No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
2 Samuel 9:1-13
THE CASE OF THE LAME PRINCE
Intro: A story is told about Fiorello LaGuardia, who, when he was mayor of New York City during the worst days of the Great Depression and all of WWII, was called by adoring New Yorkers “the Little Flower” because he was only five foot four and always wore a carnation in his lapel.
He was a colorful character who used to ride the New York City fire trucks, raid speakeasies with the police department, take entire orphanages to baseball games, and whenever the New York newspapers were on strike, he would go on the radio and read the Sunday funnies to the kids.
One bitterly cold night in January of 1935, the mayor turned up at a night court that served the poorest ward of the city. LaGuardia dismissed the judge and took over the bench himself.
Within a few minutes, a tattered old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. She told LaGuardia that her daughter's husband had deserted her, her daughter was sick, and her two grandchildren were starving to death.
The shopkeeper, from whom the bread was stolen, refused to drop the charges. “It's a real bad neighborhood, your Honor.” The man told the mayor. “She's got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson.”
But even as he pronounced sentence, the mayor was already reaching into his pocket. He extracted a bill and tossed it into his famous sombrero saying: “Here is the ten dollar fine which I now remit, and furthermore, I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.”
That poor, little grandmother left that courtroom with $47.50 in her pocket, fifty cents of that amount being contributed by the red-faced grocery store owner. Around that courtroom some seventy petty criminals, people charged with traffic violations, and New York City policemen, each of whom had just paid fifty cents for the privilege of doing so, gave the mayor a standing ovation.
That is the very essence of God’s saving grace!
Grace recognizes our wretched condition; pays our debt and gives us more than we could ever have imagined.
John Newton got it right when he called it amazing!
This passage we have read today is one of the clearest portraits of amazing grace in the Word of God. God uses David and Mephibosheth as a living canvas upon which He paints an illustration of what grace is all about. In this text, David rescues a man from a hopeless situation and forever changes his life.
I want to preach on The Case Of The Lame Prince. I want to examine the facts of this case, facts that demonstrate that this is a case study in grace.
I. v. 1-5 HOW GRACE IS EXTENDED
This story opens in the throne room of King David in Jerusalem. David has it in his heart to extend grace to a member of Saul’s family.
A. v. 1 The Reason For This Grace – David says that he wants to show someone from the family of Saul “kindness for Jonathan’s sake.”
• The word for “kindness” is also translated “goodness, mercy, favor, and loving kindness.”
• It is the O.T. word for “Grace.”
• “Grace” is often defined as “the unmerited love and favor of God toward the undeserving.”
• Grace is one person accepting another person in a positive manner in spite of the unworthiness of the person being accepted.
David’s desire to extend grace to a member of Saul’s family is amazing in light of what new kings usually did when they came to power. Many ancient kings totally eradicated the families of their predecessors to ensure that no one would launch a claim for the throne.
For example, Ashurbanipal mutilated, executed and fed the bodies of his rivals to dogs as part of his first official acts as king of Assyria. What Ashurbanipal did would be justice! What David did was grace! David had the right execute judgment, but he chose to demonstrate grace instead.
David did this, not because the house of Saul deserved it; he did it for two reasons:
• He did it because of his relationship with Jonathan. They were closer than brothers. Ill. 1 Sam. 18:1-3
• He did it because of two promises he had made many years before. David had promised both Jonathan and Saul that he would not totally destroy their offspring, 1 Sam. 20:13-17; 1 Sam. 24:20-22.
So, this grace is extended because of another. That is the nature of grace!
God extends His grace to the descendants of Adam. We do not deserve His grace, His love and His mercy. We deserve judgment, damnation and Hell, Rom. 6:23; Eze. 18:4. Yet, God extends His amazing grace to us because of Another.
He reaches out to fallen, depraved sinners because He loves His Son; and because Jesus died for us on the cross. We have nothing to merit us to God, but because of Jesus, we can experience God’s amazing grace 1 John 2:12; Eph. 4:32. No wonder it’s called amazing!
B. v. 1 The Reach Of This Grace – When David decides to extend grace, he does so without any limits. He is looking for “ANY that is left of the house of Saul.” The house of Saul was the house of his predecessor and bitter enemy, but that did not matter. David placed no limits on his grace. He was willing to extend it to “any” member of the house of Saul.
David was not looking for people who met any certain criteria. He wasn’t looking for people who were soldiers, or intellectuals, or who possessed certain abilities, etc. “Any” person who was of the family of Saul was a candidate for the grace of King David.
• God’s amazing grace knows no boundaries!
