Sometimes the greatest gifts and treasures come in packages that hide their true identity. It takes time to unwrap what is on the inside. In some cases the package does not match the beauty or value of the real gift inside. The receiver may even misjudge the worth of the gift if they judge it by the outside wrapping.
People are gifts that have been wrapped in packages of flesh and life’s situations. Their true identities are hidden in packages of poverty, gender, skin color, disabilities and the list continues. The Bible says “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7). God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed His breath of life into him (Genesis 2). During creation God told man to take dominion and subdue the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). Taking dominion is one of the jobs of a king. God calls us kings and priests (Revelation 1:6). We are treasures of kings wrapped in the packages of our external circumstances.
Life is a process of unwrapping the gifts that God has placed within us and others. The process is an adventure that we all have an opportunity to participate. We will examine the life of Mephibosheth who had royalty wrapped up in two lame feet.
Royalty Revealed
Mephibosheth had the potential to become king, but he had lame feet because he was dropped as a child. He also dealt with the death of his father and grandfather at a young age. According to Hitchcock’s Bible Names his name means “out of my mouth proceeds reproach”. Reproach is a word of negative connotation like to blame or to find fault. Other Bible dictionaries give the definition “exterminator of shame, i.e., idols”. In the Bible someone’s name spoke of their destiny.   Both of these definitions will become true as we examine his life.
Let us look at Mephibosheth’s background. He had royalty in his lineage because of his grandfather, King Saul. This meant that one day he could have become king because of his lineage. Also, agreements were made for his good before he was born. His father, Jonathan, became best friends with David who God chose to rule Israel in King Saul’s place (1 Samuel 16). The Bible says that Jonathan loved David as his own soul (1 Samuel 18:3). One day Jonathan and David made a covenant that David would always show kindness to the house of Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:14-17). Everything was in place for Mephibosheth to live a life of royalty.
 Mephibosheth’s birth went well and his life was like any other royal child until he was five years old and everything changed. King Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle. After hearing the news his maid grabbed the little boy and began to run for their lives. In the rush he fell and injured himself to the point of never recovering. Below is the Biblical account of the story.
2 Samuel 4:4 Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
The Bible does not mention Mephibosheth again until he is an adult and is living in a place called Lodebar, which means “no pasture”.   It was a place of despair, fruitfulness and no life. He lived in the house of Machir who was the son of Ammiel. Machir means “to be sold” and Ammiel means “people of God”. Mephibosheth was placed with the people of God while he awaited the time of his destiny. Even in the middle of hopelessness God was setting Mephibosheth up for greatness in the midst of His people. The steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord. God is working even in the place that seems dark and gloomy in our life, and destiny seems to be dead.
During this time, David is now king and remembers his promise to Jonathan and request for someone from Saul’s family to bless. He sends his servant to bring Mephibosheth to the palace.
2 Samuel 9:3-5 Then the king said, "Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?" And Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet." So the king said to him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said to the king, "Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar." Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar.
When Mephibosheth arrived to the palace we see two different views of his life. First King David calls him royalty after the lineage of his grandfather and the friendship with his father Jonathan. David knew Mephibosheth’s background before he was born. He knew the agreement that was made for Mephibosheth before he became disabled with two lame feet. Therefore, David restored to him the land that was his and also gave him a place at the king’s table. All of this was done regardless of Mephibosheth’s natural circumstances, but according to covenant. Read 2 Samuel 9:6-7 below.
2 Samuel 9:6-7 Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, "Mephibosheth?" And he answered, "Here is your servant!" So David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.“
The next verse shows us Mephibosheth’s view of himself. He called himself a “dead dog”. This term symbolizes unworthiness or being despised. Mephibosheth’s circumstances have gotten the best of him, causing him to forget who he was by birth. He took his identity with his limitations and where he lived.
2 Samuel 8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
King David restored Mephibosheth to his rightful position according to destiny and covenant. Both of these outweigh any physical situation in life. They are both decided by God who orders everything from beginning to end. He is the Alpha and Omega.
Taking Our Seat
There are two basic views of our life: what the Word of God says and what our circumstances say. The Word of God proclaimed our destiny before we were born. God told Jeremiah that He knew him before he was formed in his mother’s womb and called him as a prophet (Jeremiah 1:5). In Psalm 139:16, David said that all of our days were written in a book before time.   We have been destined for greatness and all things work together for our good:
Romans 8:28-31 “ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
These verses gives us hope for our lives no matter what opposition we may face. Verse 29 speaks of being in the image of the Son, Jesus Christ. This means that we take on the character, mindsets and actions of Jesus. He walked in victory as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords despite being born in a manger and growing up in Nazareth. Some even questioned what good thing could come from Nazareth (John 1:46). None of these things stopped Jesus from walking in the authority that the Father gave Him. Jesus said that we have been given the same authority.
Verse 30 tells us the way that God has prepared for us. It mentions predestined, called, justified and glorified. Predestined can be defined as predetermined destiny or a plan put into place before-hand. Called means to bid or name. God has bid us to take our position in His kingdom. The word justified means to make innocent. When we repent from our sins the Father cleanses us. Finally we are glorified which is to be made glorious. This is a position where we are seated in heavenly places with Jesus Christ.
Verse 31 sums everything up by proclaiming if God be for us then who can be against us. If He has done all these things for us then anything that life throws our way cannot stop us. No one and nothing can remove us from our seat with Christ. We must be fully persuaded that we are more than conquerors and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:35-39).
The key to take our seat with Christ is to know the covenant or promises that have been made for our lives. The Bible is full of great promises for our life. Here are a few:
· We have been made the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28)
· God has plans to give us a good future (Jeremiah 29:11)
· We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:16)
· God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19)
· God has given us all things for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
· God will complete the work that He began in us (Philippians 1:6)
· God will perfect everything that concerns us (Psalms 138:8)
· God will order our steps (Psalms 37:23)
· No weapon formed against us will prosper (Isaiah 54)
· God will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)
· We have been given the victory to overcome this world (1 John 5:4)
· God will never put on us more than what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13)
· God’s grace is sufficient for us and when we are weak then He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
The Bible is filled with many more promises. We must take time to find and study what the Word of God says about us and our situations. It is important that we read, meditate and obey God’s Word (Joshua 1:7-8; Psalm 1:1-3). Our faith grows as we continually hear the Word (Romans (10:17). The Word is the covenant that God has put in place for our lives since the beginning.
After meeting King David Mephibosheth could no longer think of himself as a dirty dog, but as the son of a king. As we encounter God through His Word our mindsets will change and we will find ourselves sitting in heavenly places with Jesus Christ.
The challenge is to discover who we are in Christ and then help people around us to discover who they are in Him. Remember, we are not defined by our exterior says, but by what God has said about us since the beginning. Once we take our position as kings and priests of the Most High God then we can remember to help someone else to take their place.
 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
(Matthew 13:44)