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Mephibosheath

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Title: He keeps his promises

Text: 2 Samuel 9:1-13

 

Introduction: In high school, I took my first computer programming course called BASIC.  In that language there was something called and If/then statement.  You had to set certain parameters in correct way in order to get certain outcomes.  If not, an error message would occur and you could not get your preferred result.  Life can be life an “if/then” statement. We have to meet certain criteria in order to get a desire result.  “If I do this then that will happen”.  However, for most us, we don’t achieve our desire results for our lives because we don’t meet the criteria/condition of the “if”.  Only If I was born here… If have knew this… If I didn’t have this… Subsequently, we would have the “then” that follows.  However, I thank God for his mercy and grace because many times my life I did not meet the criteria or condition and He still blessed me!  I may have issues that should affect my outcome.  But God in His sovereignty blesses me despite of me according to his promises through Jesus Christ.  He keeps his promises.  Today’s story is about a man who did not meet the right conditions or criteria to be blessed because of who he was and what he had. Could anybody relate? But God thru David thought otherwise. 

Background:  Here we have in the text, King David who just won several victories over his enemies and has established the kingdom of Israel under his authority.  It is here in the text that we not only see God’s promise to David come into fruition but also an example of what godly compassion thru David looks like.  Even though David has now been exalted to the throne of Israel, he never forgets who he is and where he came from.  It was what David went thru and who helped him get thru that leads us into today’s story.  In verse 1, King David raises this question, “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?”  Here David wants to make good on his promise to his best friend Jonathan who helped David escape from being killed by Jonathan’s father King Saul. David could not but honor this level of loyalty to him.  David did not just make a handshake with Jonathan, he made a covenant.  A covenant is a legal binding obligation or promise.  He had to keep it!  The word covenant in the Hebrew means to cut. In the OT, they would cut an animal in half and the contracting parties would pass between it.  Blood was shed so this covenant could happen.  God did the same thing when he made a covenant with us thru the blood of Jesus that all who was lost.  God keeps his promises!

     David now is going to keep his covenantal promise that he made with Jonathan and show kindness to his offspring. The word kindness in the text has to be look at more closely.  The word in the OL is hesed means more that just kindness. It is a narrowly translated for love. But there is no single word in our English language really to compare it to.  So we use terms like steadfast love, loyal love or covenantal love.  But it is really more like God’s love towards us.  It is the love that will make you stop doing your mess.  It was that ridiculous undeserving love that is needed to love somebody just like you.

      David is a type of Christ. David extension of love in this text demonstrates to the fullest how God love you!  He keeps his promises!

Now there was a servant from the house of Saul named Ziba.  He knew that whereabouts of Jonathan’s offspring.  Jonathan had a son.  The text says that he was lame on both feet.  He was crippled and walked funny.  He could not walk like God created him to walk.  My beloved, some us here don’t walk right either.  You might not be physically crippled but we are spiritually crippled.  You walk funny.  We are not walking the way God wants us to walk. Therefore, we are missing God’s purpose by walking in sin.  Jonathan son was lame in both feet. You can image how he walked.  Lame in one foot is bad enough, but picture being lame in both feet.  Some of us are lame with more than one thing wrong with us.  You can’t walk right because of your struggles and issues.  You are crippled with depression, low self-esteem, and anger.  You have been scarred for life because the stuff that has happen to you and it can affect your future.   

