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The Covenant Continued - 2 Samuel 9

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C.S. Lewis in his biography tells of the suffering he endured because he kept a promise he had made to a buddy during World War I. This friend was worried about the care of his wife and small daughter if he should be killed in battle, so Lewis assured him that if that were to happen he would look after them. As the war dragged on, the man was killed. True to his word, Lewis took care of his friend’s family. Yet no matter how helpful he tried to be, the woman was ungrateful, rude, arrogant, and domineering. Through it all, Lewis kept forgiving her. He refused to let her actions become an excuse to break his promise.
When promises are made what are the circumstances that would cause us to break them? Would you keep your promise if it was to help someone who was your enemy or treated you badly. Lewis made a promise to a brother to take care of his family. Yet even though they were difficult, he still kept the promise. The problem we have today… we believe that there are times when promises can be broken. For many of us today, promises really do not mean a whole lot today. They are always easily made and easily broken. But the Bible illuminates something very very different. David made a promise to Jonathan to care for his family. He kept his promise even though his family was part of the household of Saul…Yes even though it was difficult...for Jonathan’s son was his natural born enemy. This what we will look at today.
David was King. We actually see the fulfillment of all that God had promised to give to David as he established his kingdom. David dedicated all of his fame, his victories and the rewards to the Lord. The Lord fulfilled His promise to David, now David fulfills his promise.
Rewind… The palace in Israel was in utter chaos… people were running and screaming, panicking, packing, looting. Word just came from Jezreel (Saul and Jonathan’s final battle), that Saul and Jonathon are dead. Jonathon has a young son, a future heir of the throne of Israel, who was just sitting and playing with his toys with a cute little smile on his face when all of a sudden, his nurse picked him up in haste and ran with him fleeing for their lives… But in all the madness, the boy happened to fall out of her hands and fell, badly injuring his feet. He became lame. He became a cripple. Fast forward…Now, a grown up Mephibosheth was sitting on his wheelchair at the table at Makir’s home in Lo-debar… far far from Jerusalem…as far as he could be from King David. Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth, was summoned to the household of David. One can only wonder why he was going to the king’s palace. Maybe it was to finally exterminate the household of Saul by killing his enemy’s last descendant. He bowed in fear before David, giving him deep respect. But, the King told him that he should not be afraid and that it is his intention to show him Hesed, he would show an indescribable kindness to him because of the promise that He gave to his father Jonathan. He will give Mephibosheth all of the property that once belonged to Saul and he would eat with David at the table of the king always. “Why would you reward me, I am just a dead dog?” David told Saul’s servant Ziba to have people till the land for Mephibosheth that he may have bread to eat. But, he will always have food at the table of the king. So Ziba and his son’s did all that David asked. All in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants and he moved to Jerusalem and ate at the table of the king just like one of David’s sons. He did all of this, all because of a promise?
2 Samuel 9:7 NLT
“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.
The Covenant made with Jonathan
Comfort for the Crippled
The Promise of Christ
Today we will see three main promises from our text that will illustrate that we can trust the promises of Christ: first, we will see David’s Covenant of protection, provision, and position. Second we will see how this is Comfort for the Crippled. Finally, we will see that we too have these wonderful promises from Christ today.
Thesis: Yes, though sin and the pattern of this world cause us to cower in weakness when we feel crippled in life. We will see that it is the promise of Christ that will, like David, bring us protection, provision, and position as we are welcomed into the throne room of God and will eat at His table now and forever, not as enemies, but as Children of the most high.
I. The Covenant Made with Jonathan
- God is not a man, so he does not lie.
- God is not a man, so he does not lie.
A. David made a covenant, a promise, with Jonathan; agreeing to Jonathan’s request when David becomes king. Jonathan asked:
1 Samuel 20:14–15 NLT
And may you treat me with the faithful love of the Lord as long as I live. But if I die, treat my family with this faithful love, even when the Lord destroys all your enemies from the face of the earth.”
