Looking for an Enemy to Love
If you remember, I love a good Bible story and often I choose one that people don’t teach. How many of you go out looking for an enemy? I have enough trouble with people I know and family members; enemies don’t rank high on my list. Of course, I should repent because Luke 6:27-28 says, But I say (Jesus speaking) to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. I think a lot of people still try to live under the law because of all the emotions generated by hate and unforgiveness. Matthew 5:38-39 tells us, that it was said an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on right cheek, turn to him the other also.
When King Saul and his son Jonathan were killed in battle, Jonathan’s brother Ishbosheth (another story to tell later) laid caim to the throne. It was the custom in those days for a new king to kill all other claimants to the throne, even members of his own family, in order to secure his position. A nurse fled with Jonathan’s son Merib-baal fearing for his life. During the flight she fell and dropped him, and both his feet were broken. He did not receive proper care, and he was lame for the rest of his life. He was only 5 years old (2 Samuel 4:4). Somewhere in this time, his name went from Merib-baal (Hero of the Lord) to Mehibosheth, which means “From the Mouth of Shame”. It could be in reference to Saul’s defeat or to his own lameness. A physical defect was believed to be punishment for sin.
Now we have this young child that has to worry about his uncle’s action but also the man regarded by his uncle and his grandfather to be an enemy—David. David could have chosen to wipe out the family of Saul and seize the throne especially now with Judah and Israel split. So you can feel for this young man when he is called to appear before David. He limps in and King David says to him, “Do not be afraid, for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather, and you will always eat at my table,” 2 Samuel 9:7. Ziba an old friend of David was assigned to take care of the lands and Mephibosheth was once again treated like royalty.