Summary: : King Saul gave David a hard time during his reign. In his envy and insecurity, he made life very difficult for David. King Saul sought David’s life who sadly became a fugitive after being anointed his successor. The time finally came for David to reign
Intro: King Saul gave David a hard time during his reign. In his envy and insecurity, he made life very difficult for David. King Saul sought David’s life who sadly became a fugitive after being anointed his successor. The time finally came for David to reign as king. Though it was the custom of every new king to destroy anyone who might later challenge his throne, David did not seek revenge with the house of Saul. Instead he showed them kindness. David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). This incident bears a striking similarity to God’s grace and mercy in our salvation. Let us observe and learn from this insightfully great passage.
I. THE INITIATOR OF THE SEARCH (vv. 1-3)
A. After David subdued all his enemies, he thought about the household of his friend Jonathan. Notice how David is a portrait of the Lord. Like the Lord, he took the initiative and reconciled with his enemies (cf. Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21).
B. Like the Lord, David exhibited grace and mercy to his wretched and condemned enemies (cf. I Tim. 1:15; Luke 19:10). He kindly sought, forgave and even blessed them!
C. The true greatness of a man is not seen by the manner he treats his best friends, but by the manner he treats his worst enemies! Jesus Christ and His apostles taught us this great virtue (Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14, 20). Blessed is the man who destroys his enemies by turning them into friends!
II. THE MEDIATOR OF THE SEARCH (vv. 1, 7)
A. The search for surviving members of Saul’s house was not made on behalf of Saul but of Jonathan who had a bond that existed between him and David (I Sam. 20:14-17).
B. Jonathan, having obtained a covenant with David, is a type or a picture of Christ (Heb. 8:6; I Tim. 2:5).
C. Outside of Christ’s Person and finished work, God CANNOT love the sinner. God is angry with the wicked everyday (Psa. 7:11), but He can love and forgive them on behalf of Christ (Eph. 4:32; I John 4:9-10).
III. THE TARGET OF THE SEARCH (vv. 4-8)
A. Mephibosheth (meaning shameful) was a surviving son of Jonathan and was a grandson of Saul (II Sam. 4:4).
B. Afraid of King David, Mephibosheth has no doubt been hiding as a fugitive. He is like the sinner who is ashamed and afraid of God. The guilty sinner runs and hides from God and doesn’t want to do anything with Him (cf. Gen. 3:8).
C. Mephibosheth got crippled on both legs through a fall when he was just five years old. Like him, the sinner is no longer in the condition in which he was originally created. All sinners are powerless spiritual cripples who are unable to save themselves from God’s condemnation (Rom. 5:6, 8).
D. Mephibosheth truly humbled himself before King David and obtained his marvellous kindness and favours. In the same manner only when the sinner humbles himself and throws himself at the mercy of God can he ever obtain forgiveness of sins and salvation (Prov. 22:4; Jas. 4:6).
IV. THE BLESSINGS OF THE SEARCH (vv. 9-13)
A. Though a prince himself, Mephibosheth came to the King David as a poor and humble man. He had lost all his inheritance. He made neither any demands nor laid claim to anything as a prince in Saul’s house. God does not desire those who are filled with vanity and pride. He seeks to bless those who are poor in this world but rich in faith (Jas. 2:5).
B. Before Mephibosheth ever met the king, he was just a poor, miserable, hopeless and condemned enemy. After he was redeemed and delivered by the king, Mephibosheth became a rich, chosen, prestigious and highly favoured royal son! What a day of rejoicing that was for Mephibosheth!
C. Mephibosheth foreshadowed the sinner who humbles himself before the mighty hand of God. He is an excellent illustration of a lost sinner who gets saved by the mercy of God and is enriched by His goodness (Psa. 23:6).
Conclusion: Unsaved friend, you can enjoy the privileges of having your sins forgiven, being assured of eternal life, and receiving heavenly inheritance if you come to Jesus by faith.