The story of David and Mephibosheth shows us a burdened, helpless man with no future being brought into a covenant with the king. It shows an outcast orphan finding a family, a future, and a home. It paints a beautiful picture of the gospel.
Salvation is Here | Luke 1:26-38
Confidence in Our Great Shepherd | Psalm 23
Leaving a Legacy | 1 Chronicles 28-29
When Life Is Painful | 2 Samuel 15-18
What to Do When Stuck in Life | Psalm 40
How God Rescues Us From Sin | 2 Samuel 12
How to Stop Sinning | 2 Samuel 11
Your Confidence, Treasure, and Counsel | Psalm 16
Does God Really Love Me? | 2 Samuel 9
God’s Better Plans | 2 Samuel 7:1-17
What's The Meaning of Life? | 2 Samuel 6
Living in God’s Will | 2 Samuel 5
Trusting God When Wronged (and Trusting God When Wrong) | 1 Samuel 24
Dealing with Other’s Success | 1 Samuel 18:1-16
God and Goliath | 1 Samuel 17:37-47
Syncing Up With God’s Plans | 1 Samuel 16:1-23
The story of David and Mephibosheth shows us a burdened, helpless man with no future being brought into a covenant with the king. It shows an outcast orphan finding a family, a future, and a home. It paints a beautiful picture of the gospel.
Good morning, church. Welcome to Watermark. Good to be with you all this morning. My name is John. I'm one of the teaching pastors here. If you're a guest joining us, thanks for trusting us with your time. I believe that God has something incredible for you today through his Word as you see Jesus by the power of his Spirit.
So, a quick quiz. There's no shame in this if you haven't. There's no trick. You're not going to get punked. Raise your hand if you've heard of Mephibosheth. That's a weird word. Yeah, less than half. That's probably about 25 percent. That's great, because you are about to have your minds gospely blown by the name Mephibosheth. After today, not because of my teaching but because of what the Lord portrays in his Word through this person, this individual named Mephibosheth, you will never forget him, his story, or his name.
Now, in parallel to this, as a little bit of a glimpse into it, we have some friends of ours who came to us. It was one evening, and it was a sober conversation. They were like, "Hey, if we die…" There was no sickness or anything. "If we died…" Plane crash or car wreck. If the husband and wife died… "Would you take our kids?" It was the most… To have that level of trust.
We're not related. This was just an invitation, an ask, a request. Like, "If God were to take us home, will you take our kids?" We said, "Yes," of course. The reality of it is that the way those kids would become ours… Three children. We'd go from three to six. The reality of how that would ever come to pass is through death. If there was a death, then there is a legal document that says those three kids are now ours. You think about the love. They're some of our dearest friends.
The love that would be showered upon these kids as they would be brought into our house, treated as one of our own, provided for…roof over their heads, clothes, college…the works. All of it. Well, actually, I don't know how we'd pay for college for six kids, but nonetheless, they would be ours. The indebtedness, obligation, and showering of love that I would feel for my dear friend, knowing that he no longer is able, but I have the power to do so… How much I would, and my wife as well.
It's what you're going to see in the story of Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth, this boy, now grown man, is Jonathan's orphaned son. We're going to be in 2 Samuel, chapter 9. Before we get there, what happened is Jonathan and Saul made a covenant with David. You may remember. Jonathan says, "Dude, it's you. You're going to be king, not me, and when you become king, remember to show lovingkindness to my family."
Then Saul, when he's hunting David, and David doesn't kill him, though he could, the first time around, says to David, "You're more righteous than I am. You're going to be king, and when you are, remember my household and show kindness to them." David, Jonathan, and Saul made a covenant. Now, Jonathan and Saul were killed by the Philistines. They were fighting the Philistines. They were both killed. Well, actually, Saul committed suicide and Jonathan was killed. That left Mephibosheth. He was living in Gibeah at the king's mansion and land.
So, his nanny grabs Mephibosheth, like, "We've got to get out of here. The Philistines have just killed your dad and your granddad. We've got to go, because you're next. You're the bloodline of the king. They're going to come after you." So she grabs him, likely on a horse, and is trying to escape Gibeah, and she drops him. He falls off and breaks both his legs. It says in the Scriptures here that he's crippled in both feet. They went into hiding.
