Summary: Through David, patterning his heart after God’s, extends acceptance let’s look at this incident and learn some valuable lessons about the great, grace of God.
GRACE FOR THE CRIPPLED
2 SAMUEL 9: 1-13
We use the word “grace” in many ways don’t we? We see a ballet dancers as they perform and say, "They move with such grace!" We have TV sitcoms like “Grace Under Fire” in the late 90’s or the present running “Will & Grace.” We sit down to eat a meal and we don’t want to eat before as the title of the Norman Rockwell painting says, “Saying Grace.” I like the title of R. Lofton Hudson’s book, Grace is Not a Blue-Eyed Blonde. And although the word "grace" is used in a number of ways and identifies a multitude of things, it’s most significant meaning lies deep within our relationship with God. And in this incident in the life of David, we have one of scripture’s richest illustrations of that beautiful relationship: God’s grace.
This week we find David as complete monarch of Israel. He has held the throne for over 10 years and has brought all enemies under subjection. During this peaceful interlude he begins to reflect on past promises. He remembers that he had vowed to both his best friend Jonathan & to Jonathan’s father, David’s predecessor King Saul, that he would not cut off their descendants. This is significant because it shows that even though David is successfully establishing the kingdom, he still labors under an intimate, personal concern for those around him. That’s why we see in vs:1- “One day David began wondering if anyone in Saul’s family was still alive, for he had promised Jonathan that he would show kindness to them.”A servant tells him of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. To the King’s dismay he learns that this young man is subsisting in utter poverty. To make matters worse we learn this about him in 2 Sam. 4:4: “He was five years old when Saul and Jonathan were killed at the battle of Jezreel. When news of the battle reached the capital, the child’s nurse grabbed him and fled. But she fell and dropped him as she was running, and he became crippled as a result.” So David, patterning his heart after God’s, extends acceptance to this handicapped young man. Let’s look at this incident and learn some valuable lessons about the goodness of God.
I. THE SERIOUSNESS OF SIN:
Mephibosheth’s situation was serious. The reason that he was living, as vs:4 tells us, in Lodebar, which literally means "no-pasture" or “desolate,” was not because that’s where he chose to live. He was afraid that if he was discovered that he would be killed because being the grandson of Saul he was a natural heir to the throne and therefore, a threat to David. In fact, in Eastern dynasties, when a new king took over it was common for the new monarch to kill every member of his predecessor’s family. That is exactly why when Jonathan heard that David would succeed his father to the throne that he asked David to spare his descendants. With that in mind it is not hard to picture Mephibosheth hiding in fear of his life. And when he heard that he had been found and was to go to David he probably figured he was going to get exactly what he deserved. He understood all too well how serious a thing it was to be linked by blood to the previous monarchy.
Now, it is important that we understand the gravity of our situation too. Some churches refuse to talk about sin for fear it may be offensive or someone might object. But we believe that we will never fully appreciate the greatness of God’s grace unless we understand the seriousness of our sin. The N.T. tells us what sin has done to everyone of us. (1) We’ve all been contaminated or infected by sin. Romans 3:10-12 clearly tells us that. “There is no one who always does what is right, not even one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who looks to God for help. All have turned away. Together, everyone has become useless. There is no one who does anything good; there is not even one.”(NCV) That does not mean we never do good things, but it means there is no one in this room today that always does right or can earn God’s favor on their own standing. We have all been contaminated by sin. In fact, even the good things that we do sometimes come from impure motives. I preach sermons because I really want people to know about God but I must confess to you that when I preach my ego comes wedging in there. I don’t want to fall on my face out here, I want people to think I’m a good preacher. It’s hard for us as imperfect beings to do anything with absolute pure motives. Isa.64:6 confirms this truth when it says, "We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags." You see before a perfect and holy God we are all impure, no one is good, even the good things we do, compared to Him are like dingy, dirty rags.