Summary: Using the story of Mephibosheth, this is a sermon about desiring and doing God’s good pleasure.
Lame in Both Our Feet
I have been your pastor long enough now for you to know that sometimes my mind works a little weird.
That is the case today as we look at a couple of scriptures.
I actually started out to preach a sermon on Philippians 2:13
“For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.”
So how, you may ask, did I get from a NT teaching of Paul to an OT story of a crippled guy?
The real question is can I lead you down the same road, and when we get there, will you understand?
Let’s start in the OT with the crippled guy.
David is the king and one night he was missing his BFF… Jonathan.
Jonathan was the son of the previous King, Saul. While David was serving Saul, he became best friends with Jonathan. They loved each other like brothers.
When Saul was trying to kill David, Jonathan hid David and cared for him.
On this day David was feeling very sad as he was remembering all of the good times he had with Jonathan. He grieved Jonathan’s death. And, as a way of dealing with the death, David decided to do something nice to Jonathan’s family. He called for his advisors to tell him if Jonathan still had any family living. When he discovered that Jonathan had a son still living… He called for him to be summoned.
Allow me to back up and explain. When One King died, naturally or by violence, the next King would immediately “clean house.”
He would kill off all potential rivals by killing all of the former King’s family. Next he would remove all of the former king’s advisors and political appointees.
That is why Mephibosheth was crippled… his nanny, hearing that Saul and Jonathan were dead and David was the new king, made the natural assumption… that the new king would seek out and destroy all rivals to the throne… grabbed up the child, Mephibosheth, and ran to hide him from the sword. As she ran, something went wrong and Mephibosheth fell. As a result he “was lame in both of his feet.”
When David became king, it would have been natural for him to ask are there still any living heirs of the former king. If there were, they would be killed.
It was “just business.”
But look at what David did… he asked are there still any heirs of the former king…that I may show him KINDNESS!
Not kill… not eliminate… but DO SOMETHING KIND FOR HIM!!
This was unexpected, unprecedented and unthinkable.
David did not have to do it.
Mephibosheth did not deserve it
Imagine you are Mephibosheth and you get a summons to appear at the palace because the king “wants to do something kind for you.”
Have you ever watched “COPS” when the police will set up these fake lottery stings and send notices to on-the-run- felons, informing them that they have won some big prize.
When they all get there, the cops come busting out and arrest them all?
I think Mephibosheth must have had that same wary feeling as he approached and entered the castle… feeling that he was walking into his own execution.
As he is waiting… in walks David, surrounded by his secret service detail.
Jonathan probably thought… “Oh, NO. I never should have come.”
Then David walks over to Mephibosheth and called him by name and said, “For your father’s sake, and because of the love I have for him… I restore to you all that belonged to your father… his land, his houses and his wealth. Servants will till your land and you will live in the castle and eat at my table… just like one of my sons.
Now look at the very last verse… “So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he did eat continually at the kings table, and was lame in both his feet.”
Why does the story end with repetition of that phrase… “lame in both his feet?”
Let’s now jump back to the NT to Phil. 2:13. “For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.”
Now trying to knit or weld these two together is the task at hand.
Why is it that we are unable to live a life that pleases God?
I don’t mean our temporary and sporadic obedience. I mean LIFESTYLE… why is it that we have such a hard time being obedient and pleasing to God ALL OF THE TIME?
I think these two different scriptures give us the reason.
I think we are lame in both our feet.
Now you are really confused. You think the preacher is, “a bit daff.”
This is where you have to hang with me… just try to hear what I am saying.