Summary: King David show wonderful grace toward Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth and we learn of our need to receive God’s grace and dispense grace to others.
A. What do you think of when I say the word “GRACE”?
1. Many of us probably think of the prayer we offer at mealtimes.
2. The story is told of a family who was inspired to do something after hearing a great sermon on evangelism.
a. So they invited their neighbors to dinner the following Friday night.
b. When they sat down to eat, they wanted to demonstrate to the neighbors that they upheld Christian standards in their home.
c. So the father asked little 5 year old Johnny to say grace.
d. Little Johnny was a bit shy, and said, “I don’t know what to say.”
e. There was an awkward pause, followed by a reassuring smile from the boy’s mother.
f. “Well darling,” she said, “just say what Daddy said at breakfast this morning.”
g. Obediently, the little boy prayed, "Oh God, help us tonight as we’ve got those awful neighbors coming to dinner.”
3. Other things that come to mind when we think of “grace” are the graceful moves of a ballet dancer, or the queen of England carrying herself with grace.
4. Grace can refer to these kinds of things – prayer, coordination of movement and elegance.
5. But more important than any of these uses of grace is its spiritual use.
B. Spiritually speaking, grace means unmerited favor.
1. It means extending favor to someone who doesn’t deserve it, who hasn’t earned it, and can never repay it.
2. That is certainly what God has done for each one of us in Christ Jesus.
3. We are saved by grace – we don’t deserve it, can’t earn it, and can never repay it, and we are not supposed to – grace is a gift.
C. In response to the grace we have received, it is God’s desire that we learn to be graceful people.
1. Every once in a while we witness someone acting gracefully toward someone else, and it is a beautiful thing to behold.
2. We witness one such moment in the life of David.
3. It involves an obscure man with an almost unpronounceable name – Mephibosheth, but it is a beautiful and unforgettable story.
I. The Story
A. In our last sermon about the life of David, several weeks back, we noticed that David was in a period of peace.
1. His life had settled down, and he was in a contemplative mode.
2. David was now approaching the pinnacle of his power in the affairs of the empire.
3. Roughly 20 turbulent years had elapsed since those days when David was Israel’s young hero, the slayer of Goliath, and best friend of King Saul’s son, Jonathan.
4. David gave thought to constructing a temple for the Lord, but God informed him that that was a job for his son.
5. And although that must have been a great disappointment, David accepted God’s will and did a lot of the preparatory work on the temple to make the job easier for his son.
B. As David spent this peaceful time thinking about his past and all the blessings he had received, I’m sure he thought of his friend Jonathan, who had been lost in battle, and of Jonathan’s father, King Saul, who had died in that same battle.
1. While reflecting upon those two men and the impact they’d had on his life, David must have remembered the promise he had made.
2. The Bible says: David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Sam. 9:1)
C. The word translated “kindness” in this verse carries much more meaning than our English word “kindness” can convey.
1. Like the colors of the rainbow, it can convey kindness, love, steadfast love, covenantal friendship, loyal love, justice and grace.
2. It is a favorite word among the psalmists to convey God’s characteristic relationship with us.
3. It is a favorite word of the prophets to designate our most appropriate relationship with one another – steadfast love and grace.
D. So David asks the question – “Is there anybody left to whom I might show grace for Jonathan’s sake?”
1. After all, David had made a promise.
2. Back in 1 Samuel 20, while David was running for his life from Saul, Jonathan knew that David was destined for the throne, and knew that God would protect David.
a. Jonathan said: “But if my father is inclined to harm you, may the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away safely. May the LORD be with you as he has been with my father. But show me unfailing kindness like that of the LORD as long as I live, so that I may not be killed…” (1 Sam. 20:13-14)