Paulette Reed

The body of Christ is in an amazing season of restoration. The Lord longs to restore what the enemy has taken away from us and help us to step into the abundant life He came to release. While He was physically present on the earth, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). It is God’s desire that we walk in the abundant life that Jesus promised to us.

The King’s Kindness

There is a story in the Old Testament that shows David’s kindness to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. That story is a great indicator of how God wants to restore abundant life to us in our own day. Let’s read 2 Samuel 9:1–13.

One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked.

“Yes sir, I am,” Ziba replied.

The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.”

Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”

“Where is he?” the king asked.

“In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.”

So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home. His name was Mephibosheth; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.”

Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”

“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”

Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?”

Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and servants are to farm the land for him to produce food for your master’s household. But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will eat here at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

Ziba replied, “Yes, my lord the king; I am your servant, and I will do all that you have commanded.” And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table, like one of the king’s own sons.

Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. From then on, all the members of Ziba’s household were Mephibosheth’s servants. And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem and ate regularly at the king’s table.

Up until this time, there were many years of warfare, turmoil, and upheaval. Following the warfare, David finally had the time to reflect and dream once again. The enemy had been chasing him for a long time, and God finally said, “Enough!” Here is a life key: When warfare subsides and God restores our souls, it’s time to dream again. While King David was dreaming, he remembered a promise that he made to Jonathan. Our King of kings remembers all of His promises too.

What Was the Promise?

Let’s back up about fifteen years, so we can understand the context in which this promise was made. When David was a young man who tended his father’s sheep, he went to the battle lines one day to take his brother’s some food. When he saw Goliath defying the armies of Israel, he ended up going into battle and killing Goliath, the giant.

At the time, Saul was the king of Israel. He was struggling because he had been disobedient to the Lord, so there was a troubling spirit that would come upon Saul, causing him to be very upset and restless. The Lord had already told Saul through the prophet Samuel that due to Saul’s disobedience, God was going to take away the kingdom from him and give it to someone more deserving (see 1 Samuel 15:28–29).

As we can imagine, Saul’s emotions were run amok. Saul loved the fact that David could play the harp, so he invited him into his house. While in Saul’s presence, David sang and played the harp, worshipping God, which helped Saul calm down when the troubling spirit was harassing him.  After some time, however, David started gaining fame and the people began to sing about him, “Saul has slain thousands, but David tens of thousands.” This did not appeal to Saul at all, and an ugly spirit of jealousy moved into his heart.

Jonathan, Saul’s son, was heir to the throne, and David and Jonathon were best friends. One day, while David was playing music in Saul’s house, Saul became furious and threw a javelin at David, just missing him. Of course, this made David realize he was no longer welcome there. David said to Jonathan, “Your dad is going to kill me.” Jonathan and David made a plan. Jonathan explained that he wanted to talk to his father, Saul, and after he did he would come into the field in which David was hiding. When he shot an arrow, if it went far away, past David, then this would be a sign that David was right—Saul was angry with David and he’d better run, far away. If, however, the arrow landed close by, then David would know he could stay close by at Saul’s house.

While David and Jonathan were making their plan, they also made a pact with each other. Jonathan said, “David, promise me something. I know you’re going to be king someday. Please show us lovingkindness. Please show us mercy. Please don’t kill us when you are king” (see 1 Samuel 20). Historically, when a new king came to reign, the old king and his entourage were killed.

David said, “Of course, I won’t hurt you. I’m going to stand beside you. You’re my dear friend! I’m going to watch over you and your family.”

The Drop

Following the warfare and turmoil that characterized Saul’s reign, news of Saul and Jonathan’s deaths reached the house of Saul.  In order to avoid danger and save Mephibosheth’s life (Jonathan’s son who was just five years old at the time), his nurse picked him up to flee with him. When she began to run for her life and his, however, she dropped him, and he became lame in his feet (see 2 Samuel 4:4). Now, the person who was supposed to look after Mephibosheth didn’t mean to hurt him; she was simply upset, tired, and perhaps burnt out from all that had taken place in the preceding days.

The caregiver was someone who was intending to do Mephibosheth good, but, in the process, she dropped him, and Mephibosheth became paralyzed. Mephibosheth ended up in a place called Lo-Debar, which is a type of barrenness.

In Lo-Debar, there was no word, no communication, no pasture, no land, nothing green—nothing could grow there. It was a place where there was no hope. It is a place where people put you when they don’t know what to do with you. It is a place of rejection. Mephibosheth had been labeled; he had been misunderstood.

Perhaps people have made promises to you, promises to do you good, but then they dropped you. They were trying to help, but instead, they caused you harm. Maybe you felt rejected and you no longer have hope. Listen, no matter what others have done to you, know that the true King of kings does not forget His promises. In fact, He actually goes searching so He can bless you.

The King Keeps His Promises

David announced, “Is there anyone else I can show kindness to?” During his time of reflection, David wanted to be certain that he didn’t miss anyone included in his promise to his friend Jonathan. He was a king who wanted to bless and a king who wanted to keep his word. Let’s take note that the king didn’t say, “Is there anyone who is perfect? Is there anyone who is qualified?” Rather, he said, “Is there anyone left whom I may show kindness to?”

The Hebrew word for kindness here is hesed. It not only means kindness but beauty, favor, good deeds, lovingkindness, mercy, and . . . amazing grace. Jesus says to us today, “For My Father’s sake, I am here to bless you. I’m here to bring revival to your soul. I’m here to restore you.” Mephibosheth was a recipient of the grace given through the covenant between David and Jonathan; likewise, as friends of God, we are recipients of the covenant.  

Mephibosheth lived for fifteen years unaware that amazing grace was available for him, probably dwelling on his misfortune and his lot in life. How many years have gone by while we were unaware of the grace and kindness of God? Have we responded to the grace of God in our own lives? Are we angry at God for our circumstances? As the royal priesthood, we are the beneficiaries of the King and His Kingdom.  

It’s time to step out of Lo-Debar and raise the bar to the standards of the Excellent One! The King wants to bless you and your family. He has not forgotten what you didn't get. You are coming into a season of restoration, beloved. The enemy meant the drop for evil, but God is going to turn it for your good as you fall into abundance.

The Invitation to the King’s Table

I don’t know if the Lord will restore things exactly as they were before. The Bible doesn’t tell us that God restored the use of Mephibosheth’s legs. But, I’m quite certain, that as Mephibosheth daily sat at the king’s table, it didn’t matter much anymore. What mattered was that David blessed him and his family, restored his life, and gave him back his land. Mephibosheth sat at the king’s table for his remaining days. He was fully and wonderfully provided for because God never makes a promise that He does not keep.

The invitation today is to come and eat at the King’s table and enjoy the King’s riches. Choose life. Leave Lo-Debar and receive God’s amazing and matchless grace. Fall into His arms today. Fall into His abundance. God wants to take you from being paralyzed to healed, from broken to whole. He’s searching for people to bless. He says, “Is there anyone I can bless?”