So, there he is with broken legs or torn ligaments. We don't even know. They healed wrong, and he was crippled for the rest of his life. He's now living in exile. He's living in this place called Lo-debar. It doesn't mean much to us. Lo-debar means pasture-less. In an agrarian society, the ancient Near East, if you're living in a pasture-less place, you're destitute. You have nothing, and no one lives there. The only reason you would live there in a pasture-less place where you can't even make ends meet is because you're trying to escape wrath.
He's living not even in his own home but in the household of Machir, son of Ammiel. He doesn't even have his own house. Orphaned son, left for dead. Oh, and by the way, his name Mephibosheth means breathing out shame. This life of shame, living in nothingness. This story, if you haven't already grasped it, is the gospel in the Old Testament. You're going to hear this gospel imagery throughout all of today. It is straight gospel fire from 2 Samuel, chapter 9.
It's on par with Adam and Eve, who rebel against God and sin, and God is like, "Instead of killing you, instead of you getting the wrath, it's going to get poured out on the animal, and I'm going to make a covering for your sin and shame." It's on par with Abraham and Isaac, where he says, "Go offer your one and only son," and then there's a ram caught in the thicket that is the deliverance for Isaac.
It's on par with the Israelites, who are enslaved in Egypt, and the Passover lamb is slain and blood put over the lintel of the door. The angel of death passes over, and they walk free from slavery to a new life, the Promised Land. It's that level of gospel in the Old Testament, and you are going to love this story. It's one of my favorite stories in the entirety of Scripture.
The reason it matters, the reason it's one of my favorites is I think there is an ache in every single person's soul, an aching question throughout all of your life, knowing everything you've done, and I think it's this: "God, do you really love me?" Because we know we're unlovable. We are unlovable. "I know my inner thoughts. I know my past. I know my present. Do you really love me? I read in your Word. John says it by the Spirit. 'God is love.' I know it theologically to be true, but do I personally know it to be true? Do you love me…who I am, who I've been, who I still can be?" The shocking answer is "No." Not in the way that you understand love.
We say we love the Rangers, love the Cowboys, love strawberries, love ice cream. We have such a deficient definition of love. God is like, "Do I love you? Are you kidding me? I have adopted you into my covenant family. Do I love you?" I prayed today that the Spirit reveal to us through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection the covenantal love he has called us into, because it will change everything in your life if you can apprehend the reality of it.
Today we're going to be talking about that we are called into covenant, that we follow in faith, and that we abide as adopted, for in Christ we are. Called into covenant, follow in faith, and abide as adopted. Here it is. Second Samuel, chapter 9:
"And David said, 'Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?' Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, 'Are you Ziba?' And he said, 'I am your servant.' And the king said, 'Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?'"
The kindness of God… That's not like, "Oh, this person is so kind. They're a really nice person." Kindness of God is the word checed. It is the unfailing lovingkindness, covenantal love of God. It's on par with New Testament agape love. It's this unconditional love. When David says, "I want to show God's kindness to him," this is category-blowing. It's not just to be nice. This is a covenantal, unfailing love.
"Ziba said to the king, 'There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.'" He doesn't even mention his name. He doesn't say his name, and he says his condition. The reason is Ziba is thinking, "Oh no. I know what you're doing." Ancient Near East kings, when they took the throne, would kill off the remaining bloodline, lest one of those children would ever rise up and be like, "Hold on. I'm the rightful heir to the throne. Who's this guy sitting on the throne? That's my throne. Those are my riches. This is my kingdom."
So, Ziba is listening and is like, "Oh no. I knew this day would come. He's looking for Saul's descendants so he can wipe them out." You will see later in 2 Samuel 19, even Mephibosheth knows this. He says, "All of Saul's descendants deserved death. That's what we deserved." Out of Mephibosheth's own mouth, he said, "All of the descendants of Saul deserved death." He knows.
Ziba is like, "Oh, there's one, but he's crippled." Like, "David, he's not a threat to you. You don't need to worry about him. He's not coming after you. You're good. You don't need to shed any blood. It's okay." "The king said to him, 'Where is he?' And Ziba said to the king, 'He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.'" Pasture-less. Nothingness. Wasteland.
"Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, 'Mephibosheth!' And he answered, 'Behold, I am your servant.'" He's terrified for his life at this point.
"And David said to him, 'Do not fear…'" Why would he have said that? Because Mephibosheth was trembling. Like, "I knew this day would come. I was hiding out, exiled. He has called for me. My grandfather's servant has brought me now before the king, and here I am." He falls on his face. David, seeing how terrified he is, says, "Do not fear. I know what you're thinking. This isn't going to happen."
"'…for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.' And he paid homage and said, 'What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?' Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, 'All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson. And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master's grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master's grandson shall always eat at my table.'
Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said to the king, 'According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.' So Mephibosheth ate at David's table, like one of the king's sons. And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba's house became Mephibosheth's servants. So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king's table. Now he was lame in both his feet." There is the story of Mephibosheth. Listen to the gospel imagery as we walk through this now.
Mephibosheth knew it. Like, "I know how this goes down." Even David says to Solomon later in his life, when Solomon rises up, and future children… He's like, "Hey, take care of your enemies, because they're going to rise up. Do it, and do it quickly." Mephibosheth knew what he deserved. Instead, he got mercy. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.
Spoiler alert. Throughout this whole time, you need to know you are Mephibosheth. As we look at David, you're going to see the kindness, the covenantal love of Jesus Christ. When David gives Mephibosheth mercy, we see Jesus giving us mercy. We don't get what we deserve. The Scriptures make it super clear in Romans 6:23. "The wages of sin is death."
We look at that and are like, "Yeah, I theologically know it to be true. I know I deserve death," and we don't stop and pause for a second to understand and grasp the reality of what that death actually is. You can't be grateful for God's mercy apart from acknowledging what it is you deserved. So, when he says we deserve death…"The wages of sin is death"…it means eternal separation from God, eternal torment from the presence of God, tormented by demons, flames of fire in a very real place called hell, and eaten alive by worms that never die. That's what we deserve.
It says if you've broken one part of the law, you've broken all of it. We can't be in the presence of the King apart from being called into covenant. Here, David says to Mephibosheth, "I'm calling you. I'm calling you into covenant, one that you likely don't even know exists. I made a covenant before you were born with your daddy, Jonathan, who was my best friend. I knew that one day I'd be able to enact that covenant. So, you're not getting my wrath; you're getting my mercy." It's what should have happened versus what did happen.
How does this relate to us? Because you were called into a covenant, if you're in Christ, before you were even born. There was a covenant established in the mind of God that "One day, there will be a people who will come, and I will call them into my covenant of nothing of their own merit. What they deserve is wrath; what they're going to get is mercy. They deserve to be killed; instead, they'll get covenant." The reason why is his lovingkindness.
How do we know this? Because of Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 where it says, "In those days, I will establish a new covenant. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will put my Spirit in them." In the Old Testament, these prophets would have had no category for that. Like, "What? Put your Spirit in them? We've worshiped you at the tabernacle. We've worshiped you at the temple. We have beheld your glory. How in the world could your Spirit, singular, be in people, plural?" God had in mind, "When I adopt these people, when I call these people into covenant, I will place the Spirit in them."
"Well, how is that going to work, God? We are unholy, and you are holy, so how can your holy presence dwell where there is sin?" He says, "And I will move them to follow my laws." The old covenant, the Mosaic covenant, was that they had the law, and they were commanded to follow it or curses would ensue. So, they were always offering sacrifices for sin. The blood of bulls and goats could never atone for sin. It was just an act in faith.
Here, Jesus comes, and he sets foot on the scene and says, "I did not come to abolish the law; I came to fulfill the law." So, he lives the sinless life that we could never live, inaugurating the new covenant. He says in Luke, chapter 22, as he's celebrating the Passover, hearkening to deliverance from slavery for a people… He takes the cup and says, "In this cup is the new covenant through my blood." A covenant was never made apart from the shedding of blood. You can search your Bible. These covenants with God are made through the shedding of blood.
So, Jesus says, "This covenant, the new covenant, will be made through my blood," which is Communion. Every time we take Communion and we're holding the cup, it's this reminder of the new covenant, that you've been called into a covenant by the Father through the Son, now indwelt by the Spirit. "Be holy as I am holy." We're partaking of the cup because we've been called into a covenant, even though we deserved wrath.