B. You see, the Lord was destroying all of David’s enemies in the last chapter, we see a summary of the Lord keeping His promise to David. And now David desires to keep his promise to his friend and brother Jonathan. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son and this chapter shows us how David will fulfill his promise. And as we go, we should look and see the covenant that Christ had made with us His people and see how amazing it is.
C. First of all, he would give him protection.
2 Samuel 9:7
2 Samuel 9:7 NLT
“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
Christ promises protection to us
2 Thessalonians 3:3 NLT
But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
D. Second, David promised him provision.
2 Samuel 9:7
2 Samuel 9:7 NLT
“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
Jesus promises to provide anything taken or withheld.
Philippians 4:19 NLT
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
E. Lastly, David promises him position.
2 Samuel 9:7 NLT
“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
This is a privilege that brings the blessings of a son. Mephibosheth will be treated like a son of David. And does Christ promise us sonship?
Romans 8:15–16 NLT
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
F. Just like the king gave promises to Mephibosheth all because of a covenant, so does the King of kings promise us because of a covenant. The scriptures are so full of this precious thing called a covenant. Understanding these covenants will continue to bring you hope and increase your faith in the faithfulness of the promises of God. This is the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus.
G. Are we confident in the promises of God? The difficulty today is the incessant breaking of promises by many and unfortunately those who we are closest to and love. We are surrounded by them. Wives that sit at the dinner table waiting for her husband’s return, a child on the baseball field looking at the stands for dad. Promises of promotions that don’t come. The promises made in political campaigns that never materialize in the office. Promises made to help that never come. New Year resolutions. Till death do us part. We are discouraged because of broken promises made to us, but what about broken promises that we made to others? I can go on and on.
H. But because these happen, it does not mean that God does. The Bible is full of fulfillments of God’s promises and they are all being fulfilled. Then, should we think for any moment that God will actually break his promise to us? Would we actually be arrogant enough to think that you or I would be the person to actually break God’s streak of truth telling? That you or I are the ones to make Him out to be a liar? Tell the whole world for all time the truth, but lie to you or me? We need to think about that the next time we feel like God is not fulfilling his promise.
Numbers 23:19 NLT
God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
J. This is not an actual question. It is a rhetorical question because you already know the answer. Do not forget it this day. God does not lie… all of His promises are yes and ***Amen.
II. Comfort for the Crippled
- We are not David. We are Mephibosheth.
A. Now before we go to the particulars. Remember, again, we do not put ourselves in David’s place as the moral example. Let’s not merely see this as David giving us examples of how we are to have compassion on people, how to love enemies, how to keep promises, and how to help the helpless. There is something greater to see here.
B. Who are we to identify with? Christ is David and we are Mephibosheth. This is the beauty of this chapter.
C. Watch this. What we see here stressed in the text of this chapter is the constant reference to Mephibosheth being lame. We see it at both the beginning and the end. It is a constant picture of how weak and sad this situation is. He is lame and crippled. Even after all the good that was coming his way the author reminds us of it. So sad. Builds sympathy.
D. But did you know that this is not the worst thing in his life? Seriously, how much worse could it be? It is his family. He is the grandson of Saul. He is the grandson of David’s enemy who made his life miserable with constant grief and sorrow. He was David’s natural born enemy. This is why he was afraid. Not only was he lame and crippled… He was an enemy of the King! So Shane are you saying that we are crippled and an enemy of God! Yes! Now before you throw me out… let me finish.
E. Mephibosheth was lame in his feet, he could not walk… just like we are helpless in walking righteous. When it comes to walking in righteousness we are lame; we just can’t. We are helpless! When I desire to do good evil is right there with me. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. Mephibosheth was lame and so could not continue the dynasty of Saul, he was helpless to the cause, the plan, and the purpose of progress. When it comes to the plan the purposes and the progress of God, we are also helpless because we are lame in sin. So we are helpless and we are sinners.
F. But worse than him being lame, Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul, the enemy of David. As a part of the household of David, Mephibosheth was an enemy of David, moreover, he was born an enemy of David. Are you seeing it? When it comes to us, before Christ we are his enemy… we were born his enemy. Scriptures say that we are by nature objects of wrath. We were born enemies of Christ. Sinful from our mother’s womb.
