Summary: Like Mephibosheth, all of us have been Crippled by a fall, sought by a King, found in a Far Country, saved for Another’s Sake, and restored to the King’s Table.

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The example of Mephibosheth

II Samuel 9


Today I want to examine another story from the Old Testament, and --- as I love to do --- I have found another obscure character most people don’t know much about and rarely hear preached about in a sermon. We will look at the life of a young man named Mephibosheth. How many of you remember who he was? He was the son of Jonathan and grandson of King Saul.

Now, I’m sure EVERYONE remembers King David. He’s the same David who killed Goliath, then grew up to be the 2nd King of Israel. It was while the 1st King --- Saul --- was still in power, that the Prophet Samuel anointed David as God’s chosen King. Needless to say, this did not make David popular with King Saul. In fact, trouble developed to the point that David and Saul were on different sides of a civil war.

To complicate matters, Saul’s son, Jonathan was David’s dearest friend. In fact, Jonathan and David were so loyal to each other that they made a covenant together. They promised that no matter what happened they would always look after each other’s families. The civil war continued until finally both Saul and Jonathan died in a battle at Jezreel.

In the chaotic days that followed, all the descendants of Saul were killed. (This was typical in the regime changes of those days.) But in this case, there was one lone survivor: A young boy named Mephibosheth, who was a son of Jonathan.

We’re going to look at the story of Mephibosheth, because this obscure Old Testament Character gives us a picture of God’s grace to sinners. II Samuel chapter 4 tells us that after David was firmly established on his Throne, he remembered his promise to Jonathan. He found young Mephibosheth --- the only surviving son of Jonathan --- the grandson of his old enemy Saul --- and he restored Mephibosheth to the Palace of the King.

As we look at the restoration of Mephibosheth, we’ll see that his story represents what God has done for each of us. First of all, like Mephibosheth, we were all CRIPPLED BY A FALL:

1. Crippled by a fall II Samuel 4:4

Now, Jonathan, Saul’s son had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. II Samuel 4:4

Mephibosheth started out at a distinct disadvantage. His well-meaning nurse panicked and --- in her haste to get the boy away from danger --- she dropped him. Because of that, Mephibosheth grew up crippled in both feet. This child would, for the rest of his days, need the help of others in order to get by. He was pretty much at the mercy of anyone who came looking for him.

And in much the same way, the human race is crippled because of the fall of Adam: We are also at a distinct disadvantage because of our propensity to sin.

· Morally speaking – we cannot live up to the perfect standards of God

· Physically speaking we all face pain and sickness and death.

· Spiritually speaking we cannot make ourselves righteous enough to approach God.

We have the same basic problem Mephibosheth had. He was crippled in both feet. We are crippled when it comes to pleasing God on the basis of our own deeds. Like Mephibosheth, we were all crippled by a fall.

But the good news is that, like Mephibosheth, we were SOUGHT BY THE KING.

2. Sought by the King II Samuel 9:1,3

Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet” II Samuel 9:3

Mephibosheth did not search for the King. The King searched for him. He was only 5 years old when he fled the palace. Chances are, he didn’t even know David. But David made himself known to Mephibosheth … just like God has revealed Himself to us.

And King David went out of his way to seek out this lost son. (Fortunately, for Mephibosheth, he sought him out for good.) In very much the same way, Jesus came into the world seeking those who were not seeking him.

John 1:10 says He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.”

Jesus said: “I have come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

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David Owens

commented on Nov 9, 2006

Edward, We are having a "Friend DAy" in a couple of weeks and I've been looking for a way to illustrate the gospel in a memorable way. Your use of the story of Mephibosheth is just what I was looking for. I think I'll borrow your basic sermon approach. Thanks for the help! May the good news touch someone's heart!

Darrell Tucker

commented on Oct 18, 2008

What a great sermon that transcends cultures. I''ll be headed to India and preaching many gospel meetings in two weeks. I''ve re-worked it a bit and will use this to help communicate God''s love for us to Tribal Indian people. Thanks, brother, for an outstanding sermon.

James Brooks

commented on Nov 22, 2013

Really enjoyed reading the sermon. Our congregation on the westside of Chicago needs to hear about Mephibosheth.

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