Summary: I mentioned at the beginning that sometimes these passages relate to other passages in the future. I believe in this passage of 2 Samuel 9, we have a picture of how God treats us in His grace.
¡°Grounding Yourself in Grace¡±
Many times in the Bible we can read stories and events and relate them to later stories and later events. There are parallels in the Old Testament that speak of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. I believe it is part of the Bible being the inspired Word of God. I was reading through 2 Samuel this past week and came upon a man whose name I doubt you can spell¡¦ Mephibosheth. His story is one of grace and I¡¯d like us to share in this story of grace this morning.
I. THE SITUATION
The situation is not a complicated one... just one filled with politics and intrigue. We do need a little historical background for us to understand the situation completely. The story centers around a man named David is now on the throne of Israel. The book of 2 Samuel opens with David learning about the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan. 1:11 tells us that David and all those with him mourned over the death of Saul and Jonathan. David tore his clothes and wailed at the news of the loss. David mourned for Saul because he was the King of Israel and the man anointed to rule the people of God. David mourned for Jonathan because they were closer than brothers.
2 Samuel 2 describes for us how Ishbosheth, son of Saul became king over Israel, but Judah crowned David king. It is civil war. Chapter 3 opens with the verse, ¡°The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.¡± The following chapters describe treachery and battles and murder as though it were a Hollywood movie. In 2 Samuel 5 and 6, we see David becoming King over all Israel and he defeats the Philistines and the Ark of the Lord is brought to Jerusalem. David consecrates Jerusalem as capitol and begins his life as King David of the Israelites. David has now become the rightful ruler of all of God¡¯s people and has defeated the Philistines, Moabites, Arameans, and Edomites and the borders of Israel are secure. 2 Samuel 8:14 records that, ¡°the Lord gave David victory wherever he went.¡± He now has time to spend on domestic matters and his mind wanders back to his dearest friend Jonathan.
READ 2 SAMUEL 9:1-13
2 Samuel 9 opens with the question, ¡°Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?¡± It was an honest question. I think perhaps the whole situation had left a bad taste in his mouth and for the sake of the dearest friend he had ever had¡¦ he wished to do something.
II. THE COMPLICATION
The complication is also not a complicated one to understand. The complication is that Israel had just
been through a civil war and the house of Saul and Jonathan were enemies of David. David and his men had been killing off those on the other side. Chapter 9 takes us to a place after the war and David wishes to show kindness to the family of Jonathan. There is one person left.
Why would David do this? Why would David seek out the last of Jonathan¡¯s family?
1) It was a political move: keep your friends close and your enemies closer for Mephibosheth was the last son of his enemies, but in truth because of his infirmities he would not be king. He would keep Mephibosheth around to keep an eye on him.
2) It was the last act: Once he had Mephibosheth in his sights, he could kill him and all the claims to the throne beside his would be taken care of. There would be no one left to have an idea of revenge.
3) It was the fulfillment of a promise: 1 Samuel 20:14-15 tells of a promise that David made to Jonathan, ¡°But show me unfailing kindness like that of the LORD as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family-not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.¡± I think this was a contributing factor. All of David¡¯s enemies had been defeated and now David turns his attention to his promise. The question in 2 Samuel 9:1 sounds like a man seeking to repay kindness and fulfill this vow. This was part of who David was: David was a man who showed kindness when he could. Mephibosheth had nothing of value and had done nothing for David. Yet, this grace-filled act was part of who David was in his heart.