Not only did Jonathan’s son have to deal with being crippled but also he had deal with being called defiled.  In those days the lame were considered defiled or unclean because of their physical ailment. You could not be around anybody fearing you would be made unclean.  My brothers and my sister, your spiritual lameness is pushing people consciously or unconsciously away from you. They don’t want to come near you.  And now you feel the hurt of it because you feeling abandoned.  You have been separated from a normal life because of what you when through.  Also, Jonathan son was separated not only because of his physical problem but also because who he was.  He was the son of Jonathan who was the son of Saul who was considered and enemy of King David. Tradition was that when a new king was enthroned any offspring of he enemy king was killed off nullifying any possible uprising.  So he had lived with this fear and this physical problem all his life that he really had nothing to do with. Somebody knows what it feels like to deal with stuff you did not have anything to do with.  It was not his fault he was crippled.  It happen when he was 5yrs old (which made him too young to understand what and enemy was), his nurse was trying to keep him safe from the Philistine army that just killed his father and grandfather. While fleeing, she dropped him which caused his physical defect.  Somebody here can testify that somebody who cared for you dropped you and you have not been right since.  You were drop by parents who did tell you you’re pretty.  You got dropped when loved ones says that you would not amount to anything. You were dropped by people who should have cared for and now you are mess up for life.  And with all that you are in place of isolation.  The text says that Jonathan son was in a place called Lodebar which means “not a pasture or pastureless”.  He was in a place where not was growing.  It was a desert place in exile.  He had live there all because of what he had and who he was.  Somebody feels that they are in Lodebar.  You are in a place of exile where nothing is growing and things are drying up all around us.  Imagine how this man feeling.  He comes from a royal line now living with a handicap and in fear of his life and it aint nothing good around him.  My brothers and my sisters, if you feel that you are in Lodebar, I got some good news tell you. The King is coming to get you! You are never too far from His reach! You have been separated because of your issues for long enough and the king is going to seek you out to give you a promise.  Look at the text in verse 5, David sent and fetch him out of Lodedar.  God will seek you in from your place of exile to bless you.  That is what He promises thru his Son Jesus Christ.  Luke 19:10 tells us that the Son of man came to seek and save them that are lost.  You were lost but now you are found.  No matter how bad you think your situation is and how far out you are from blessing, God will come get you!  He sends the Holy Ghost to love and to convict you to bring to your rightful place. 

Here in verse 6 is the first time we hear the name Mephibosheth.  He is the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul.  With the fear that his shameful life would come to an end because of who he was, he goes before King David.  His actions in front of David show us how he lives up to his name. The text says that he fell on his face and reverence and answers king David, “behold your servant”.  He submitted to the authority of the King.  My beloved this is picture of worship.  He bowed down to the King!  The name Mephibosheth means dispeller of shame or exterminating the idol.  I am here to tell you when you bow down to the king He (1) it dispels the shame in you life because in the King’s presence is the fullness of joy.  And the love you experience when you worship can take all of the shame that you are dealing with. Also (2), you exterminate idols when you worship because you are putting the true and living God over all false gods recognizing that you know who got all power!  He is the king of all kings that is why we worship him. 

We have to realize that the lower we get, the higher God can raise us.  Watch how God is going to raise up Mephibosheth.  In verse 7, David tells him don’t fear I am going to restore to you the land of your father Saul all because of your father Jonathan.  Not only that, but you will eat at my table for rest of your life.  God is telling you that whatever you lost because of your issues, He is going to restore.  Somebody’s joy is coming back.  Somebody’s health is coming back. Somebody’s hope is coming back.  Look what else David promised Mephibosheth.  David promises that he will eat always at the king’s table.  This is how God is, not only will he restore us but He will also show us favor to be in places that we don’t even deserve like the jobs we have and the car we driving. We don’t deserve it but God showed us favor!  But the sad part is that most of us who have issues think that we are so insignificant that we don’t deserve to be blessed.  This is how Mephibosheth feels.  Look at text in verse 8.  It says, “And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”  Many of us miss out on what God has to offer not because of who we are but how we feel about who we are.  But you have feel about yourself the way God feels about you.  You are not a mess you are a miracle!  You are a child of God and no devil can change it. 

In verses 9-11, we see when God makes a covenant with you, He will provide the means for the blessing to manifest. David tells Saul servant Ziba that all that Saul had now belongs to Mephibosheth.  David charged Ziba that his 15 sons and his 20 servants to serve Mephibosheth and to till the land so that he may eat from fruit of the land.  However, Mephibosheth will always eat at the kings table like a son. God has a way to raise you up and use other people’s labor to bless you. Not only that, God wants to adopt you into His family.  God is showing us thru David on how he wants to bless those who have been living with shame and in loneliness with love and abundance.  He gives you a holy inheritance and adopts into his family puts at the kings table. 

Celebration:  God promises stand in spite of you.  Mephosheth is still lame, but he is not staying in Lodebar.  He went from being shamed by people to having joy by the King.  And he is eating at the kings table.  My beloved, no matter what your condition is or who you are or how we feel; God keeps his promise! You may feel like your walk of life may always be messed up and that you are out there in Lodebar.  But God is going bring you out of that shame into your promise.  He is going to drawn with what Jeremiah tells us with and everlasting love.  And put you on the kings table.  At the kings table you will have everything your heart desire!  What on his table, love etc..

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