HARDLY WORTH A GLANCE
Samuel Kuo — Hillsborough,
New Jersey, USA
On top of the list
read “DEAD DOG.”
But I completely
forgot why I wrote it down.
When I recently
moved, one of the first things I bought was a small, personal whiteboard. I
planned on using it by jotting down the things I needed to buy, errands to run,
or required engagements to attend.
While it was used as
originally intended, I found myself also forming a column of terse, spiritually
related statements on the right-hand side of the whiteboard. They were words
that struck me when reading the Bible and profound ideas that were discussed
during Bible studies.
were expressions that made me think of particularities—all of which served as
reminders of areas where I needed to improve in my faith. The items were
personal and specifically for myself, so they never
exceeded two or three words: “1 Peter ,”
“Obey > Sacrifice,” “Know = Serve+,” “Heart, Soul, Strength,” “Luke -42.”
This was just part
of the list.
On one particular morning,
on top of the list read “Dead Dog.” And I had completely forgotten why I had
written it down.
It became really
bothersome until hours later it finally occurred to me that I had written two
words—two words from Bible study a week earlier—recorded in 2 Samuel 9:8: “Then
he bowed himself, and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should look upon
such a dead dog as I?’” They are the
words of Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, who was lame in both feet. How easily I forget.
King Saul’s death in a battle with the Amalekites,
there was a power struggle within the kingdom
of Israel. One of Saul’s sons, Ishbosheth, was appointed
King of Israel, while David was appointed king of Judah.
Though not intended
by David, the days and years that ensued resulted in the near annihilation of
King Saul’s descendants and his loyalists including Ishbosheth and Abner, save
Mephibosheth (cf. 2 Samuel 2-4).
ascension to the throne, King David sought to show kindness to anyone left in
Saul’s house for Jonathan’s sake (2 Sam 9:1).
This resulted in a tremendously loving gesture to Mephibosheth: King
David restored to him all the land of his grandfather, King Saul, and appointed
him to eat at his table continually.
complete humility, Mephibosheth replied, “What is your servant,
that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?” (2 Sam 9:8).
In truth, we are not
much different than Mephibosheth.
Spiritually lame, there is little we can do to return the indescribable
favor God shows us. Deserving no mercy,
we are shown mercy—having part in a glorious kingdom we have no right to
inherit in the first place. Merely
worthless sinners, we enjoy the blessings that God bestows at His table day by
In reality, we are
dead dogs, hardly worth a glance, barely worth the gag.
Even though we know
these things, all too often, what happened to me happens to all of us—we
forget. We forget our true nature before a holy and pure God. We forget what we
enjoy now is all due to God’s grace and, simply, that. Grace.
We forget that we
are undeserving of this kindness, totally unworthy of His grace. However, He
showed us love. Our status as His children, the blessings we enjoy, the
promises we trust in, the hope that preserves us—all stem from the grace shown
by a singular event—that a holy and loving God would die for the sake of
sinners like us (Rom 5:8).
Those who forget
their sinful origin and the grace that covered it eventually lose compassion,
forgiveness, and love. Instead, they gain more coldness, complaints, and
self-righteousness—even reverting to their sinful origins.
Those who constantly
remember their sinful origin and the grace that covered it eventually do great
things for God, winning more and repaying grace with a sincere gratitude. Think
Peter1. Think Paul2.
I have forgotten.
Will I choose to remember?
“What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered
was all for sinners’ gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression, But Thine the
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! Tis I deserve Thy place.
Look on me with Thy favor, Vouchsafe to me thy grace.”
--Bernard of Clairvaux
(cf. Mt 26:69-75, Acts 2-5, 10)
(cf. 1 Tim , 2 Cor -15)