• God extends His grace to all people regardless of their pasts, their racial, their social standing, or their deeds.
• God does not reach out to save the righteous, but the sinner, Mark 2:17.
• If you have never been saved, you are qualified to be saved.
• He will save anyone who will come (Ill. 1 Cor. 1:26-29)
Ill. Eph. 2:1-3 – Ill Our condition – Dead, Deceived, Depraved and Doomed! Sadly, many don’t see themselves as sinners, but the facts speak for themselves! (Ill. “4 Roman Nuns!”) Ill. Rom. 3:10-23
Ill. Where Mephibosheth was when David found him.
• He was in the house of “Machir” in a place called “Lodebar”. Both the house and the place describe Mephibosheth’s condition.
• “Machir” means “Sold” and “Lodebar” means “No Pasture”.
• Both the place and the house describe his condition.
• Mephibosheth was a man injured in a fall. His condition was not his own fault.
• He was the son of royalty, crippled, unable to seek or to get to the king.
• He was separated, in hiding, and afraid.
• By the way, his name means “Shameful.”
• He was in a hopeless condition and he was helpless to do anything about it!
What a picture that is of the lost sinner. Like Mephibosheth, the lost person is “sold” under sin and he is in a place where there is “no hope.” (Ill. Rom. 7:14; Ill. The Prodigal Son - Luke 15:14)
He is in a place where he cannot help himself. Ill. Eph. 2:12, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
The lost sinner is a slave to his passions and to the devil. He is in a place of absolute slavery! The lost sinner is in a place of “no pasture, and of no hope.”
• There is no Friend for the hard day, and all his days are hard, Pro. 13:15.
• There is no one to hear when he prays.
• There is no one to help him shoulder the burdens of life.
• There is no one to turn to in the dark hours.
• There is no help for today, and no hope for tomorrow.
• That is where all those who are outside grace find themselves today!
I praise His name that God extends His grace to all those who are in that condition, Ill. Eph. 2:4 – “But God!”.
• His salvation is available to “whosoever will”, Rev. 21:17; Matt. 11:28; John 7:37.
• There are no limits on who can come.
• Grace is extended to all who will!
• If you are a descendant of Adam by virtue of your first birth, you are a candidate for salvation through the second birth!
• He won’t turn you away, John 6:37.
God’s amazing grace is how you and I got saved. If you are lost, that is how you will get in as well! No one deserves grace and salvation, but anyone can have it. That is what makes grace so amazing!
C. v. 1-5 The Response Of This Grace – David discovers that one of Jonathan’s sons is still living. He also hears the news that this man is crippled. The response of grace is not to ask what kind of man he is, or even how bad he is crippled. Grace does not concern itself with the man’s background, his surroundings, his abilities, his appearance, his future potential, etc.
• The response of grace is to ask “Where is he?”
• As soon as David hears where this man is, he sends his servants to “fetch” him.
• Grace said, “I am not concerned about his condition, I want him just like he is.”
• David said, “I’ll take him just like he is!”
So it is with the amazing grace of God.
• He does not look upon us and concern Himself with our crippled spiritual condition.
• He looks upon us through the eyes of grace.
• He sees us exactly like we are, but He loves us in spite of what we are.
• He knows all about our past, our problems and our potential, yet He responds by drawing us to Himself anyway!
We must be “fetched” by Him before we can and will come to Him, John 6:44; 65.
Do you remember being “fetched?”
• Do you have a fetching story?
• I praise the Lord that I have one!
• If you have one, you ought to tell it!
When grace fixes its gaze on one of the crippled sons of Adam’s race, it cares for nothing but fetching us to itself.
No wonder it’s called amazing!
Grace is the only means of salvation – Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9.
• Mephibosheth was one of the last survivors of the family of Saul. Were it not for the grace David demonstrated here, the entire family would have soon vanished away.
• Were it not for the grace of God in Jesus Christ, no son of Adam would survive, 1 Cor. 15:22, but all would be lost in their sins and would go to Hell for eternity!
No wonder it’s called amazing!
I. How Grace Is Extended
II. v. 6-8 HOW GRACE IS EMBRACED
For just a moment, put yourself in the shoes of Mephibosheth.
• You are one of the few remaining members of the house of Saul.
• You are living in a place called Lo-debar, which means “no pasture.”
• You are helpless and your life is hopeless!
• He is poor.
• He is a cripple, and he has been since he was five.
• When he was five, his father was killed in battle, and when that horrible news came, Mephibosheth’s nurse tried to flee with the child, she dropped him and his legs were permanently damaged, 2 Sam. 4:4.
