Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Sa 9
" 'Don't be afraid,' David said to him [Mephibosheth], 'for I
will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will
restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will
always eat at my table' " (2Sa 9:7).
What a blessing! To be invited to eat at the king's table.
Although -- like Mephibosheth -- we may have a limp as we walk there, it is
nevertheless good to go!
"Mephibosheth bowed down and said, 'What is your servant, that
you should notice a dead dog like me?' " (v 8).
"If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David's kindness, what
shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the
less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity...
The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference
above itself, because they have never contracted sin: a dog may be greedy,
fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to
resist. A dog may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is soon
won to love its master, and is faithful unto death; but we forget the goodness
of the Lord, and follow not at His call. The term 'dead dog' is the most
expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is none too strong to express the
self-abhorrence of instructed believers. They do not affect mock modesty, they
mean what they say, they have weighed themselves in the balances of the
sanctuary, and found out the vanity of their nature. At best, we are but clay,
animated dust... but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be
published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus should set his heart's love
upon such as we are" (CH Spurgeon).
"And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at
the king's table, and he was crippled in both feet" (v 13).
"Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he
had a continual place at David's board, because the king could see in his face
the features of the beloved Jonathan [2Sa 9:7]. Like Mephibosheth, we may cry
unto the King of Glory, 'What is Thy servant, that Thou shouldst look upon such
a dead dog as I am?' [2Sa 9:8] but still the Lord indulges us with most familiar
intercourse with Himself, because he sees in our countenances the remembrance of
His dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord's people are dear for another's sake. Such is
the love which the Father bears to His only begotten, that for his sake He
raises his lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to courtly companionship,
noble rank, and royal provision. Their deformity shall not rob them of their
privileges. Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if
he could run like Asahel [2Sa 2:18]. Our right does not limp, though our might
may. A king's table is a noble hiding-place for lame legs, and at the gospel
feast we learn to glory in infirmities, because the power of Christ resteth upon
us. Yet grievous disability may mar the persons of the best-loved saints. Here
is one feasted by David, and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go
up with the king when he fled from the city, and was therefore maligned and
injured by his servant Ziba [2Sa 19:26,27]. Saints whose faith is weak, and
whose knowledge is slender, are great losers; they are exposed to many enemies,
and cannot follow the king whithersoever he goeth. This disease frequently
arises from falls [2Sa 4:4]. Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes
converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover, and sin in
other cases brings broken bones. Lord, help the lame to leap like an hart, and
satisfy all Thy people with the bread of Thy table!" (CHS).
Reading 2 - Jer 13
"The taller they are, the harder they fall! Judah prided
itself in its great privileges, and ignored the responsibilities that came with
such a position in the divine reckoning. Jeremiah was commissioned to declare
the prophecy of the marked girdle (vv 1-11). The linen girdle was the symbol of
righteousness, based on faith. It was the ordinance of priests, and thus a fit
emblem for Judah, which is likened to a kingdom of priests. But the girdle had
lost its significance because of the manner of Israel's contempt for the
righteousness of Yahweh. Jeremiah took the girdle to the Euphrates, for Yahweh
would take Judah into captivity through the Babylonians. The nation had not
honoured its profession.
"Then came the prophecy of the wine jars (vv 12-14). The
earthenware bottles likewise represented Judah, which would be broken, and the
contents spilled, as the people would be subjected to the attacks of the Gentile
powers. Thus the prophet warned the nation against pride (vv 15-21). By
acknowledging their folly and seeking forgiveness, the people could have been
redeemed. Jehoiachin and his mother (v 18) would be involved in the captivity,
for their external marks of glory were only a facade for their real character.
So Judah would be scattered (vv 22-27). Hypocrites are seldom ready to
acknowledge their own faults and Yahweh's righteousness, so the judgment fell
heavily upon the nation, and the words of Jeremiah were confirmed" (GE
Reading 3 - Mat 24:48-51
"But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My
master is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow
servants' " --
that is, who do not serve God truly, and furthermore abuse
those who attempt to do so...
" 'and to eat and drink with drunkards' " --
...that is, to enjoy the worst possible fellowship with the
"The master of that servant will come on a day when he does
not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and
assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing
of teeth" (Mat 24:48-51).
Literally, "shall cut him asunder" (AV): the Greek is
"dikotomesi" (cp the English "dichotomy"), meaning to cut in two. The "Lord"
upon his return will, by the "sword" of his judgment, separate the real man from
the actor, revealing him for a hypocrite!
Or, possibly, "cutting him in two", as is done with the
covenant-victim -- to make him a sacrifice!