G. You see we are like Mephibosheth… we are helpless and lame in living the way God requires. Our righteousness is as filthy rags and worthless before God, because we are sinners. We are more than just helpless in sin, we are enemies of Christ and deserve judgement and should fear his wrath. Like Mephibosheth trembled before David, Isaiah trembled in the presence of the Lord. He cried out that he was unclean! If we are honest we are more like Mephibosheth than we are David here.
H. David had compassion on his enemy, today we have trouble having compassion on our friends. David loved his enemy, how are we doing with loving our enemies, those who have caused us great harm. Today I think sometimes we have a hard time with loving our own friends and families. David kept his promise. Today, even in the church we have a hard time keeping promises. Every divorce is a breaking of promises. David showed us how to help the helpless, but I wonder how many times if we are honest do we take advantage of the helpless. Sometimes we even use our helping the helpless as a way for us to gain favor with God, favor with people, and the admiration of your fellow church members. Look at me helping the helpless. Even when we help we take advantage. So how are we doing with all of this? Are you doing it perfectly?
I. If we are honest, this teaching of being like David causes more discouragement. We don’t need the Scriptures to tell us that we are to have compassion on the weak, love those who hurt us, keeping our promises and helping the helpless. We all know this; the law of God comes natural to us… it is written on our hearts.
J. Therefore, we know that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and we all have fallen short we are lame in righteousness and condemned as a natural born enemy of God. Think about what we did just last week how did we do with loving our enemies? On the road? Watching a football game? Co-worker? Classmate?
III. The Promise of Christ
- Christ is the hero of the scriptures.
A. Did you know that if it were to count, we have to keep the law perfectly? If you break one of the 10 commandments you are condemned. Did you know that James says that if you break the smallest… Well Shane then we are all lost. That is why I am saying that we are not the hero of the scriptures, we are Mephibosheth. We are not the heros. How many of your Goliaths are still standing today? How many of your sins and habits have we conquered on our own? If we hope in ourselves and in our own efforts, then we will be discouraged today. We just cannot be good enough. We are not hero enough. Even Captain America is not hero enough!
B. That’s why we will do better to see Christ as the hero of the scriptures than us. If I had to depend on my ability to have compassion, loving my enemies, loving my neighbor, loving God, keeping promises even in our own hearts, and helping the helpless. This would not be good news. It would be horrible news. There is no hope. I will never win.
C. What is it that will cause us to really rejoice? Hearing the standard by which we are to live and will absolutely fail in doing, or reflecting on what Christ has done perfectly for us? Christ is the true hero of the Scriptures. The Bible is not here to show us the secret of being a hero, but show us that Christ is the real hero. The Bible is not here to show us how to be better people but shows how Christ saves a sinful people. It is not here to make good people better, but shows how Christ makes dead people live. This is the truth of the Whole of Scripture.
D. Christians. Do you know that we do not live today because we had compassion on others? We live because Christ had compassion on us, keeps his promise, helps the helpless, and loves His enemies. This is the Gospel of Jesus. Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures and he was buried and he was raised on the 3rd day…
Romans 5
Romans 5:6–11 NLT
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
III. The Promise of Christ
- Christ is the hero of the scriptures.
E. Now you tell me if there is greater news than that. This is the promise of God and he will not lie to us. He has shown us throughout all the scriptures that he is faithful to his promises. The same feeling of relief and gratitude experienced by Mephibostheth is now what we experience as Christians today. Take comfort my brothers and sisters in Christ Rejoice today.
F. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And now we have forgiveness and righteousness. He promises that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Repent and believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of the living God and you will have life in His name. A promise from God.
G. Rejoice Christian. Like David gave Mephibosheth a place at the Table. You have a place at the Table at the marriage supper of the lamb in heaven. Also, you today right now have a place at the table of the Lord …right now. It is called the Lord’s Table or the Lord’s Supper. And because we are at the Table it shows that we are children of God.
H. He is our King. He is our Lord. He is our righteousness. He is the reason we can have hope and the reason we can rejoice. Christian, rejoice today… you are no longer enemies but friends of God.
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