2 Samuel 9:1-13 (NIV)
A YOUNG FAMILY MOVED BACK
TO THE FAMILY HOMETOWN.
ONE DAY THEIR SON RYAN MENTIONED THAT THE LADY AT THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA WAS REAL NICE TO HIM.
HE SAID THAT SHE WOULD SMILE AND GIVE HIM EXTRAS ON HIS TRAY.
RYAN SAID, I DON’T KNOW WHY SHE IS SO NICE TO ME. SHE ALWAYS SAYS NO TO THE OTHER KIDS, BUT NOT TO ME.
SO RYAN’S MOTHER WENT TO THE SCHOOL TO SEE WHO THIS LADY WAS.
RYAN POINTED HER OUT TO HIS MOM, BUT SHE DIDN’T RECOGNIZE THE LADY AT ALL.
SHE WENT UP TO HER AND ASKED, DO YOU KNOW ME?
THE CAFETERIA LADY SAID NO, BUT I KNOW YOU ARE MOTHER HINSLEY’S GRAND DAUGHTER.
MOTHER HINSLEY NEVER LET ME AND MY CHILDREN
GO WITHOUT ANYTHING.
I JUST WANTED TO BE NICE TO SOMEONE IN HER FAMILY.
TODAY’S SERMON IS ABOUT A YOUNG MAN WITH A STRANGE NAME.
HIS NAME WAS MEPHIBOSHETH; MEPHIBOSHETH MEANS
4648 Mƒphı̂ybôsheth (15), dispeller of Shame
YOU SEE, WHEN MEPHIBOSHETH WAS JUST 5 YEARS OLD, HIS FATHER ... PRINCE JONATHAN
AND HIS GRAND FATHER... KING SAUL
WERE KILLED ON MOUNT GILBOA WHILE FIGHTING THE PHILISTINES.
IN FACT, KING SAUL AND ALL THREE OF HIS SONS DIED ON THAT SAME FATEFUL DAY.
WHEN MEPHIBOSHETH’S NURSE HEARD ABOUT THE DEATH OF KING SAUL AND JONATHAN SHE GRABBED UP LITTLE MEPHIBOSHETH AND BEGAN RUNNING WITH HIM
BUT IN HER HASTE, SHE DROPPED HIM AND BROKE BOTH OF HIS ANKLES MAKING HIM A CRIPPLE FOR LIFE.
WE READ ABOUT IT IN:
2 Samuel 4:4 (NIV)
4 (Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became crippled. His name was Mephibosheth.)
THE NURSE QUICKLY TRAVELED, WITH MEPHIBOSHETH,
TO A FAR OUT OF THE WAY PLACE CALLED LO’DEBAR.
IT WAS A PLACE OF NO ACCOUNT.
A PLACE FOR HIDING.
IN FACT LO’DEBAR LITERALLY MEANS ‘NOTHING’
IN THE EASTERN CULTURE OF THAT DAY, WHEN A KING DIED AND THERE WAS A NEW PERSON ON THE THRONE.
THE NEW KING WOULD OFTEN KILL ANYONE ELSE THAT MIGHT BE A THREAT TO HIS POSITION OF POWER.
THIS IS THE REASON THE NURSE RAN WITH LITTLE MEPHIBOSHETH AND HID AT LO DEBAR.
THAT’S THE BACKGROUND HISTORY FOR MEPHIBOSHETH
NOW, HERE’S SOME BACKGROUND HISTORY FOR DAVID AND JONATHAN.
DAVID AND JONATHAN WERE KINDRED SPIRITS.
DAVID AND JONATHAN WERE CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH.
THEY WERE TWO GUYS THAT HAD SO MUCH IN COMMON THAT THEY REALLY LIKED BEING AROUND EACH OTHER.
THE BIBLE SAYS THAT THEY LOVED EACH OTHER.
WHEN JONATHAN DIED IN BATTLE, DAVID WROTE A TRIBUTE TO JONATHAN.
AND THIS IS A LITTLE PART OF IT.
2 Samuel 1:25-26 (NIV)
25* “How the mighty have fallen in battle! *
Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26* I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; *
you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
more wonderful than that of women.
WELL IT WAS SEVERAL MORE YEARS BEFORE DAVID GAINED KINGSHIP OVER THE WHOLE LAND OF ISRAEL.
