Summary: This section from the life of David perfectly illustrates God’s grace toward us.
1. Illus. of horse thief
• Back in days of old west, a man was accused of stealing a horse.
• His lawyer said to him, “Don’t worry, I’ll see that you get justice in that courtroom.
• With a guilty look on his face the man replied, “Mister, I don’t want justice, I want mercy!”
2. Isn’t that what every one of us needs? Unless you are sinless, at some point in our lives all of us have messed up. Sinners like us don’t need justice (hell), we need mercy!
3. There is a word in the NT that describes God’s mercy: grace! Grace has been defined as, “the unmerited love of God.” Perhaps more appropriately, grace could be defined as, “God’s mercy that we did not earn, that we do not deserve, and that we can never repay.” There is an Old Testament equivalent to the word “grace.” It is the Hebrew word “kesed,” and it is usually translated as “kindness” or “loving-kindness.” It is that word that David uses in our text today.
4. Text: David is looking for a way to demonstrate “the kindness of God” is any of Saul’s descendents. When he finds out about Mephibosheth, he demonstrates the mercy and grace of God in how he treats this crippled young man.
5. Today: David’s gracious treatment of Mephibosheth is a perfect picture of God’s gracious treatment of us.
6. How is David’s treatment of Mephibosheth a picture of God’s grace to us? In at least three ways.
I. God’s grace seeks us out when we are crippled and impoverished
Vs 1. Mephibosheth didn’t seek out the king. The king took the initiative and sought out Mephibosheth. Does that sound familiar? I John 4:10. God took the initiative in seeking us out.
Vs 2-3. The servant says, “there is this one guy. He is Jonathan’s son, and he was 5 when his daddy died. But you need to understand something, David. He isn’t going to fit in around here. He is…crippled!”
Vs 4. Don’t you love David’s response? “Where is he?” Ziba tells him that Mephibosheth is living in a place called “no pasture” living in the house of another family.
What does this fellow Mephibosheth look like? According to 2 Chronicles he is crippled by a fall (I find that ironic!!), and according to our text he lives in poverty and desolation.
2. What a picture of the sinner outside of Christ! We are crippled by sin. We live in spiritual desolation and poverty! There is absolutely nothing in us that should make the King seek out us out…but He did!
3. Principle: Grace seeks us out when we are crippled and impoverished.
4. Illus. of orphanage
• I heard about a man one time that started an orphanage.
• Filled with little children who had no parents, but children of a very special kind. Not those who were cute and adorable, but those who had disfigured, mangled, or crippled, those that no one else wanted.
• One day he heard about a little girl was in his city whose parents had died in a fire. She herself was horribly disfigured and scarred.
• He approached her and asked her how she would like to live in his orphanage. She said, “You don’t want me. I’m ugly. Nobody wants me.”
• Do you know what he did? He picked her up, and kissed her scars, and said, “you are exactly the kind of little girl that I want to be a part of my family!”
• That is exactly what grace did! When we were crippled and scarred, Grace sought us out and said, “You are exactly the kind of person I want to pour out my love and favor on!”
5. You might say, “Well, that may be true of others, but I wasn’t all that impoverished when I became a Christian. I was a pretty good person!” See Romans 3: 10-18
6. Grace seeks us out when we are broken and impoverished!
II. Grace gives us the blessing that belongs to a favored other
Vs 1. For Jonathan’s sake.
Vs 7. For Jonathan your father’s sake!
None of this happened to Mephibosheth because he was handsome or smart or athletic. He was none of those. It happened because David loved a favored other named Jonathan, and he was willing to give to Mephibosheth the blessings that he would have given to Jonathan.
2. Principle: The grace of God means that we are blessed and honored for the sake of Another! His name isn’t Jonathan…its Jesus!
3. Illus of my wife’s dog
• I don’t like dogs, and I especially don’t like that dog. He is the most aggravating dog in the universe to me. If it was just me the dog would die of lead poisoning.