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Faithlife

2 Samuel 9

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ANNOUNCE SHOW AND TELL

Introduction**

As we saw in the second half of 1 Samuel, David suffered much at the hands of Saul.

It would have been understandable if David had conveniently forgotten his promise to Jonathan.

That promise?
Back in , as Jonathan and David were saying their goodbyes, Jonathan elicited a promise from David:
1 Samuel 20:14–15 NKJV
And you shall not only show me the kindness of the Lord while I still live, that I may not die; but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the Lord has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.”
And the promise was repeated in verse 42:
1 Samuel 20:42 NKJV
Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’ ” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
1 Samuel 20:42
But David did not forget his promise to his friend, even though many years had passed since that covenant had been made.
After all he had suffered at the hands of Saul, it would have been understandable if David had conveniently forgotten his promise to Jonathan (, , ), especially in view of the fact that Jonathan had initiated the covenant agreement.
But it was one of David’s strengths that he did not forget what he had undertaken, even though many years had passed since that covenant had been made.
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These chapters all seem to flow together and it could be easy to lose these sense of time passing.

According to chapter 4, Mephibosheth was five years old at the death of his father.

He now has a young son of his own.
And in all that time, with all the action and events … David remembered his promise.
In the years that passed from the death of Saul to now, David has defeated his enemies.
He has secured his throne and established his empire.
He was therefore in a position to fulfil the obligation he had undertaken to show loyalty to Jonathan’s descendants.
David had seen his enemies defeated, his throne secured, and his empire established. He was therefore in a position to fulfil the obligation he had undertaken to show loyalty to Jonathan’s descendants.
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There are 2 themes in this chapter.
“The kindness of God” is the one of two themes in this chapter (vv. 1, 3, 7), and it means the mercy and favor of the Lord to undeserving people. Paul saw the kindness of God in the coming of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross ( [3:4]; [2:7]), and we see in David’s dealings with Mephibosheth a picture of God’s kindness to lost sinners. David had promised both Saul and Jonathan that he would not exterminate their descendants when he became king (, ; ), and in the case of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, David not only kept his promise but went above and beyond the call of duty.
One of them is the kindness of God.
“The kindness of God” is one of two themes in this chapter.
We see it in verses 1, 3, and 7.
In each case it’s חֶ֫סֶד Chesed: A word that means loyal love.
In the case of God, He shows His loyal love to us ‘undeserving people’ by the means of His mercy and favor.
It’s expressed wonderfully in in this way:
Titus 3:4–7 NKJV
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:4-7

Paul saw the kindness of God in the coming of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.

Paul saw the kindness of God in the coming of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross ( [3:4]; [2:7]), and we see in David’s dealings with Mephibosheth a picture of God’s kindness to lost sinners. David had promised both Saul and Jonathan that he would not exterminate their descendants when he became king (, ; ), and in the case of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, David not only kept his promise but went above and beyond the call of duty.
And in our chapter for tonight, we see in David’s kindness toward Mephibosheth a picture of God’s kindness to lost sinners.
In the case of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, David not only kept his promise, but he went above and beyond the call of duty.
The second theme is the kingship of David.
- 6 times in the chapter he’s called just “David.”
- Another 6 times he’s called “the king.”
- And one time “king” and “David” are united into “King David.”
Because David was king, he was able to show this kindness to Mephibosheth.

Nobody else could.

David had inherited all that had belonged to King Saul and could dispose of it as he saw fit.
He had inherited all that had belonged to King Saul (12:8) and could dispose of it as he saw fit.
So then, we have a picture of Jesus Christ, who through His death, resurrection, and ascension has been glorified on the throne of heaven and can now dispense His spiritual riches to needy sinners.
But David could not act as priest … Saul had presumed to act as both and had lost his kingdom.
Later kings would do the same and also suffer judgment by God.
So, David had his own High Priest, Abiathar.
But Abiathar, like all other Aaronic Priests under the Mosaic System could only make imperfect sacrifices to temporarily atone for sin … not permanently clean away sin.

As we saw in chapter 5 of Hebrews this past Sunday, Christ is both priest and king.

