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At the Table of the King

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Mephibosheth experienced unfounded favor from the king.

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Introduction

Recently, I read an article by a pastor that said this -
Recently, I read an article by a pastor that said this -
“There are pockets of broken, hurting, marginalized people in every city across our nation. They are often ignored and overlooked or worse, despised and abused. Some are…due to their own decisions and mistakes, others, [through circumstances not their own]. Whatever the circumstances, they now pass their days in a state of hopelessness, unable to believe that their lives could ever be different.”
The article hits on some of truth of the reality all over the world, but even in our city, including the reality of folks in our midst, people sitting to your left and right - whether it be now, a long time ago, or a time to come. Living in this hopelessness, guilt, or shame often times leads us to hiding, even in the open- because we think no one must know or care about our struggles.
I’ve lived in hopelessness when diagnosed with a terminal illness in 2014. I’ve lived in guilt through various mistakes and failures, and in shame because of circumstances that were possibly beyond my control. And all of them tempting me to live in “public-isolation” - apart from community, family, friends.
If you're struggling - What’s your story that has brought you to a point of hopelessness? Whether it’s in your control or not, what’s bearing on your soul and causing you to possibly hide and feel hopeless? What are those things in your life that cause you to believe that it’ll never be different?
Some of us actually are in a place where you are experiencing great hope and deep community. But think about how do you stay hopeful when the rug is pulled out from under you and your diagnosed with an illness, or loose your job, your spouse leaves you, or your child looses his mind in HEB?
All of us have had something in our lives at some point that has caused or is causing hopelessness and isolation. If I were to ask you about a time in your life where this was your story, what would you say? Would or could you even tell me?
<pause>
I think in America, we find false hope hiding behind the proverbial mask. Most will carry the unspoken to our graves. Yet, all the while, longing to be release from it.  Yet you and I always long for hope in our circumstances. We long to wrapped in the arms of a community that loves us despite our illnesses, sins, mistakes, circumstances of life.
Frame the MBI
The question is then, Where do you look for hope? Who restores it when it’s lost? Can we be restored in hope and brought into a community that doesn’t hold our circumstances or past over us? For those of us who are experiencing deep hope, how do we help those around us see through their hopelessness?

Introduce the Passage

We’re going to be looking at an Old Testament story in want introduce you to my friend king David, who has been called a man after God’s own heart.  And Mephibosheth, a man who carries deep hopelessness, who has suddenly been summoned by a king who probably wants him dead.
SETTING:
Our story begins after David has found himself in a place where his enemies are defeated and his kingdom is firmly established.Read v. 1.And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
David finds himself in a place to make good on a promise he made with his friend, Jonathan Have to know the background hereFirst - Based on Promise made at –15Jonathan ask David not to cut off his love from his offspring.Second - you have to know that David has no obligation to honor this promise - culturally is was accepted for kings to wipe out previous dynasty descendants to secure their throne.Here we are - David seeking out Jonathan’s kids.
RISING TENSION:
Read v.2-6.2 Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” 3 And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” 4 The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 6 And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” Immediately we find out through Ziba that Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, is alive… but he is crippled. David commands to have Mephibosheth brought to him. Him being Cripple doesn’t matter or does it? Back in , it is written that that the “lame and blind are hated by David’s soul.” David has exclaimed that “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house,” Character Study - Mephibosheth - This man is a walking pile of hopelessness. He is a marked man. Son of the previous failed dynasty, living in exile, crippled (was dropped as a boy by nurse), he is presumably hated because of it, he is a disgrace, and the king probably wants to kill him. This is his reputation. Everything has been stripped from him. And he is hiding in a town that’s name means “nothing!” Mephibosheth has lost everything and is hiding in deep hopelessness. Most people will see Mephibosheth and walk on the other side of the road. He has lived a tough life and just doesn't have much going for him. And now, the king has summoned him. Mephibosheth arrives at Davids court, probably about to mess his pants. Can you imagine the fear running through his veins as David shouts his name in vs. 6? In fear, he falls on his face before David. Even though he was uncertain of his fate, there could be only one reason the king would summon him. And it most likely wasn’t for a Texas BBQ, unless he’s on the menu. <LONG PAUSE>
CLIMAX: (turning point)
There is no way.  Not even a possible hint… that Mephibosheth expected the next words out of Davids mouth. I mean David hates cripples.  He’s the grandson of a man that tried to kill him, and the grandson of the former king. David had every right to wipe him off the face of the earth. Read v. 7 (READ SLOW)And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” Imagine as Mephibosheth is on his face he hears those word come out of Davids mouth. Imagine the disbelief.<READ SLOW> “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness” The lands and servants of his fathers are restored to him, and even more has been given a permanent place at the table of the king! David has brought hope into Mephibosheth’s life. Remember what Mephibosheth was previous to v7? An outcast.  An outsider. His reputation was the crippled grandson of a disgraced and shameful dynasty. In that culture - being invited to the table of the king suggests intimacy…family. David is saying - you are no longer a disgrace, you are no longer an outsider - you are my family. I am taking away your hopelessness and giving you hope… welcome home. He is so dumbfounded he even questions David in v.8. Read v.8.And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?” Mephibosheth knows his shame.
FOLLOWING ACTION/CONCLUDING LESSONS:
It seems to me from the text that David doesn't even acknowledge his nonsense and puts his plan to bring hope to Mephibosheth into action. Read v.9-13Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons. 12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet. 3 times in this last part and 4 times in the story, David’s table is mentioned as a place for Mephibosheth. Whatever his reputation was, whatever his social status was, no matter that he is crippled in both feet, no matter the reasons for the shame he hid in the town of “nothing” - Mephibosheth is now family.  His hope is restored. And now you live in the capital with land, and servants, a full belly and a family. It may seem baffling that this amazing story of hope restored end with a reminder that Mephibosheth was crippled.  One possible takeaway - The world may see a hopeless crippled, but the king sees a son. His physical condition doesn't diminish the honor bestowed and that he has gone from “nothing” to “something”- who has a permanent seat at the king's table - a position “that grants honor and respect.”
Outline the Connect Section
Mephibosheth’s life was one that hid in hopelessness - dishonored and disconnected from the world. Like my friend Mephibosheth, We all have something in our lives that cause us hide in our hopelessness. And Like him, we need a king to enter in our life extending his kindness -  offering to give us hope and a place of loving community. In fact, we do have a King that is far, far greater than David and is all about dishing out hope and community - and thats Jesus. David’s kindness to Mephibosheth illustrates the kindness and love of Jesus has toward mankind. Mephibosheth was a descendant of a rejected house - as king, David did not have to honor his promise to Jonathan.  Likewise Jesus is under no obligation to seek out rebellious and shameful people and bring us a hope that transcends anything we can imagine. God sent Mephibosheth David.  God sent us Jesus.
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Jesus was sent to invite us to his table and give us a family and hope in our hopelessness.