And not just Spirit dwelling in us, but he gives us gifts and moves us to obey his commands. This new covenant… We have been called into that covenant through the mercy of Jesus Christ. Paul says in Galatians 1:15, "But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by his grace…" There's not preexistence of souls. God had in his mind, "There will be a people I will save, and I know the exact individuals." I'm looking at your eyes right now.
God ordained, "When they are born, I will set them apart from their mother's womb. At the point of conception, I'll be like, 'Mine. You're mine. You're mine. I've chosen you. I've called you into covenant.'" But here, Paul lives all of these years of rebellion. He says, "But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb…" "Well, if you set me apart from my mother's womb, how come I'm kicking against the goads? How come I'm killing Christians? How come I'm living as a dead religious Pharisee?"
"…and called me by his grace…" It was two different things. One was set apart, this covenantal love, and then this calling, drawing in, when he's born again. So, God has called you into covenant. Maybe some of you have been called to covenant but have not yet placed your faith in Jesus and been born again for the forgiveness of your sins.
I think about my life, the squandering of alcoholism, drugs, money seeking, status seeking, sexual sin…all of it. It grieves me. It haunts me as I look back, but then I think. When I trusted in Jesus at 30, I was like, "I can't save myself. I couldn't have decided earlier." It's when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb, then called me at the age of 30 and was like, "Now you'll be born again. Now you'll follow me. I'll put my Spirit in you." We're called into covenant.
Grace is this unmerited favor, getting what you don't deserve. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve. Now he gets what he doesn't deserve. So, he's following in faith the call of the king, and so must we. It says in Romans 10:20, "And Isaiah boldly says, 'I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.'" God has called you into covenant, and then draws you to Jesus through himself, the Father. Jesus said, "None come to me unless the Father draws them."
Listen to me super closely. God is not your Father if the Son is not your Savior. The only way to enter the presence of the King and not receive wrath is through the covenantal love he bestows on you, and you just receiving that in faith. Do you know what Mephibosheth brought to the table? Burden. He had nothing to offer. King David would have said, "What are you going to offer to me? You have nothing. You live in nowhere-land. You deserve death. You're crippled in both feet. What could you do for me?"
It's the same as we approach God. Like, "I have nothing. The only thing I bring to the table is my sin and brokenness. That's all I've got, but that is the very reason I come to the table. I've got to receive. There is no other way. I know I've sinned against you." So, it's not getting wrath and now getting this incredible grace.
Mephibosheth didn't seek audience with the king; the king sought him. If you're in Christ, you've been drawn by him. I share this so we would awaken to that reality, we would remember, "Oh, I didn't choose him; he chose me. I am following in faith, but he's the one who called me into this covenant." If we grasp that, we will live a life of overflowing praise and gratitude. It will crucify spiritual entitlement. We'll be like, "Dude, I'm all yours. What you have done for me…"
Mephibosheth would later say, "Who is your servant that you would consider a dead dog such as I?" He knew full well, "I'm no one. In the presence of the king, I shouldn't even be able to stand here, yet you're bestowing upon me my grandfather's land and servants, and you're telling me I get to eat at your table." It's this incredible extension of grace. Only a position to receive.
The way it happens is through Ziba. Ziba is one of the king's servants. David asks, "Is there anyone still remaining who I might show God's kindness to?" He's like, "Well, there's one." He's like, "Go get him." Can you imagine if King David would have said that to Ziba, the servant, "Go get him," and Ziba was like, "Okay. All right. I'll go get him," and then on his way would have gotten busy with his sons or his servants or his day, and then thought, "You know what? I mean, he can show lovingkindness to anybody. I don't need to go. Who's Mephibosheth anyway? He's no good to David. Besides, he's crippled and living in Lo-debar, and that's a far walk. Just forget it."
How would that have made David feel? See, David had called him into covenant, likely before he was even born. How would David have felt? Think about that. Our King, as we're his servants, has called us by the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations. He said to us in Matthew, chapter 28, "Go make disciples of all nations." He said to us, "I want you to go. There are some people I have called into covenant, and they don't know yet. They don't know."