The name “David” means “beloved,” and Jesus is God’s beloved Son (; ), sent to earth to save lost sinners.
The name “David” means “beloved,” and Jesus is God’s beloved Son, sent to earth to save lost sinners.
As Priest, Jesus presented the perfect sacrifice for our sins … that sacrifice was Himself.
As King, Jesus rules.
Because Jesus is both High Priest and King, we can, “Come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” as says.
Do not read below:
Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16
The Aaronic priesthood, with all of its sacrifices and ceremonies, could not give a sinner into rest.
Finding Mephibosheth (vv. 1–4). It’s important to note that David’s motivation for seeking Mephibosheth was not the sad plight of the crippled man but David’s desire to honor Jonathan, the father. He did what he did “for Jonathan’s sake” (). Mephibosheth was five years old when his father died in battle (4:4), so he was now about twenty-one years old and had a young son of his own (v. 12). David couldn’t show any love or kindness to Jonathan, so he looked for one of Jonathan’s relatives to whom he could express his affection. So it is with God’s children: they are called and saved, not because they deserve anything from God, but for the sake of God’s Son, Jesus Christ (; ). God in His grace gives us what we don’t deserve, and in His mercy doesn’t give us what we do deserve.
The Aaronic priesthood, with all of its sacrifices and ceremonies, could not give a sinner into rest.
Rather, it promised more and more work, none of which could affect salvation.
But the priesthood of Christ, which offers salvation by grace through faith and not of works, DOES bring rest.
And Jesus’ kingship means we are safe from our enemy, and gives our Lord the right to extend His loyal love to us.
A great reminder for us this evening.
Let’s pray and dig into God’s Word.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for everyone here this evening. Thank You that You know each of us by name and have caused us to walk with You. Lord, we open up Your word desiring to hear from You ... not man's word or wisdom, but Your Words and Wisdom. Please soften our hearts to receive from You.

v1-4

The promise that David had made to Jonathan dealt with Jonathan’s immediate family.

But David extends that promise even wider … willing to include any of Saul’s surviving sons or grandsons.

His motive, however, is most definitely to do this for Jonathan’s sake.
Now, as you may remember, Jonathan was Saul’s son and David’s best friend.
He stuck by David and helped David to escape Saul.
He was later killed fighting with his father against the Philistines.
He was entitled to his father’s throne, but understood that God had anointed David to be king.
David and he had planned on Jonathan serving in his administration … but that would never be.
Jonathan was killed fighting with his father against the Philistines.
Surely David missed his friend and wished Jonathan was with him to help in ruling the kingdom.
With the demise of Saul’s kingship, members of the king’s household had made themselves scarce.
This is why David is fishing for information.
And he found one servant remaining from the house of Saul … Ziba.
And Ziba was aware of the whereabouts of a son of Jonathan.

That son was Mephibosheth.

His name means “Dispeller of Shame.”

And this son of Jonathan was “lame in his feet.”
speaks of how this happened.
2 Samuel 4:4 NKJV
Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
Although it’s not clearly spelled out, it is likely that the battle at Mount Gilboa in which Saul was killed led to Philistine control of the entire central region.
Although it’s not clearly spelled out in the Biblical account, it is believed by most that the battle at Mount Gilboa in which Saul was killed led to Philistine control of the entire central region.
The Philistines then would have probably sacked Saul’s capital at Gibeah.
That would explain the frantic retreat of Saul’s household and the tragic injury to Mephibosheth.
The nature of Mephibosheth’s injury, we don’t know, other than that he was lame in his feet.
A neck or spine injury could have done it, but in that time it didn’t have to be something as severe as that.
Something as simple as a drop or crush that broke bones in the leg or feet could have done it.
Splinting to set bones was a practice known in the ancient world
Broken legs or ankles improperly set or poorly treated could likewise lame him.
And compound fractures were often beyond any help.
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Now, it’s important to note that David’s motivation for seeking Mephibosheth was not spurred by his disability.

Rather, it was David’s desire to honor Jonathan, the father.

As we noted before, as the text says, David did this “for Jonathan’s sake” according to the covenant made with him.
Mephibosheth was five years old when his father died in battle, so he was now about twenty-one years old and had a young son of his own.
David couldn’t show any love or kindness to Jonathan, so he looked for one of Jonathan’s relatives to whom he could express his affection.
So it is with God’s children.
We are called and saved, not because we deserve anything from God.
Rather, it’s for the sake of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Check out what God’s Word has to say about this:
Ephesians 1:3–7 NKJV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Ephesians 1:3-6
God in His grace gives us what we don’t deserve, and in His mercy doesn’t give us what we do deserve.
Ephesians 1:6 NKJV
to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Ephesians 4:32 NKJV
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
God in His grace gives us what we don’t deserve, and in His mercy doesn’t give us what we do deserve.
David found out where Mephibosheth was living by asking Ziba, who served as an “estate manager” for Saul.
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David had already showed kindness to Ziba, who had been a servant in Saul’s household … perhaps even a manager of Saul’s estate.

We know this because verse 10 tells us that Ziba had 20 servants.

Now, David was going to show the kindness of God to Mephibosheth.

Now, at this point Ziba serves David honestly, answering his questions about Jonathan’s son.
But later, he turned out to be very deceitful.
In , he lied to David about Mephibosheth when David fled from Absalom and again in chapter 19, when David returned to Jerusalem.

v5-8

Mephibosheth was at the house of Machir in Lo-Debar.

Lo-Debar was east of the Jordan, near the southern part of the Sea of Galilee.

