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).