Give Thanks to God!
Thanksgiving Day provides a time for Americans to gather in family groups to extol the virtues of our country and express our gratitude for the privilege of living here, even while acknowledging the inequities and sins committed against the host people and those who were brought here in chains.
My grandparents, who fled “Russia-Poland” (as it was called due to shifting borders) and constant persecution, loved America. They struggled to learn English. Yiddish was spoken only in the home and with local shopkeepers. They washed the “stoop” (front steps) of their downtown tenement and even scrubbed the sidewalks in front of their adoptive home. They became AMERICANS in spite of prejudice, poverty, and anti-Semitism.
One illustration of this gift of a new life comes from the Bible’s account of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth.
2 Samuel 4:4 — Saul’s son Jonathan had a son whose legs
were crippled. He was five years old when the news
about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel,
and his nurse picked him up and fled.
It came about, as she was hurrying to flee, that he fell
and was crippled. His name was Mephibosheth.
After the death of Jonathan and Saul, David inquired about the welfare of their
family. He could have sought to wipe them out as potential enemies of his dynasty; but instead, David rose to meet God’s expectations for him.
From 2 Samuel 9—
Then David inquired, “Is there anyone still left
from the house of Saul, so that I may show him
kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”…
3”There is still a son of Jonathan,” Ziba said to the king,
“with crippled legs.”…4 “He’s there, in the house of Machir
son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.”
The Hebrew language is pictorial and poetic, and the names of the people in this narrative tell a deeper story. Mephibosheth is made up of two roots:
paah = which means “to break into pieces, or shatter,”
bosheth = which means “greatly ashamed, shameful thing,” and “confusion.” Broken, ashamed, confused
“In the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo Debar. ”
Machir: from the root makar = to be sold into/given over to death
Ammiel: from the root amam = darkness/to be held in darkness
Lo = nothing, not
Debar: from dober = pasture/promise
2 Samuel 9:6, 7—
Then Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan
son of Saul, came to David, fell on his face and
prostrated himself. “Mephibosheth!” David said.
“Behold your servant!” he answered.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him,
“for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your
father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land
of your grandfather Saul, and you will always
eat bread at my table.”
The King of Kings Has Spared Us
We, too, were crippled in a fall (in the Garden of Eden) and we were broken, ashamed, and confused—living in the house of darkness, given over to death in a place of no pasture. The King of Kings has spared us and invited us to sit with Him (here and in heavenly places) at His table and eat continually from the bread of Heaven. Thanks be to God!
This is the high calling for this ministry: to introduce Believers to the land and people of Israel, and to introduce pre-believers to the One who invites us all to His table. Your prayers and gifts of funds make all our efforts possible, so we thank you as well.
Give thanks to God, the King of Kings!
Image courtesy The Jesus Chick