom.  Now that there was rest from Israel’s enemies, David began to reflect, and asked if there was anyone from Saul’s house that was left.  One of Saul’s servants, Ziba, was brought to David, and reported that there was a son of Jonathan still alive named Mephibosheth, who was lame in his feet.  He further reported that he lived in the house of Machir, in the land of Lo Debar (Literally, no pasture).  David had him brought from Lo Debar, and Mephibosheth fell on his face before David.  David pledged to show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake, restore his land, and let him eat at his table continually.  Mephibosheth asked why he would be so kind to a dead dog such as himself.  David called Ziba in and told him to farm Mephibosheth’s land and harvest the crop for him.  And Mephibosheth sat at the king’s table as one of the king’s sons, and Ziba’s house served him all his days.

It is told elsewhere that Mephibosheth was dropped by his nurse as a small child, which left him lame in his feet.  Besides that fact, Mephibosheth was also disavowed by the leadership of Israel because his grandfather, the king, and his father, Jonathan, were killed in battle.  He lived in another man’s house, and was not careful about his appearance or hygiene.  He was hopeless, betrayed, and cut out of his inheritance.  Lo Debar, “no pasture,” basically described Mephibosheth’s life.  He had no means or ability to care for himself.  However, David reached out to him with grace and mercy, and restored him to much of what was lost to him.  If you find yourself in Lo Debar, know that Jesus Christ can and will redeem you from the “no pasture” of your life and give you an inheritance and hope for the future.  God can take you from Lo Debar to the king’s table.

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