BUT WHEN THE DAY CAME, THAT HE KNEW HE WAS FIRMLY ESTABLISHED AS KING OVER ALL THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL,
HE REMEMBERED A VOW THAT HE AND JONATHAN HAD MADE TO EACH OTHER.
THAT VOW IS FOUND IN 1 SAMUEL 20:14-17
STARTING IN VERSE 14
JONATHAN IS TALKING TO DAVID, HERE IS WHAT HE SAID.
14 But* show me unfailing kindness like that of the Lord as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.” *
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
NOW, DAVID IS FIRMLY ESTABLISHED AS KING OVER ALL ISRAEL
AND NOW HE IS REMEMBERING THIS VOW HE MADE WITH HIS CLOSE FRIEND JONATHAN.
KING DAVID WANTS TO MAKE GOOD ON IT.
SO HE INQUIRES ABOUT THE HOUSE OF SAUL.
TURN TO 2 Samuel 9:1-13 (NIV)
2 Samuel 9:1-13 (NIV)
David and Mephibosheth
9* David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” *
2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They called him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”
“Your servant,” he replied.
3 The king asked, “Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”
Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.”
4 “Where is he?” the king asked.
Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”
5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.
6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, “Mephibosheth!”
“Your servant,” he replied.
7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.
12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet.
CAN YOU PUT YOURSELF IN MEPHIBOSHETH’S PLACE FOR A MINUTE.
HE KNOWS THAT HE IS A DESCENDANT OF KING SAUL AND THAT VERY FACT PUTS HIS LIFE IN JEOPARDY.
FROM ALMOST AS FAR BACK AS HE CAN REMEMBER HE HAS BEEN A CRIPPLE.
HE HAS SPENT HIS WHOLE LIFE HIDING IN FEAR,
HIDING IN THIS BACK WATER PLACE CALLED LO DEBAR.
THE NAME LO DEBAR JUST SOUNDS LIKE A PLACE FOR A DEFEATED PERSON.
HIGH DEBAR WOULD SOUND GOOD
BUT LO DEBAR SOUNDS ... WELL, LOWER.
HOW MANY NIGHTS DID HE WONDER HOW LONG IT WOULD BE BEFORE THE SOLDERS WOULD COME FOR HIM?
HOW MANY DAYS DID HE LOOK DOWN THAT DIRT ROAD AND WONDER IF TODAY WOULD BE THE DAY THEY WOULD TAKE HIM AWAY?
AS THE YEARS CAME AND WENT HE PROBABLY BEGAN TO FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE LIVING IN LO DEBAR.
HE DECIDED TO MARRY AND START A FAMILY.
HE HAD A SON NAMED MICA.
HERE WE HAVE A SON OF A PRINCE.
THE GRANDSON OF A KING LIVING IN LO DEBAR.
HERE WE HAVE A PERSON THAT IS CRIPPLED AND BROKEN.
LIVING IN DESPAIR WITH NO HOPE.
BUT THERE WAS A KING IN JERUSALEM WHO HAD MADE A VOW.
THERE WAS A KING IN ISRAEL WHO WANTED TO DO SOMETHING FOR HIS CLOSE FRIEND JONATHAN.
THERE WAS A KING THAT BEGAN THE PROCESS OF FINDING A DESCENDANT OF HIS CLOSE FRIEND JONATHAN.
WHEN DAVID FOUND THAT THERE WAS A SON OF JONATHAN STILL LIVING, HE SENT HIS SOLDIERS TO
LO DEBAR TO BRING HIM UP FROM THERE
TO THE PALACE OF THE KING.
I CAN SEE MEPHIBOSHETH SETTING OUTSIDE THE HOUSE ONE MORNING AND SEEING THE SOLDIERS COMING DOWN THAT DIRT ROAD.
HE HAD SEEN THIS IN HIS MIND A THOUSAND TIMES BEFORE AND EVERY TIME HE HAD IMAGINED IT,
THINGS DIDN’T GO WELL.
WHEN THE SOLDIERS HAD COME UP TO THE HOUSE,
THEY TOLD MEPHIBOSHETH THAT THE KING WANTED TO TALK TO HIM.
THEY TOOK MEHPIBOSHETH INTO CUSTODY AND BEGAN THE JOURNEY BACK TO THE PALACE.
AS THEY TRAVELED, I’M CERTAIN THAT MEHPIBOSHETH BEGAN PREPARING HIMSELF FOR HIS DEATH.