Mephibosheth didn't know. He was dying in a wasteland. They're dying in a wasteland of sin. Not only that. He was under Machir, son of Ammiel. He was living in somebody else's house. Well, you know what? Sinners apart from Jesus are living under somebody else's house. They're living under the rule and reign of Satan.
That's terrifying, and it should move us to not be a disobedient servant but to go to our neighbors and even unto the nations and tell them, "You've been called into covenant. There's a God who loves you, a love you don't even comprehend. This is why he sent Jesus to die for your sins and rise from the dead, that you can be adopted and come and follow in faith."
That we would be in this moment like Ziba and faithfully go and tell others, "Hey, you've been summoned by the King. He made a covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ that you could be adopted, loved by the Creator." It's incredible. And that we would be shocked by grace, that we wouldn't just follow in faith and receive grace but we would be shocked by grace; that you would never grow numb, no matter how old you are, no matter how many years you've been walking with Jesus.
I think sometimes we're like, "Yeah. I made a decision. You know, church camp, summer. I walked the aisle, prayed in my bedroom, knelt with my parents, but that was a long time ago." That every single day, we would still be feeling the weight of what we deserved versus what we got, all this grace, and that we'd be shocked by grace.
You have Paul writing to Timothy, his little protégé. Paul is an apostle. He's not just some dude. He's one of the apostles, and he's writing to Timothy. What's he going to pass on? What's he going to say to him? "Man, let me disciple you." Here's what he says: "Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy…" Paul never forgot. He was still shocked by grace.
In fact, I think the closer he got to Christ, the more holy he saw him as, and the more he saw his own sinfulness and was like, "How am I here? I was killing your people. I was hunting them," and that more and more there was this shock of grace upon his life, which led him to a wild life of loving God and giving everything he had for him. It's that shock of grace that compels us to be fully surrendered, to be like, "Man, I'll lose my life for your sake…lose it so that I would find it." "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me."
I think we read that and are like, "Okay. So, if I'm making my Bible notes… He got King Saul's land. Okay. What's next?" That's insane. It would be like the biggest rags-to-riches story, because here's Mephibosheth. He went from riches to rags and rags to riches. He was the king's grandson. He lived in this place called Gibeah, which was the king's territory. There would have been a huge, expansive mansion, vineyards…I mean, the works. Like, loaded up until the age of 5. Then he was dropped, crippled, and taken to a wasteland in exile.
So, he goes from ridiculous riches, the greatest riches in Israel at the time, to total nothingness, living under the house of another person. Now he has been restored all of that. He says, "I'm going to restore to you all of your grandfather's land." But let me tell you something. Land to a crippled person is a curse. So you know Mephibosheth is like, "Well, what am I going to do with that? It's going to be overrun. I have to be carried where I go. I don't have the ability for that. I mean, thanks for the gift, but I have no ability to do that. I can't fulfill that. It's going to be overgrown, overrun…thieves. I can't."
David says, "I know you can't. I've got you. I'm going to tell Ziba and all of his sons and servants… There are 35 of them and counting. They're going to do it for you. They're going to work the land, and they're going to bring in the produce. I know this is a call beyond your capabilities, Mephibosheth."
So it is with our God. You have a call upon your life that is so far beyond your capabilities. If you think, "No, I'm good. I've got it in my parenting. I've got it at my job. I've got it at my school. I've got it in my sports and athletics. I've got it in my dating life," you're so sorely wrong. All of life is a gift from God, and it is a call beyond your capabilities.
Apart from him, we can do nothing, John 15 says. We have no ability. So, may we feel the weight of that, but the weight of it isn't this crushing thing, like, "Oh! How am I going to do this?" God is saying, "You can't; I can. I am the one who gave you the blessing. Now I will give you the gifting. I'll give you the power that will work through you to do it."
So, you have the benediction in Hebrews 13. The book of Hebrews is "Jesus is better. Jesus' covenant is better. Jesus is better than Moses. Jesus is better than the blood of bulls and goats. Jesus is better. Jesus is better. Jesus is better." Then you get to the very end, and it says, "May the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, through the eternal covenant by his blood…" We've been called into covenant, we follow by faith, and now we abide as though adopted.
