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Grace Illustrated: David and Mephibosheth

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., May 5, 2019
Part of the Great Events in the History of Redemption series.

This coming Lord’s Day we will continue following the story of David’s life and ministry to God as the king of Israel, the greatest of Israel’s kings, the ideal king! And as you may remember, we are paying particular attention to the outworking of the covenant the Lord made with David, and how that covenant reveals God’s plan of salvation, which reaches its consummation in our Lord Jesus Christ. We learn about this covenant in 2 Samuel 7:12-13, where the Lord says:

“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

As we look back upon the life of David, we see him as a ‘type of Christ.’ He is the one whom God raised up to uniquely foreshadow the ministry of our Lord Jesus. And this is why our Lord is depicted in Scripture as the fulfillment of the eternal Davidic Kingship. He is the One who came from David’s lineage. He is the One who would assume David’s throne. And like David, Jesus would exercise a sovereign rule over His people, and even over the whole universe! He would be the One to provide for His people, even to represent them before the Lord God as a Priest, Intercessor, and Mediator.

This week, we will begin an examination of 2 Samuel 9. Here, we will encounter the most beloved story of David and “Mephibosheth,” the crippled son of Jonathan, David’s dearest friend and the one with whom he had established a special bond and “covenant.” It is within this amazing story that we encounter a most vivid picture of God’s grace, or what is known as “kindness” in 2 Samuel 9 (see vv. 1, 3, and 7).

2 Samuel 9:1-13

1And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake? 2And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. 3And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet. 4And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar. 5Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. 6Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! 7And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. 8And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? 9Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. 10Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons. 12And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth. 13So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet. (KJV)