Shame Killer

It is no secret that most men hide from God in fear. We are afraid of His righteous judgement, and we have a misunderstanding of His character, always expecting disapproval. So, we hide in shame. We see this exemplified back in the garden when God comes looking for Adam and Eve…

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” -Genesis 3:8-10 (NASB)

From that day to this, men and women still hide from Him, -and for much the same reasons.
There is a great story tucked away in 2 Samuel, that perhaps all of us can identify with. It’s the story of a young man named Mephibosheth. Yes, say that ten times fast!
Mephibosheth is the grandson of King Saul, and the son of Jonathan, David’s great friend. As a young boy of five, he had become lame in both feet. We read in 2 Samuel 4, he was dropped in an accident when his nursemaid, upon hearing the news that his father and grandfather had perished, rushed to escape their home. There would have been great cause to flee, as it was routine for newly appointed kings to seek to extinguish the life of all other claimants to the throne.

When we get to 2 Samuel 9, we see David now firmly established as the King of all Israel, and he seeks out members of Saul’s household whom he can bless. (David is wanting to fulfill a promise that he made to Jonathan recorded in 1 Samuel 20:12-17.) David has to search out this surviving young man Mephibosheth, who, no doubt, is hiding. When David summons him, Mephibosheth comes to David, but in terror. The gracious King comforts him right away, telling him to not be afraid, and then begins to pour out on this poor lame man, all of the blessings at his sovereign disposal. David grants to him all of his Grandfather’s possessions and land along with servants. Beyond that, David receives this cripple into his own home, inviting him to dine at his table freely as often as he pleases.

What once was Mephibosheth’s inheritance, having been forfeited because of sin, is restored to him by the gracious king. What a beautiful picture of God’s grace this is. All of us are like Mephibosheth, fearfully living under a sentence of death. Crippled by sin, we are invited to come to the King, yet we are reluctant, having nothing to offer and ashamed of our helpless condition. Mephibosheth means “shame dispeller” -I like to call him “shame killer.”
This story is incredibly deep. The longer you consider it, in light of the gospel, the more you see the picture of the grace that is ours in Jesus.

In a day when self reliance is considered such a noble goal, the gospel invites us to come, not based upon anything good in us, but in the good grace of the King who invites us.

We are invited to come, in abject humility.
We are invited to come, though we have nothing to offer.
We are invited to come, based on the work and relationship of another.
We are invited to come, and partake of a promise.
We are invited to come, and be blessed, even though society would cast us away.

As Mephibosheth comes, and receives, he never becomes more than a recipient of God’s grace.
Though good for nothing in the world eyes, and without glory apart from grace, is used for the glory of the King.
The shame that was once his, is dispelled… effectively killed… by that very grace.
I’m reminded of the old hymn:

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

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