He says, "…give you everything you need for his will." You have a calling beyond capabilities, but he promises in the benediction of Hebrews, when he's saying, "Everything is better," the weight of all that… He's like, "He's going to give you everything you need." Whatever he puts before you, whatever calling is upon your life, he's got you. Stay near to him, but he's going to give you the power, the gifting, the ability, the wisdom, the discernment, and the grace to walk it all out. He's going to give you everything you need for his will.
Then God's provision. Mephibosheth is eating at the king's table like one of his sons. What in the world? He has provision in Gibeah. Now he has provision at the king's table, three meals a day, sitting with the king like one of his sons. He's not a son, but it was his best friend's boy, and he's like, "No, you're having meals with me today." Such provision.
When I go to visit my parents in Missouri… I don't own anything in Missouri anymore. I don't have land or whatever. I just show up in a car, and I get incredible meals…bacon and eggs, homemade pancakes, BLT with farm fresh tomatoes over lunch, filet mignon, bacon-wrapped filet mignon (there's a lot of bacon in our lives) as I show up to dinner, because I'm with my parents.
Here, David is like, "You've been adopted. I made a covenant. You're going to be like one of my boys, so you're going to eat at my table always. You're never going to have to worry ever again." Jesus says in the gospel, "Don't be like the pagans." They're running around, thinking, "What are we going to eat? What are we going to drink? What are we going to wear? Where are we going to live? Who am I going to date? Where am I going to get a job?"
He's like, "Don't be like them, for your Father knows what you need even before you ask. Don't worry. Who of you by worrying can add even a single hour to your life?" Why worry then? It's in vain. It's fruitless. Instead, he says, "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…" Meaning, draw near to the table. Sit with the King. You seek to sit with the King. Abide as though adopted. And the promise. That's the command; here comes the promise. "…and all these things will be added unto you." You seek the King? The King has got you. That's a promise from Jesus Christ your Lord.
So, it's the king's provision, but then there's also the test of prosperity. You see, Mephibosheth was given everything…mansion, land, servants, sons…lavish. Now, arguably, the second wealthiest person in all of Israel. He has been given everything, yet it says he lived in Jerusalem. Well, that's weird, because you just got a mansion in Gibeah. Why are you there? It was a test of prosperity.
I think God is saying to us, as he did to him… Mephibosheth is like, "I'm not going anywhere. If life with the king is what I long for… I've been orphaned. I now have a family. I sit with you. I'm not going. I don't care what you give me. I want you. I don't want your gifts; I want you. Thank you for the gifts, but I want you, ultimately you."
It's a test of prosperity, and I think God is asking us today, "Can I trust you with gifts?" Or, as entitled Americans, are we going to be like, "Dude, thanks for the job. Thanks for the car. Thanks for the house. Thanks for the provision. Thanks for my health. I will call you when I need you, but I've got it from here. Man, thank you," and go our own way and start living in Gibeah or Lo-debar again rather than residing in Jerusalem with the king?
There's this haunting passage in Hosea where God has provided for the nation of Israel after the exile. He says, "When I fed them, they were satisfied. When they were satisfied, they became proud." You can hear the heartbreak. "Then they forgot me." The test of prosperity. When God gives us our needs, our longings, will we forget him or will we say, with Mephibosheth, "I'm not going anywhere. You have saved me. I deserved wrath. I will follow in faith, and I will abide as adopted because of what you have done for me. Thank you for the gifts. I want the Giver."
Adoption is the reality, and thus abiding is the response. Adoption is the reality. It's not just a reality in 2 Samuel 9. It says in Ephesians, chapter 1, that before the foundations of the world, he adopted us through Christ. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, who inaugurated the new covenant, we have been adopted…sonship, sons and daughters brought near to the Father, reconciled to him through the Son, his life, death, and resurrection.
So now, if adoption is the reality, then our abiding is the response, and we're like, "I'm not going anywhere. I want you. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, I'm walking with you." It says Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem. What you don't see is him going back to Lo-debar. Like, "Thanks, King. I missed my dad, and now I've got one, but I'm going to go to Lo-debar. I kind of miss the old way. I'm going to go check in on Machir."
