That is horrible imagery! Nobody wants to envision a dead dog. Ever! But, it wasn’t always that way. In fact, in the time of Mephibosheth, wild dogs were a nuisance. They ran in packs terrorizing everyone. So, seeing one lying on the side of the road dead, was less than a sad moment. In other words, a dead dog was the lowest of the low. So, why does Mephibosheth refer to himself as a dead dog in today’s reading? Because he too, was the lowest, of the low.
Consider these four reasons that Mephibosheth considered himself a dead dog to David.
- Mephibosheth’s family tried to kill David.
- Mephibosheth is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel
- Mephibosheth is handicapped.
As I think about this situation, I have to wonder why David wants to help him. I mean, it makes sense that David would want to tread him like a dead dog, right? But, that did not happen. Instead, David does the unthinkable. He shows him kindness, restores the land that is rightfully his and brings him into his own house, like family.
Why would David do such a thing? Mephibosheth’s question in verse 8 is an appropriate one. He asks “why would you show such regard for a dead dog, such as I?” After all, he knew his worth. But David’s plan was love, not revenge.
If you didn’t notice, this story is a familiar one. It’s about a man that gave his life so we could live. He did it despite our family history or our physical insufficiency. Like David, Jesus did the unthinkable, taking our burden upon himself so that we might be restored and become who He created us to be.