• All of his life, since he was a five-year-old boy he has been warned that David might find him. He has lived his whole life in fear and misery.
• You do not have access to the wealth or the lands of his family.
• You have been warned that David might come for you one day.
• Then one day you hear the sound of horses and chariots outside.
• The men enter and tell him the king has sent for him.
• They load him up and take him from his home to see the king he has always feared.
• After a while the chariots arrive at the King’s palace.
• Mephibosheth is carried into the King’s presence.
• When he arrives there, nothing is like he had imagined it.
• Mephibosheth has entered the presence of grace.
• Notice how he embraces it.
A. v. 6a He Embraces It With A Humble Heart – When Mephibosheth comes into David’s presence, he is aware that as a descendant of Saul he deserves nothing but judgment from the King. So, he humbles himself in the presence of David.
B. v. 6b-7 He Embraces It With A Happy Heart – Instead of judgment, Mephibosheth experiences tenderness. Ill. What David could have said!
I believe that when David looked at Mephibosheth, he was actually seeing Jonathan. David identified Mephibosheth with Jonathan. That’s what God does with us, Ill. Gen. 3:21; 2 Cor. 5:21.
Ill. What you see here is imputation at work!
• He hears David call his name.
• Then to his amazement, David speaks peace to him.
• He hears as the King promises him restoration of all the wealth and glory that once belonged to the family of Saul.
• Then, the icing on the cake, David promises to give Mephibosheth a place at the King’s table.
• It is with a happy heart that Mephibosheth embraces the treasures of grace!
C. v. 8 He Embraces It With An Honest Heart – Mephibosheth is overwhelmed by the grace he has received. He acknowledges that he is undeserving of such love and mercy. Grace has been extended and it has been embraced and nothing will ever be the same in Mephibosheth’s life again!
What a picture this is of the lost sinner who encounters grace!
• When the King first calls there is fear in the sinner’s heart brought about by conviction, John 16:7-11.
• The sinner knows that he deserves nothing but judgment and damnation from the hand of God. (By the way, there is no salvation apart from conviction, John 6:44.)
• So, the call of God comes and it cannot be denied.
• When the sinner responds to God’s call and is ushered into the presence of the Lord, he falls down in humility, reverence and worship.
Then, the King speaks, and He reveals the truth that grace has turned away His wrath, opened His heart ,and His Heaven, and that grace promises to restore to the sinner everything that sin took away! If you have experienced God’s saving grace in your life, then you know how overwhelming it truly is.
Think back and remember that day when as a lost sinner you were brought by the Spirit of God into the presence of God.
• Do you remember the fear?
• Do you remember the feeling of dread?
• Do you remember how that He spoke peace to your soul that day?
• Do you remember how you came with nothing and left with everything?
What a great, wonderful, matchless, glorious Savior we have! When His grace is embraced, everything changes. No wonder it’s called amazing!
• Have you ever had an encounter with grace?
• If you can’t remember a time when you embraced grace, you need to come to Jesus today and make a memory!
• You need a fetching story.
I. How Grace Is Extended
II. How Grace Is Embraced
III. v. 9-13 HOW GRACE IS EXPANDED
When Mephibosheth came to David, he did not get what he deserved. He received grace. When he received grace, he also received more blessings than he could have ever imagined. Grace was expanded. Notice what grace provided to Mephibosheth and what saving grace provides to you and me.
A. v. 9-11a Grace Provided A Future – In Lo-debar, Mephibosheth had nothing. He was poor. He was an outcast. He was a fugitive. He had no hope and no prospects for his future. But, when he met grace, everything changed! All of his present needs were met and his future was secured.
Grace gave Mephibosheth something he never could have had in Lo-debar: grace gave him a future.
• Grace gave him the plenty of the King!
• Grace gave him peace with the King!
• This one man’s encounter with grace affected his family too!
• All of them were delivered from Lodebar and brought into the presence of the king! Ill. Micha - v. 12.
Ill. “alway”, v. 10 – Mephibosheth was expected to come to the King’s table on all stated days, but he could come to that table anytime he wanted to! He had an open invitation. He had access to the king!
The same is true for all those who experience God’s saving grace.
• In Adam, our Lo-debar, we had nothing!
• We were lost, undone, and headed to Hell.
• We were outcasts and fugitives, running for our lives from a holy God Who possessed the right, and the power to send us to a lost eternity.
Ill. Eph. 2:1-3. Ill. Eph. 2:4 - “But God!!!”
But, when grace was extended and embraced, everything changed! What sin could never give us became ours in Jesus! For the first time, there was hope for the future.
