Summary: How you ever wondered how our words, thoughts and deeds must sound to a holy God? This sermon will review the life of Mephibosheth and in doing so suggest that the best offering is one that states the Lord is our portion!
Are you Lame?
2 Samuel 9:1-13, 16:1-4, 19:24-30
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
Ever wonder how “lame” most of our words, thoughts and deeds are to an omnipotent, holy God? Having been created a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:7) and in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), humanity possessed what was needed to establish a flourishing relationship with our Creator (James 4:8) and yet we chose to reject His lordship over us so that “self” might be in charge! Due to our sin God rightly placed a curse on humanity in the form of both physical and spiritual death (Genesis 3). While it would be easy and self-serving to blame Adam and Eve for the sinful nature we have received, since we are incapable of sinning (Romans 3:23), we must reluctantly admit “WE” bought our own condemnation (Romans 6:23). God is right to be angry and His wrath towards humanity is just. It is only by grace and our faith in God (Ephesians 2:8-9) that we have been forgiven (1 John 1:9), adopted (John 1:12) and promised a glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:18); the chief of which is to spend an eternity in His presence (John 3:16)! Considering these undeserved blessings what could one ever possibly say, think or do that would not be filthy rags but a sweet aroma unto He who has done more than we can ever ask or imagine for us (Ephesians 3:20)? This sermon is going to review the life of Mephibosheth and in doing so suggest that what God truly wants from humanity is for us to acknowledge He is our Lord and portion!
Seeking out the Lame (2 Samuel 9:1-3)
Once David had become the undisputed king, firmly established on the throne and “surrounded by his of his royal retinue,” he turned his attention to fulfilling a promise. Even though Saul and most of his family repeatedly tried to take David’s life he refuse to take any initiative to displace Saul or his sons. Once established on the throne David sought out any descendent of the former king’s family not to kill them, which would was the custom of the time, but to do good to “any of Saul’s surviving sons or grandsons so that he might fulfill a promise that he made with Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:14-6, 42). “Contact between David and the house (hold) of Saul” was made through Ziba, a servant and estate manager of Saul’s property. Ziba told David that a “son of Jonathan name Mephibosheth was in Lo-bebar at the home of Makir, son of Ammiel (9:3–4). Mephibosheth whom was only five when his grandfather and Jonathan died in the battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa (2:4), became lame in both feet due to a fall sustained while fleeing his home upon hearing this news (2 Sam. 4:4). Ziba was ordered by David to go and bring Mephibosheth to him so that he might show him kindness.
In thinking about the kindness that David wanted to show Saul’s family one can’t help but think about the life-sustaining grace that God bestows on humanity which made it possible for us to have a relationship with Him. Even though his kindness might have been seen as weakness and might have risked “encouraging thoughts of usurping the throne,” David was determined to fulfill not just a promise to Jonathan but to God to show kindness to a family whom were his enemies. Has not our undisputed King (Romans 4:11) shown us the lame, sinful creatures grace and mercy? Were we not God’s enemies (Romans 5:10) when He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross in our place? Without this atoning act of grace and mercy whom amongst the lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful and unholy (2 Timothy 3:2), which is all of us, could honesty say we could have earned our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)? Ever since Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden humanity has been incapable of being holy because sin easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1) and takes us captive to go against our Creator (James 1:14). Praise be to God that we did not get what we deserved but through Christ God provided the means not only for our reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20) but also sanctification!
The Shame and Fear of the Lame (2 Samuel 9:4-7a)
It would not be surprising if being summoned to the royal palace of David instilled both resentment and fear in Mephibosheth’s heart! He might have resented the fact that his family was wiped out and now Saul’s sworn enemy was on the throne! Knowing that “it was common for the founders of new dynasties to murder all potential successors to the throne from the royal house they displaced” and the fact that his uncle Ish-Bosheth was executed while lying on his bed (2 Samuel 4), would have also been more than good reasons to fear going to see the new king! One can hear the quivering voice and see the wobbling knees as Mephibosheth calls himself David’s servant and bows to pay homage to him! Realizing that his guest whom was “disabled politically and emotionally as well as physically” was scared that he was about to be executed, David quickly tells Mephibosheth to not be afraid for his intent was honorable. David had not brought him to the palace to keep him under surveillance, to use him as a pawn “to solidify a tenuous unity between the northern Israel and southern Judah or to kill him so that he could not challenge him for the throne; but to fulfill a promise he had made to his father Jonathan to “show faithfully kindness to his family.”