Summary: "Surprised by Grace" is an exposition of 2 Samuel 9 in which David reaches out in kindness to Mephibosheth for the sake of his father, Mephibosheth. David's kindness is read as a parable of the amazing grace of God that saves unworthy sinners.
SURPRISED BY GRACE
“O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell in your holy hill?” David begins Psalm 15 with these probing questions. The body of the psalm answers these opening questions. It describes that character and conduct of the person who pleases God. The last line of Psalm 15:4 states that a godly person is one “who swears to his own hurt and does not change.” He keeps his word even when it costs him. She keeps her promises no matter what. Godly people are promise keepers. David teaches that in Psalm 15. David exemplifies this in our text. 2 Samuel 9 is a part of what scholars call THE SUCCESSION NARRATIVE OF DAVID; a detailed account of Israel’s transition from Saul’s rule to the establishment of David’s reign. By 2 Samuel 9, David has accomplished great military victories and is enjoying peace, power, and prosperity. During this period, David lavishes kindness on a crippled man named Mephibosheth.
There are two seasons of life that test and reveal a person’s character: seasons of adversity and seasons of prosperity. This season of success clearly demonstrates that David was man after God’s own heart. I want us to look at David’s heart as revealed in his kindness to Mephibosheth, so that through it we might see God’s kindheartedness toward you and me. STEVE JONES comments: “Just as x-rays pass through the human body and reveal an accurate picture of the heart to the physician’s trained eye, there are some important ways in which the actions of David revealed the heart of God. We get some of those x-rays in the remarkable story of Mephibosheth.” 2 Samuel 9 is a historical event that functions as a parable to teach us that the grace of God is a wonderful surprise that is too good not to be true.
In his book What’s So Amazing About Grace, PHIL YANCEY writes of a friend who overheard a conversation on a bus one day. A woman was reading. And the man sitting next to her asked what she was reading. She told him. It was M. SCOTT PECK’S bestseller, The Road Less Traveled. The man asked what it was about. Admitting she had just begun the book, she answered by reading him the chapter titles from the table of contents. When she mentioned the section on “Grace,” the man interrupted and asked what grace was about. She replied, “I have gotten that far yet.”
The same thing can be said about the Bible. No matter how much scripture you read, study, or memorize; you have not gotten far into scripture if you do not know what grace is about. Without oversimplifying the message of this expansive library of sixty books, the bible is about the glory of the grace of God. It is everywhere in the Bible. And it is not boring grace. It’s always a wonderful surprise of amazing grace. In Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, God did not strike them dead on the spot (sparing mercy). And he clothed them in coats of skin to cover the guilt-induced shame of the nakedness (surprising grace). And throughout scripture, God keeps surprising us with grace. Of course, the biggest surprise of grace is the virgin birth, perfect life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But David’s kindness to Mephibosheth illustrates the grace of God that seeks us, welcomes us, and enriches us through Jesus Christ.