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With New Testament Eyes: 30 - David and Mephibosheth

By Henry Mahan


      2 Samuel 9:1-13

      Saul; the people's king, had been rejected by God for disobedience and rebellion (1 Sam. 15:26); and David, a man after God's own heart (1 Sam. 13:14), now reigned over all Israel. One of David's first acts as king was to inquire of the house of Saul, 'Is there yet any left of the house of Saul, that I might show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?' Ziba, a former servant of the house of Saul, reported to David that Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, yet lived and was a cripple, lame on both feet. David sent and fetched Mephibosheth and gave him the estate of Saul with many servants and a place at the king's table all the days of his life.

      This is a beautiful picture of the grace and mercy of God toward unworthy sinners for Christ's sake, which can be told in seven words.

      1. 'And the king said...' (v. 3)

      Where the word of the king is, there is power, authority, and total sovereignty. There is no council, no conference, and no bargaining here. The king speaks from his sovereign throne, and what he decrees shall be done.

      Our God is infinitely sovereign over all his creation. He reigns in total authority in heaven and earth (Psalm 115:1-3; Dan. 4:34-35). Our God is sovereign in providence (1 Sam. 2:6- 8; Isa. 45:5-7; Isa. 46:9-11). There may be second and third causes, but God is the first cause of all things (Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1-11). Our God is sovereign in salvation (Exo. 33:18-19; Rom. 9:15-18; Jonah 2:9).

      2. 'That I might show the kindness of God to him.' (v. 3)

      The word kindness is mercy. David, the king, was a man of mercy. The house of Saul was David's enemy and deserved no mercy nor pity, but David found it in his heart to show mercy to some.

      Our God is holy, righteous, and just; but he is also merciful.

      He delights to show mercy (Psalm 130:3-7). Adam's race is a fallen, rebellious race and deserves no mercy. God is not indebted to sinners, but he has determined to show mercy to some (Exo. 33:18-19). The language of religion is merit, rewards, and service; but the language of true redemption is mercy. 'I obtained mercy' (1 Tim. 1:13-16). 'Lord, be merciful to me, the sinner' (Luke 18:13).

      3. 'Which is lame on his feet.' (v. 3)

      Ziba, the servant of the house of Saul, reported to David that Jonathan had a son called Mephibosheth, who lived in Lodebar and who was now a poor cripple because of a tragic fall when he was young (2 Sam. 4:4).

      The word lame through a fall not only describes Mephibosheth, but it is our condition since the fall of our father, Adam (Rom. 5:12, 17-19; 1 Cor. 15:21-22; Eph. 2:1-3). All of our faculties were affected by this fall, and in our flesh dwelleth no good (Rom. 3:9-19).

      4. 'Then David sent and fetched him.' (v. 5)

      King David purposed to show mercy to someone of Saul's house. When he heard that Jonathan had a crippled son in Lodebar, David sent his servant to where Mephibosheth was and fetched him; that is, the servant called and brought him to David.

      The Lord of glory is love, and love must be expressed. The Lord of glory in his sovereign mercy determined to show mercy to a fallen race. He set his love and affection on lame sinners and sent his only begotten Son into the world to be our Saviour (John 3:16-17; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 5:6-10). Christ came where we were, became what we are, and by his obedience and death honored the law, satisfied justice, and enabled God to be just and justifier of all who believe (Rom. 3:19-26; 1 Peter 3:18). He then sent his Holy Spirit to fetch us, call us, and make us willing to come to him (Gal. 1:15; Eph. 1:13-14; Psalm 110:3).

      5. 'And David said fear not.' (v. 7)

      Mephibosheth was afraid in the presence of the king because he was of the house of the king's enemy; therefore, he fell on his face before the king and did reverence. David said, 'You have no cause to be afraid; 1 will show you kindness.' Men and women who know something of God's holiness, their own nature and sin, and what the law and justice of the king demand have every reason to be afraid in his presence. God will punish sir,. 'The soul that sinneth shall surely die.' 'The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord' (Luke 18:13).

      6. 'I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan's sake.' (v. 7)

      David said, 'I have not fetched you to destroy you; so you need not be afraid. I will surely (certainly) show you mercy for the SAKE of Jonathan, your father, whom I love.' Before Mephibosheth was born, David made a covenant with Jonathan, promising to show mercy to Jonathan's sons because of his love for him (1 Sam. 20:11-17).

      Before the foundation of the world, God the Father entered into an everlasting covenant of mercy with the Lord Jesus Christ, giving him a people out of Adam's race and making Christ the surety and redeemer of those people (John 6: 37-45; John 10:24-30; John 17:1-3, 9; Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess. 2-13; Heb. 13: 20-21). The mercy and kindness God shows to sinners is because of his love for Christ (Rom. 8:35-39). It is for Christ's sake (Col. 1:14-18).

      7. 'For he did eat continually at the king's table.' (v. 13)

      David fulfilled every promise to Mephibosheth, as God will fulfill every promise to his elect in Christ; for none shall ever perish, but shall all be made like Christ and enjoy his presence forever (Rom. 8:33-39).

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant

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