Bible stories, when properly told and understood, help make the Bible a source for exciting learning rather than merely an old book inspiring yawns. The Bible story of Mephibosheth offers children an inspiring account teaching multiple lessons. The story begins with Mephibosheth facing a major obstacle as a 5-year-old boy, and ends with Mephibosheth's having lived a life of challenge and success.
Mephibosheth and Story Background
Make time for thoroughly understanding Mephibosheth and his recorded life. He had a rough beginning, having been crippled when his nurse dropped him after hearing that Mephibosheth's father and grandfather were killed in battle. He was only 5 years old then. Later, after starting his own family, King David of Jerusalem sought to honor the covenant he made with Mephibosheth's ancestors, and gave him property and a special position at the royal table.
Reenacting events that happened in Mephibosheth's life will help children get the sense of his story. Major events include the fall that crippled him; the move from the city of Lodebar to Jerusalem, where he then was allowed to sit at the royal table, even as a cripple; being slandered by the servant Ziba to King David, and the king, in anger, promising to give all of Mephibosheth's land to Ziba; and David's later learning the truth about Mephibosheth and ordering Ziba and Mephibosheth to split the land, while Mephibosheth offered to give his share to Ziba. Such reenactments could be in the form of a play with multiple characters. Have each child focus on traits particular to each character, and on the consequences of exercising those traits in real life. Simple costumes and props will make reenactments even more memorable.
Lessons Inherent in Story Activities
Covering these events via story activities can teach valuable lessons to children. The fact that Mephibosheth became handicapped at such a young age but overcame that obstacle -- even to the point of having his own family and sitting with royalty -- teaches children that a handicap doesn't mean a lost life. Further, the generosity that Mephibosheth displayed toward Ziba, even after being slandered, offers a fine example in humility, selflessness and forgiveness.
Additional Activity Options
While play reenactments may be more interactive and provide more lasting impressions on children, other activities may also prove worthwhile. These could include drawing or coloring pictures depicting major scenes in Mephibosheth's life; using a pair of crutches with bound legs to better understand the reality of living with disabled legs; or simply reading aloud the account -- with occasional help from an adult -- found at 2 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 9:1-10; 2 Samuel 19:15-30.
- "Insight on the Scriptures"; Watchtower Bible and Tract Society; 1988
- "Watchtower" Magazine; "Mephibosheth -- An Appreciative Man"; Watchtower Bible and Tract Society; October 1, 1979
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