By Matt Capps
Entitlement is a poison of the modern heart. The root is our sinfulness, but the winds of individualism stir our sense of deservedness to a place where we often don’t even recognize it. Oh, how we easily forget that everything we have comes from the hand of God.
Contentment is a struggle for many in our society, but contentment is most fully enjoyed by the humble of heart. Humility is a strange state to be pursued. As soon as a man claims to have found humility, he at once reveals his pride. The humble person doesn’t claim anything or demand to be noticed. The humble person is the one who doesn’t interpret every situation primarily by how it affects them. In 2 Samuel, Mephibosheth schools us in this kind of humility.
As Scripture informs us, Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan, and the grandson of King Saul. When Mephibosheth was a small child, his father Jonathan was killed in battle. Fearing what the enemy would do to Jonathan’s son, a nurse fled with him to the royal palace in Gibeah. In her haste, the nurse dropped the young Mephibosheth, which resulted in the crippling of both his feet. Thus is the plight of a potential heir to the throne in Israel.
Mephibosheth’s humble physical state is often overshadowed by his humble heart, and rightly so. It is moving to consider that Saul’s rightful heir graciously submits to the new king, David. Given the context, these words from 2 Samuel 9 are strikingly beautiful: “So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table just like one of the king’s sons” (v.11).
At the king’s table. Let that settle in for a moment. He was where he didn’t deserve to be. His seat at the royal table and his presence in the palace weren’t the entitlement of inheritance, but the favor of another.
As the New Testament reminds us, the Lord shows favor to the humble. In fact, we are called to submit and humble ourselves “under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt us at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:6). Isn’t that a comforting promise? When Mephibosheth was stripped of his physical health and his family inheritance, he remained humble, and God providentially established his place.
In a society where everyone around us demands their wants and claims their felt rewards, where are the men of humble strength? In a culture of immediate-need pursuits, often at the expense of others, where are the men who are patient at heart? Our God is sovereign over all creation, and He is able to establish His will over the feeble plights of men. Patiently wait on the Lord, be strong and courageous (Psalm 27:14). As Jesus reminds us, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
Written by Matt Capps