THEN THEY ARRIVED AT THE PALACE, AND MEHPIBOSHETH WAS USHERED INTO THE PRESENCE OF THE KING.
HE PROBABLY THOUGHT THAT THIS WAS ONLY A FORMALITY.
THE KING IS GOING TO SENTENCE ME TO DEATH AND THEN THEY WILL KILL ME.
WHAT GOOD HAVE I EVER DONE ANYWAY?
I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A BURDEN.
I’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO SUPPORT MYSELF.
I PROBABLY DESERVE TO DIE.
SO JUST LET IT HAPPEN.
BUT WHAT’S THIS?
THE SENTENCE DOESN’T SOUND ANYTHING LIKE THE ONE HE HAS HEARD A THOUSAND TIMES IN HIS HEAD.
THE KING IS SAYING THAT
HE IS SHOWING ME KINDNESS BECAUSE OF MY FATHER.
HE IS GIVING ME ALL OF KING SAUL’S PROPERTY.
HE IS MAKING ZIBA TAKE CARE OF IT ALL AND TO GIVE ALL THE PROFITS TO ME.
HOW CAN THIS BE?
I’M LOWER THAN A DEAD DOG.
I DON’T DESERVE THIS.
I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO BE TREATED LIKE THIS.
AND NOW ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE
THE KING IS MAKING ME A PART OF HIS FAMILY.
I CAN NOW EAT AT THE KING’S TABLE.
I AM BEING ADOPTED INTO THE KINGS FAMILY AND HE IS GOING TO TREAT ME LIKE HIS VERY OWN SON.
THE KING DIDN’T HAVE TO DO THIS FOR ME.
THE KING CHOSE TO SAVE ME OUT OF LO DEBAR AND BRING ME INTO HIS PALACE.
AND I’M NOT GOING TO TURN MY BACK ON HIS OFFER.
I’M GOING TO ACCEPT IT WITH A GREATEFUL AND THANKFUL HEART.
O MY FRIEND, DO YOU SEE THAT JUST LIKE MEPHIBOSHETH, YOU AND I ARE BROKEN.
JUST LIKE MEHPIBOSHETH;
WE’VE DONE NOTHING TO DESERVE LIVING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE KING.
IN FACT IF THINGS WERE TO GO THE WAY THEY SHOULD HAVE GONE, WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED.
ARE YOU STILL LIVING IN LO DEBAR?
ARE YOU STILL LIVING THE LOW LIFE.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANYMORE.
THE KING HAS SENT FOR YOU AND HE IS OFFERING TO GIVE YOU THE INHERITANCE THAT YOUR FATHER ADAM FORFEITED.
HE’S OFFERING TO ADOPT YOU INTO HIS FAMILY AND TO LET YOU EAT AT HIS TABLE.
WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE IN LO DEBAR,
WHEN YOU CAN LIVE IN THE PALACE OF THE KING?
WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DIE INSTEAD OF LIVING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE KING.
THERE IS JOY IN THE PALACE OF THE KING.
THERE IS ABUNDANCE IN THE PALACE OF THE KING
THERE IS PEACE IN THE PALACE OF THE KING.
THERE IS FELLOWSHIP IN THE PALACE OF THE KING.
MEHPIBOSHETH CHOOSE TO LIVE IN THE PALACE.
WHERE WILL YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE?
MEHPIBOSHETH CHOOSE TO BECOME A PART OF THE KINGS FAMILY,
WHAT FAMILY WILL YOU CHOOSE TO BE A PART OF?
THE KING IS SAYING I’LL RESTORE TO YOU WHAT YOU’VE LOST.
I’LL GIVE YOU THE HOLY SPIRIT TO WATCH OVER YOU AND YOURS.
I’LL FEED AND FELLOWSHIP WITH YOU EVERYDAY.
JUST ACCEPT MY GIFT AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO RETURN TO LO DEBAR.
ACCEPT MY GIFT AND YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE SO MUCH.
YOUR LIFE WILL BE SO AMAZINGLY BETTER THAT YOU’LL WONDER WHY YOU EVER HESITATED TO ACCEPT THE OFFER OF THE KING.
SO WILL YOU?
THE ALTAR IS OPEN
GOD’S OFFER IS LAID OUT THERE FOR YOU TO ACCEPT.
LEAVE LO DEBAR BEHIND AND BECOME A SON OF GOD.