It was considered a ghetto town … in fact the prophet Amos made a disparaging reference to it in .
It was probably only lightly populated … the name means “no pasture.”
Mephibosheth was probably living in obscurity in Lo-Debar for fear of any reprisal against the house of Saul.
Of course, reprisal was far from David’s intentions … David wanted to bless Mephibosheth.
Calling Mephibosheth (vv. 5–8). What were the lame prince’s thoughts when the summons came to appear before the king? If he believed what his grandfather had said about David, he would have feared for his life; but if he had listened to what his father told him about David, he would have rejoiced. Someone had to help the young man to the palace, where he fell before David—something difficult for a person with crippled legs—and acknowledged his own unworthiness. The king spoke his name and immediately assured him that there was nothing to fear. David then unofficially “adopted” Mephibosheth by restoring to him the land that his father, Jonathan, would have inherited from Saul, and then by inviting him to live at the palace and eat at the king’s table. David had eaten at Saul’s table and it had nearly cost him his life, but Mephibosheth would eat at David’s table and his life would be protected.
So, King David sent for him.
And it would seem that someone had to help him travel to the palace, since he was crippled in his feet.
And he fell on his belly before the king.

It would not be surprising if he felt both fear and resentment at being called by David.

He would have heard 2 different stories about David
(a) his grandfather Saul would have told him one thing and
(b) his father Jonathan another.
Add to that how he had been living in relative obscurity and we can only imagine the mix of emotions he must have been feeling.
But David reassured him, saying “Do not fear.”
Perhaps even more surprising to Mephibosheth is David’s declaration that he is going to restore to him all the land of his grandfather, Saul.
Saul’s property would have come into David’s possession.
But for him to restore that property to a member of Saul’s family sent a risky message to those who might have some loyalty still for the former regime.
What was intended as a generous gesture without any ulterior motive could in this way backfire
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What were the lame prince’s thoughts when the summons came to appear before the king?

So, what a bizarre moment this must have been for Mephibosheth!

If he believed what his grandfather had said about David, he would have been fearing for his life.

But if he had listened to what his father told him about David, he would have felt the potential for joy.
Certainly his stomach was uneasy, but
The king spoke his name and immediately assured him that there was nothing to fear.
David then unofficially “adopted” Mephibosheth by restoring to him the land that his father, Jonathan, would have inherited from Saul and inviting him to live at the palace and eat at the king’s table.
He then by inviting him to live at the palace and eat at the king’s table.
Whereas Mephibosheth had been in hiding before … suddenly he was a rich man living with the king and dining at his table.
David had eaten at Saul’s table and it had nearly cost him his life.
But Mephibosheth would eat at David’s table and his life would be protected.
Not only did Mephibosheth now have a place at the table of the king, but he would now be “in the know” … having access to those who were directing the affairs of the state.
And his response back is humility … what is the king doing being so generous to a “dead dog” like him?
Dogs were unclean … a dead dog would be doubly unclean.
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In this we have a picture of our King Jesus Christ saving us out of our terrible condition … bringing us from a place of no pasture to green pastures.

Despite the fact that we

And he fact that David made the first move to rescue Mephibosheth reminds us that it was God who reached out to us and not we who sought Him.

We were estranged from God and enemies of God, yet He loved us and sent His Son to die for us.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” ( nkjv).
Romans 5:8 NKJV
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
For David to rescue and restore Mephibosheth cost him only the land of Saul, which he had never paid for to begin with.
But for God to restore us and bring us into His family, Jesus had to sacrifice His life.
And our inheritance is much more than a piece of real estate on earth: it’s an eternal home in heaven!

v9-13

To hand over Saul’s property to his grandson was great, but it had to be managed.

Mephibosheth just was not able.

