Scriptural Gem for September 2016

In 2 Samuel 4:4 we read: “Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was crippled in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.”
In 2 Samuel 9:3 we read:  The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.”
The Hebrew word, ‘nakeh’, appears only three times in the entire Old Testament. The first and second instances are presented in these verses from 2 Samuel and the word is translated “crippled”. The third instance appears in a seemingly unlikely place and gives us a much deeper understanding of a well-known Bible verse:
Isaiah 66:2 “Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”
When we read the word, “contrite”, what meaning do we attach to it? Humble? Lowly, perhaps? However, knowing that the word is ‘nakeh’ (crippled), we begin to see a different picture. For myself, it immediately brought to mind a Scripture regarding Jacob:
Genesis 32:31 “The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.” For the rest of his life Jacob carried a physical reminder of his encounter with the Living God—he limped in body. But, more profoundly, he became as one “crippled” in spirit. He “saw God face to face, and yet [his] life was spared.” (Genesis 32:30)
Far from a curse, such a “crippling” is a great and precious blessing. It produces a person who no longer has faith in his own abilities—who puts no confidence in the flesh—surely convinced that, apart from Christ Jesus, he can do nothing. May we all cry out to God to bless us with a crippling of spirit that we, finally aware of our weakness, would begin to comprehend His infinite greatness. Only then, will we rest in true dependence upon Him.