There is always a place at the Table

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2 Samuel 9:1-13

How many of us believe that God doesn’t do anything by accident? I don’t believe that He does. This goes even in stories that are tucked away in the Bible. Many of us have read these stories and just pass right over them. This story is no different. Today we are going to look at the story of Mephibosheth.
A little background about Mephibosheth.
He was Jonathon’s son. That would make him Saul’s grandson.
He was the last known family member of Saul’s family.
He was injured when he was 5 years old. He became lame because him and his nurse was fleeing when his father and grandfather were killed. She tripped and fell. He broke of his ankles and did not receive the proper medical attention.
Tradition tells us that when a new king came into power in those days everyone in the former king’s family were killed. Why? Because this would eliminate any threat of having someone from the former king trying to overthrow the new kingdom.
I want to approach this message from 2 different directions. This story is important in 2 ways.
Creation is crippled by sin. We deserve judgement, but He shows us mercy and kindness!!
Literal crippled people
God shows His kindness and love to everyone. this includes those who are those are crippled, disabled. I see a group of people that society has cast off because of their disabilities. God loves them just as much as what we call “normal people”.

I. Mephibosheth—The Lost Sinner

A. He was born in a rejected family.

As the son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth was a member of a rejected family. He was a son of a prince, yet was living in dependence on others away from the city of Jerusalem. Every lost sinner today is born in sin, born into Adam’s family, and is thus under condemnation (Rom. 5:12ff; Eph. 2:1–3).

B. He experienced a fall and could not walk.

Mephibosheth was lame in both his feet (vv. 3, 13) and thus could not walk. All people today are sinners because of the fall of Adam (Rom. 5:12), and they cannot walk so as to please God. Instead of walking in obedience, sinners walk “according to the course of this world” (Eph. 2:2). They may try to walk to please God, but no amount of self-effort or good works will save them.

C. He was missing the best.

Mephibosheth lived at Lo-debar which means “no pasture.” That is a fitting description of this present world—no pasture, no place for the souls to be satisfied. Sinners are hungry and thirsty, but this world and its pleasures cannot satisfy.

D. He would have perished without David’s help.

We would never have heard of Mephibosheth were it not for the gracious steps David took to save him. His name was written down in God’s Word because David reached him and helped him.

The lost sinner is in a tragic situation. He has fallen; he cannot walk to please God; he is separated from home; he is under condemnation; he cannot help himself.

II. David—The Gracious Savior

A. David made the first move.

Salvation is of the Lord! He must take the first steps, because the lost sinner will not by nature seek God (Rom. 3:10–12). David sent for poor Mephibosheth, just as God sent Christ to this earth to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

B. David acted for Jonathan’s sake.

This grew out of the loving covenant that David had made with Jonathan years before (1 Sam. 20:11–23). David had never seen Mephibosheth, yet he loved him for Jonathan’s sake. We are not saved because of our own merit; we are saved for the sake of Christ. We are forgiven for His sake (Eph. 4:32). We are accepted “in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6). It was part of that “everlasting covenant” (Heb. 13:20–21) that the Father should save for Jesus’ sake all that trust the Savior.

C. It was an act of kindness.

In v. 3, David calls it “the kindness of God.” Christ shows His kindness to us in saving us (Eph. 2:7; Titus 3:4–7). David’s throne was a throne of grace, not a throne of justice. Mephibosheth had no claim upon David; he had absolutely no case to present. Had he appeared before that throne asking for justice, he would have received condemnation.

D. David called him personally and he came.

David sent a servant to bring him (v. 5), but the servant then stepped out of the way to make room for the king. Nobody is saved by a preacher or evangelist; all the servant can do is usher the sinner into the presence of Christ. Note how Mephibosheth fell humbly before David, for he knew his place as a condemned man. How tenderly David said, “Mephibosheth.”

E. David took him into his own family.

Like many sinners today, Mephibosheth wanted to work his way into forgiveness (vv. 6, 8), but David made him a son (v. 11). The Prodigal Son wanted to be a servant too, but no one can earn salvation (Luke 15:18–19). “Beloved, now are we the sons of God!” See 1 John 3:1–2 and John 1:11–13.

F. David spoke peace to him.

“Fear not!” were David’s words of grace to the trembling crippled man; and “Fear not!” is what Christ says to every believing sinner. “There is therefore now no condemnation …” (Rom. 8:1). Through the Word of God before us and the Spirit of God within us, we experience peace.

G. David provided for his every need.

Mephibosheth would no longer live at “no pasture”; for now he would eat daily at the king’s table. Furthermore, the servant Ziba and his sons became servants to Mephibosheth. And David gave to Mephibosheth all of the inheritance that belonged to him. So Christ satisfies the spiritual and material needs of His family. He has given us an eternal inheritance (Eph. 1:11, 18; 1 Peter 1:4ff; Col. 1:12). If he gave us our rightful inheritance, we would go to hell! But in His grace He has chosen us to share His inheritance with Him, for we are “joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17).

H. David protected him from judgment.

In 2 Sam. 21:1–11, we see that God sent a famine to the land to chastise His people. When David sought God’s will, it became evident that the famine came because of the wicked way Saul treated the Gibeonites. There is no record of Saul’s exact treatment of them in the Bible, but since Israel had made a treaty with these people (Josh. 9), Saul’s actions were a direct violation of the truth and were a sin against God. God had waited many years to reveal this sin and send this judgment; “Be sure your sins will find you out.” See Ex. 21:23–25. It is not for us in this age of grace to judge these people for asking for the sacrifice of seven of Saul’s descendants; it is sufficient that God permitted this to happen. Note that David deliberately spared Mephibosheth (v. 7). There was another Mephibosheth among Saul’s descendants (v. 8), but David knew the difference! There are many today who profess to be God’s children, and perhaps we cannot always tell the difference; but when the Day of Judgment comes, God will reveal those who are truly His.

Of course, as we study this illustration, we must keep in mind that the salvation we have in Christ supplies “much more.” David rescued Mephibosheth from physical danger and supplied his physical needs, but Christ has saved us from eternal hell and daily meets our physical and spiritual needs. We are not sons of some earthly king; we are the very children of God.

Second Samuel 16:1–4 illustrates this difference. When David fled from Jerusalem during the rebellion of his son Absalom, Ziba the servant met him and made an accusation against Mephibosheth. David believed the accusation and rashly gave all of Mephibosheth’s land to the servant. However, when David returned to Jerusalem later, he met Mephibosheth and learned the truth (2 Sam. 19:24–30). Ziba had lied. He had promised to supply an animal for Mephibosheth to use to escape with David, but had not kept his promise. Ziba had slandered an innocent man, and David had believed the slander. Of course, this could never happen between a believer and Jesus Christ. “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?… Who is he who condemns?” (Rom. 8:33–39) Satan may accuse us and slander us, but Christ will never change in His love for us or His promises to us.

We can see in Mephibosheth the attitude the believer ought to have concerning the “return of the King.” This exiled lame man lived for the day his king would return! He had no thought for his own comfort; rather, he waited and prayed for the return of the one who had loved him and rescued him from death. So overjoyed was Mephibosheth at the return of David that he even forfeited his land.

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