Summary: THEME: Prevenient Grace
INTRODUCTION: The Old Testament mentions a man who is often overlooked. His story is a powerful illustration of God’s grace. The man’s name is Mepibosheth. King David did not overlook him but considered him a special person because he was Jonathan’s son. David and Jonathan had a special friendship. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son and Kings Saul’s grandson. David made a covenant with Jonathan that he would always show kindness to Saul’s household if anything ever happened to Jonathan. After Saul and Jonathan’s death, David became king of Israel. David could have killed everyone in Saul’s family that remained. But instead he honored the covenant he made with Jonathan and Mephibosheth was a recipient of grace. Let us consider the story…
I. The Condition.
Mephibosheth was lame in both feet. Mephibosheth most likely was living in fear of King David. It was custom for a new king to kill anyone associated with a previous king who might could cause a threat of an insurrection. He was living in Lo Debar (means no pasture). He is a graphic portrait of a sinner living as an outcast, alienated from God, fearful of God’s judgment, and unable to walk upright before God.
II. The Cause.
Saul and his sons (including Jonathan) were killed at the battle of Gilboa. Mephibosheth was five years old when his nurse picked him up and tried to flee. She dropped Mephibosheth! The result was his permanent disability. When we look at a person we might be quick to judge and criticize. We must be careful and take into consideration as we evaluate a person’s life that he or she has been dropped. We all have been dropped… “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Ever since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden humanity has suffered a disability. We cannot walk in righteousness. The only hope we have is grace… “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
III. The Compassion.
David sent for Mephibosheth in order to show him kindness (grace). The Holy Spirit calls us to come to Christ. We are all crippled by sin. Billy Graham once said the following: "Karl Marx said that Christianity is nothing but a crutch. I agree but who among us is not limping?" We have all sinned and we need a helper.
CONCLUSION: Mephibosheth expected King David’s wrath but was shown grace. King David protected him and restored to him all the land of his grandfather, Saul. And he ate continually at the King’s table. Like Mephibosheth, in fear we might feel spiritually lame and unable to walk upright. Our life might feel out of joint and wonder if God has become our enemy. We may flee from His presence. We need to remember there was a covenant made on the Cross of Calvary! Because of that covenant God wants to show us kindness for His Son, Jesus’ sake. Because God’s amazing grace has gone before us we can take our place at the King’s table.