• We had no future, but we are promised security – John 6:37-40; John 10:28; 1 Pet. 1:5.
• We had no home of our own, but we are promised a home in Heaven – John 14:1-3.
• We has no hope, but we are promised that our needs would be met – Phil. 4:19, Matt. 6:25-34.
• We had no one, but we are promised His presence all the way home to Heaven – Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.
• I used to be a nobody headed nowhere but Hell. But now, by grace, I am a somebody headed somewhere big!
• That is what grace gives to all those who embrace it!
No wonder it’s called amazing!
Grace restores everything PawPaw Adam threw away in the Garden of Eden!
B. v. 11b Grace Provided A Family – Mephibosheth was adopted out of Saul’s family and into David’s. Grace gave him something that he did not have before it was extended to him. Grace gave him a family!
Every day he lived, Mephibosheth was reminded by his surroundings, and by the presence of the King that he was the recipient of grace. He was where he was because of the grace of the King! David claimed him as a son! Grace took Mephibosheth out of death and brought him into life!
When a sinner responds to the call of grace and is saved, that sinner is immediately adopted into the family of God, Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5. He is taken out of Adam, and is placed into Christ, Col. 1:13; 1 Cor. 12:13.
• In Adam, we were doomed to die, 1 Cor. 15:22a.
• In Jesus, we are destined for life, 1 Cor. 15:22b.
Grace took us from our Lo-debar and brought us into the family of God, 1 John 3:1-3. May we never forget that we have what we have and that we are what we are simply by the good grace of God, 1 Cor. 15:10.
No wonder it’s called amazing!
C. v. 13 Grace Provided Fulfillment – Mephibosheth was a nobody in a house full of somebodies. Imagine the scene. It’s suppertime in David’s palace, and the royal family enters the dining hall and takes their places at the king’s table.
• There was Absalom, perfect and handsome.
• There were David’s other sons.
• There were David’s beautiful wives and daughters.
• There was Joab the general, proud and strong.
• There were princes and princesses; soldiers and statesmen; men of wealth, men of degree, and men of power.
• All of these took their place at the table of King David.
Wait! As the family gathers, there is the sound of a crippled man coming down the hallway. Can you hear the clump of his crutches and the sound of his feet being dragged? It is Mephibosheth and he takes his place at the King’s table with all the rights and privileges as the rest. Then, when he takes his seat and the tablecloth falls across his legs. He looks just like the rest. Because of grace Mephibosheth belonged at that table!
Grace took a nobody from nowhere and made him a child of the King! Mephibosheth would have never known joy, happiness, peace, fulfillment, contentment or unconditional love apart from the grace of King David!
Mephibosheth knew that he was a just a sinner and a nobody; but when he sat down at the table, he was just like anyone else!
That is the power of grace!
• It takes the lost sinner, changes him completely and gives him a seat at the Lord’s Table, 2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
• It takes us from our Lo-debar and makes us one of God’s children, 1 John 3:1-2.
• It puts us on even footing with all the rest of God’s precious saints.
• Because of grace I belong where He has placed me!
• When “fetched” you, and you embraced His grace and were saved, God elevated you to a new position, Eph. 2:6.
• You are not beneath Abraham, Moses, the Apostles or any other saint of God. You are His child, 1 John 3:1-2.
• He has seated at His table and His grace has taken care of your past and your infirmities. That is the power of grace!
No wonder it’s called amazing!
Verse 13 - Even after he was adopted into the family, Mephibosheth was still “lame on both his feet”. He was still a cripple, but he was welcomed at the king’s table.
The same is true of us! Even though we are saved by His grace, we are still far less than perfect. Ill. We need a crutch. We are all just a bunch of spiritual cripples. Ill. Rom. 7:14-25.
Even though I still fail Him and often prove my crippled condition by stumbling and falling, I am still His son and I am always welcome at His table. That is grace!
Conc: Thank God for grace! Thank God for His soul saving, life changing grace! No wonder it’s called amazing!
• Have you been “fetched” by grace?
• Has its power, promises and provisions been made real in your heart and soul?
If you are saved by grace, you know what I am talking about.
If you haven’t, but you know the King is calling you to come to Him, the time to do that is now.
• Do you need to be saved? Is He “fetching” you? Come to Jesus right now. He will save your soul, adopt you in to His family, change your life, and your eternal destiny!
• Are you saved, but not walking with the Lord as you should be? Come to Him now and He will restore you to a place of fellowship and blessing.
• Are you saved and grateful for it? Have you been “fetched” by grace? Why don’t you come before Him and praise Him for His grace!