2 Samuel 9-11:27
A few things spoke to me in this passage of scripture. The first involved Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson. David sought him out just so that he could show kindness to him. Mephibosheth was disabled; crippled in both feet. Even though he was the grandson of a king, he called himself “a dead dog.” Disabilities can affect one’s attitude and outlook on life. Mephibosheth saw himself as a dog rather than a descendent of royalty. He allowed his circumstances to dictate his identity rather than trusting in who he really was.
We too can struggle with our identities. Do we see ourselves through the lens of our disabilities and circumstances, or do we see ourselves as God sees us? We are children of almighty God and our identity should be based on him and not our own inadequacies.
David was a great man of God, but he was not without his failures. We see one of the most well-known of his failures in chapter 11. The infamous story of David and Bathsheba! David’s first mistake was staying behind in Jerusalem. He was shirking his responsibilities as king. He should have been out on the battlefield with his men, not lounging around rooftops in the middle of the day.
His eyes beheld a woman of beauty. Rather than flee, he stopped and lingered, soaking in the image of her until his lustful desires overcame him and he committed adultery with her. What should our response be when we are tempted? We should flee! Run as fast as we can in the opposite direction! When we stop and linger, our flesh will overcome us and we will give in to our lustful desires.
This passage of scripture is packed with rich truth. We all desire to produce fruit for God’s kingdom. The only way to do that is to remain in him and submit to his pruning. Pruning can be painful. It involves ridding ourselves of those things that distract us from God’s purposes. It means loving God with all that is within us and putting him first in our lives. Just as Abraham loved God enough to sacrifice his son, we too must love God enough to give up anything he asks.
As we remain in Christ and produce fruit, the world will hate us. Why are we surprised when the world denies Christians the right to pray or the right to freely express their faith, while allowing other faiths to practice their religion as they see fit? Jesus told us clearly that the world hated him and will also hate us. He says that they hated him without cause so we should expect the same.
This Psalm adds to the truths we read in John. In verse 51, the Psalmist says that the proud hold him in utter contempt. Utter contempt speaks of hate. Even in David’s day, the world hated men who followed God’s laws and instructions. All throughout this passage, David talks about God’s laws, regulations, instructions, and commands, and he makes a commitment to stand on those truths. David had moments of utter failure, as he did with Bathsheba, but he also stood firm to God’s laws and truths. David repented of his failure and continued on with a greater tenacity to follow God. We should be encouraged that even though we have moments of failure, we can repent, get back on the path that leads to God, and stay true to his word.