Today is day four of our twentieth week, reading the Bible through together in a year. Our scriptures today are: 2 Samuel 9-10; 1 Chronicles 18-19; Acts 26; Psalm 89.
Earlier this week, I revealed my age by talking about listening to Petra's music, back in the late 1980s. Since I did it then, I might as well do it again. Also back in the 80s, I remember Valley Talk. You may remember...
"Like, gag me with a spoon!" (Translation into English: Nobody actually wanted to be gagged with a spoon. Simply means, "yuck!")
"That is so rad!" (Translation into English: radical)
"That is, like, so groty!" (Translation into English: grotesque)
And, of course, "He is, like, so lame!" (Translation into English: Has nothing to do with ability to walk. Simply means, "useless, powerless, unworthy of attention.")
And, by the way, I have no idea why everything was "like," rather than "exactly." Just sayin'.
In 2 Samuel 9, King David found out that his enemy was, like, so lame. He had come into power, made his kingdom secure, and now wanted to show kindness to the remnants of Saul's house. Verse 1 (ESV) says, And David said, 'Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?' They told him that Mephibosheth, a grandson of Saul, still remained. He had been injured as a child, and was (literally) lame in both of his feet. It was customary in David's day to put the descendants of your enemies to death, so they would not seek vengeance on behalf of their ancestors. Mephibosheth could have a had a claim to Saul's throne, and might have mounted a rebellion, yet David saw no threat in him. Instead, the king wanted to show kindness to Mephibosheth, and offered him an inheritance and a place at the royal table, for the rest of his life. This certainly ran counter to the expectations of the people in David's court. But grace and mercy are more powerful than vengeance.
David knew that his enemy was lame--and was unlikely to pull off any kind of insurrection. Yet he did not find this out until after he inquired after Saul's household, so that he might show mercy. In other words, he didn't decide to show kindness because of Mephibosheth's injured feet. The young man's handicap really had nothing to do with the mercy that David showed. Yet, certainly the disability reassured David when he considered that his enemy's descendant was powerless to overthrow him.
When you pause to consider your enemies, I hope that you'll decide to show them kindness, whether or not you think they are a threat to you. Remember that they are, like, so lame! Not meaning, of course, that they have injured feet--but that they really are no threat after all. When Jesus stood before him, Pilate said: "Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above (John 19:10-11)." If Jesus were speaking Valley, he might have said, "Pilate, you're like, so lame!"
David and Jesus realized the same thing--that our enemies are only as powerful as God allows them to be. Therefore we don't need to fear them. Fearing God is a more important matter. Since your enemies are unable to hurt you outside of God's allowance, why not show them grace and mercy? Why not seek them out just so you can be kind to them? That's what you'll do if you want to be a man or woman after God's own heart.