Such a Dead Dog as I Am


David and Jonathan were brothers in a blood covenant, each to bless the heirs of the other to the best of his ability. When Jonathan was killed in battle the nurse-maid of his son Mephibosheth hurried the child out of the camp. She was terrified that David would slay any descendant of King Saul. In her haste she dropped the child and he was rendered a cripple. His name meant "destroying shame".

Several years later, David as king was eager to determine whether any heir of Jonathan remained alive. He was compelled by the force of his covenant and by compassion for the memory of his dead friend. He heard the story of the crippled youth and went with an entourage to find him.

As the band approached Mephibosheth's residence he cowered in fear, expecting the worst. In the intervening years he had often contemplated how the King would hold him in contempt. Disfigured. Disinherited. Dishonoured.

How shocked he was to discover that David only wanted to bless him and to involve him in the royal household and estate. Hear the exchange in 2 Samuel 9:

6Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!

7And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.

8And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

9Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.

10Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.


Mephibosheth did not understand the intensity of the covenant which his father had cut with King David. He had no conception of his real standing or entitlement. His self-estimate was pathetic.

Do we not find ourselves in the same position? God has bound Himself by covenant with Jesus, sealed with the blood of Calvary to bless all of the Body of Christ with the best that he has, and forever. Neither are we "dead dogs" but rather joint heirs with Christ. Stand tall! Rejoice! Come to the table.

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