And so David assigned Ziba and his sons and servants as stewards to work the land and bring in the harvest.
Mephibosheth’s son would eat from their work, but Mephibosheth himself would always eat from the bounty and table of the King.
Ziba’s fifteen sons and twenty servants ensure that there will be people with the necessary training and skill to manage the estates efficiently.
Of course, it might have been that Zibah had thought some of that land was his … and then suddenly it’s given over to Mephibosheth.
Some time later, when Absalom revolted and prompted David to flee, Ziba met his king on Mount Olivet and gave him donkeys and provisions.
When David asked about Mephibosheth, Ziba said that he was back in Jerusalem, hoping that the people would give him back the monarchy.
As recorded in , David then gave all Mephibosheth's possessions back to Ziba.
But later, Mephibosheth managed to explained to David that Ziba was a liar and that he never had any intention to usurp the throne.
David, not seeming to want to spend any more time on the matter then told them to divide the land between them.
But Mephibosheth gave it all to Ziba and went back to live in peace with David.
All that’s coming later.
In our chapter,
David took him into his own family, provided for him, protected him, and let him eat at his own table.
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So, Ziba did as requested, and Mephibosheth lived at court like one of David’s family.
David took him into his own family, provided for him, protected him, and let him eat at his own table.
So, Ziba did as requested, and Mephibosheth lived at court like one of David’s family.
It wouldn’t be easy to care for a grown man who was lame in both feet, but David promised to do so.
In addition, the people around David would wonder what he was doing inviting Saul’s grandson, who also had a son … both with potential claims to the throne … to live with him.
By sheer repetition, the account lays stress on Mephibosheth’s lameness, his place at the king’s table, and on the servants he needed. David’s kindness involved a cost, to others as well as to himself. There was one other relevant factor, he had a young son, whose name was Mica. As it happens, he is not heard of again, but at the time he could have appeared as a possible threat to the throne of David, especially if Mephibosheth developed ideas about asserting the rights of the house of Saul, as Ziba reported (). The kindness of God (v. 3), on which David modelled his kindness, was not limited, but freely given to the undeserving as an act of free grace. Jonathan had given gracious help to David when he was driven from the king’s table, and now David has been able to show kindness in return by giving to Jonathan’s son security and honour. ‘Thus the love between David and Jonathan attains a new stature.’

David modelled his kindness on the kindness of God, as verse 3 says.

So then, his kindness, was not limited, but freely given to the undeserving as an act of free grace.

The kindness of God (v. 3), on which David modelled his kindness, was not limited, but freely given to the undeserving as an act of free grace.
Jonathan had given gracious help to David when he was driven from the king’s table.
Now David has been able to show kindness in return by giving to Jonathan’s son security and honour and bringing him back to the table.
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David’s words of verse 11, “eat at my table,” are found three other times in the passage … verses 7, 10, and 13.

It wouldn’t be easy to care for a grown man who was lame in both feet, but David promised to do so.

They indicate that Jonathan’s son would be treated as if he were David’s own son.

Ziba and his sons and servants would still work the land for Mephibosheth and give him the profits, but those profits would be insignificant compared with the king’s wealth.
David’s words “eat at my table” are found four times in the passage (vv. 7, 10, 11, 13) and indicate that Jonathan’s son would be treated like David’s son.
In verse 8, Mephibosheth saw himself as a “dead dog.”
We were “dead” in our trespasses and sins when Jesus called us and gave us new life.
Ephesians 2:1–6 NKJV
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
BUT … We have a higher position than that which David gave Mephibosheth.
You see, we are given a place to sit with Jesus Christ.
Revelation 3:21 NKJV
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
And let’s not forget what David himself wrote … “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” … in … let’s read the whole thing:
It wouldn’t be easy to care for a grown man who was lame in both feet, but David promised to do so.
Psalm 23 NKJV
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Mephibosheth had a place at the table as an adopted son of David.
We also are adopted into the family of God.
Galatians 3:26 NKJV
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:
God gives us the riches of His mercy and grace as we saw earlier in and as says, “unsearchable riches of Christ.”
Romans 5:17 NKJV
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Ephesians 2:4–7 NKJV
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
God gives us the riches of His mercy and grace () and “unsearchable riches” in Christ ().
Ephesians 3:8 NKJV
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
And speaks of God supplying all our needs according to “His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
God supplies all our needs, not out of an earthly king’s treasury, but according to “his riches in glory” ().
Philippians 4:19 NKJV
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Mephibosheth lived the rest of his life with David in the Palace.
And Jesus said to His disciples:
John 14:2–3 ESV
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
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But we as God’s children are already citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, where they will dwell forever with the Lord ().
Our chapter has demonstrated a few things … that David was indeed a man after God’s own heart, but it also shows the believers spiritual experience in Christ.
This touching event in the life of David not only illustrates the believer’s spiritual experience in Christ, but it also reveals to us that David was indeed a man after God’s own heart.
1 Samuel 13:14 NKJV
But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
Acts 13:22 NKJV
And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.
There is one more thing that we should consider.
Later, in chapter 21, when some other descendents of Saul were selected to be killed, David protected Mephibosheth.
There was another descendant named Mephibosheth (v. 8), but David knew the difference between the two!
There was another descendant named Mephibosheth (v. 8), but David knew the difference between the two!
The spiritual application to believers today is pretty clear … as Paul expressed:
Romans 8:1 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” ( nkjv).
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” ( nkjv).
1 Thessalonians 5:9 NKJV
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
And that is some very good news.
Jesus said in John 3:18:
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” ( nkjv).
John 3:18 NKJV
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Wiersbe, W. W. (2002). Be restored (pp. 57–60). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor.
Prayer: Lord Father we thank You for this time we’ve had together studying Your Word and we ask that You would make it fertile in our lives to do what You desire. Work in us what is well pleasing in Your sight through Jesus Christ. Lord, help us to depend ever more on Your grace.
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