Application

Jesus is our hope-filled King… Because of that, I have three application points looking at Ephesians- Because Jesus is our hope-filled King, we can embrace his unconditional love. Initially Mephibosheth questions his king at this great act of love - and I applaud his humble self-depreciation - but bro! Did you just hear the outpouring of love your king gave you?!
You were, in fact, a dead dog, but now you're a beloved son. Even with living in the town of “nothing,” knowing of your lameness, living in your shameful state, your king extended his unconditional love!
- But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— (ESV) When we trust in Jesus, God gives us a new identity!
- lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame...(ESV) With joy and love in his heart - Jesus took your hopelessness to the cross. Embrace the unconditional love Jesus gives! Because Jesus is our hope-filled King, we can trust that he desires us to be in his presence. - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (ESV) Jesus desires you to be in his presence and to lavish you in his Grace. He is inviting you to a seat, a permanent place, at his table. Mephibosheth was raised up from his the shame of his situation and brought into the presence of the king. Even while we were enemies of God Jesus desires you to be in his presence.  
- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners (enemies!), Christ died for us. (ESV)
He is beckoning you to come. Mephibosheth answers David’s call and he received great unexpected blessings. He received hope and as icing on the cake - a seat at David’s Table - an even greater honor. David didn’t just want Mephibosheth in his presence for a moment - he wanted him in his presence permanently - By this, he is essentially brought into David’s family. Adopted… like a son. Jesus invites you into his presence, not for a moment, but for eternity when you say yes to his invitation. He gives you a seat with him forever in heavenly places () - a seat of immense and unbreakable hope - adopting you as his sons and daughters
The King desires you to be in his presence! Finally, Because Jesus is our hope-filled King, we can rest assured in his kindness. - For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV) After Mephibosheth seems to cant see past his circumstances or feels so defined by his hopelessness with is dead dog comment - I think it speaks loudly that David doesn't even acknowledge it.
He goes right in to enacting his plan to bring him hope. He’s pointing out to Mephibosheth - your dead-doggedness has no bearing on my kindness to you - my kindness is not dependent on you - now go walk in hope. Rest assured in Jesus’ kindness. Yours and my circumstances have no bearing on his kindness to us.  That doesn’t mean doesn’t care about our circumstances, they just don’t bear on his kindness to us. He extends his kindness despite our circumstances and covers you with his hope.  His hope is a gift to you. RECAP Embrace Jesus’ unconditional love Trust that Jesus desires you to be in his presence Rest assured Jesus’ his kindnessBecause he is our hope-filled King…

Close

To close - I ask again.  Who will restore your hope? Who will rescue you from that something that causes you to isolate yourself? I submit to you there is only one that can do that - David’s grandson, Jesus.  Because Jesus is our hope-filled King, we can trust that he will bring us hope.
Come out from hiding and lay aside your hopelessness and look “to Jesus... who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus spread out his arms and with the deepest love and kindness, took your hopelessness, your sin, your guilt, your shame to the cross and covers you in his hope-filled love.
He permanently invites us to his Table as sons and daughters to taste and see the hope that permeates our soul and surpasses any circumstance this world throws at us.
Friends, Because Jesus is our hope-filled King, we can trust that he will bring us the hope we need, and the hope to extend to others.
Pray
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