Machir is texting him, like, "Hey, Mephibosheth, you want to go grab dinner?" He's like, "Are you kidding me? In pasture-less land? No. I'm eating with the king." The incredible dining, presence, fellowship, and food with the king versus a dinner in a wasteland? Do you think he ever took that deal? Why do we? Why do I?
Why when I have fellowship and nourishment with the King, and I have Satan texting me, like, "Hey, remember old times? Man, it was good. We had fun. Do you want to come back to wasteland?" May Mephibosheth be our example here. It says he lived in Jerusalem. May we dwell in that place of peace with our King and never go back to the Lo-debar of sin. It says in verse 11 Mephibosheth always ate at David's table, like one of the king's sons.
I always bounce my sermons off of Oren, senior director of equipping. He was like, "You know, it's different. Mephibosheth was like one of David's sons, but we are God's sons." He was like; we are a son or a daughter because of Jesus. It's like God in this passage, because of Jesus Christ… He's like, "I'm going to take that word like, because this was an image of David. Though David was good and righteous in this moment, and he upheld a covenant with Jonathan, I've got a different David coming. I've got the King who will reign and live forever."
He took the word like out and threw it upon the cross and was raised again and said, "You're not like, you are. You're my son or daughter. My covenantal love. Do I love you? Are you kidding me? While you were still a sinner, Christ died for you." You're not like a son or daughter; you are a son or daughter if you are in Jesus Christ your Lord.
"And he was lame in both feet." What a weird way to end a passage. What is that? A knife twist? Like, "Hey, remember." It's not a knife twist; it's a plot twist. It's the Spirit reminding the author, "Hey, you make sure, just as you did at the beginning, that you write down at the end he was crippled." He brought nothing to the table. The covenant brought him to the table. So may we remember, too, the covenant brings us to the table, and one day, there will be no more crippling of sin. Its presence from our lives will be gone. Christ has taken away its power through the cross, but one day its very presence. There will be no more crippling in the King who is coming.
At the end of Mephibosheth's life, there's some confusion. It's Absalom. It's too long of a story. David is exiled. He's now running while Mephibosheth remains in Jerusalem. David finally comes back after this civil quarrel has happened. He's like, "Mephibosheth, why didn't you come? You're like one of my sons. We're in covenant together. Why didn't you come with me?" He's like, "Your servant deceived me, but I've been waiting here for you. See? I haven't shaved. I haven't kept my feet the way they need to be because of the brokenness."
David is confused. He's like, "Well, who's telling me the truth, the lying servant or Mephibosheth? I don't know. I don't know what to do. So, you know what? Split the land." Listen to Mephibosheth's response. "Mephibosheth said to the king, 'Let him take everything, now that my lord the king has returned home safely.'" That's all he wanted. He was like, "He can have everything else. I don't even care. I didn't want your gifts in the first place. I just wanted you. I'm a part of a family now. All I was doing was waiting for your coming, come what may."
May it be the same of us. In this life, you're going to lose money. You're going to lose health. You're going to lose loved ones. You're going to lose jobs. You're going to lose kids. You're going to lose. He gives and takes away. All of it's going away, spare one thing alone: your relationship and covenant through Jesus. So, with Mephibosheth, let us say, "Come what may. All I want is the King. You're all I want, and the rest is just open hands. You give and take away. Let him have everything. All I want is the King. I just want the King to come. Come, Lord Jesus."
It is the blessed hope of Titus 2:13, the blessed appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Come what may. So, let's respond in song. Bow your heads with me if you would. If you've never trusted in Jesus, you're dead in your sins, and I pray today you would be called into covenant through Jesus, that at the end of the service you'd walk forward and say, "Hey, if I die, I don't know where I'm going to be."
If you have been called into covenant, I pray you'd be like Ziba and go take the King's message to others who are dying in shame, living under the household of Satan. You go tell them, "There is a king." Tell your waitress. Tell your neighbor. Tell the nations. If you can't go to the nations, give money for somebody else to go to the nations.
Then, thirdly, I want you right now to ask God to show you where you've left his table and have wandered back to your past residence so you can repent from it by his power. Where is it? Where have you walked back to Lo-debar? You don't belong there. You belong at the King's table. Now, like Mephibosheth, may we say with our hearts, "All I want is Jesus. Thank you for the gifts, but all I want is you." Stand and now sing to your Savior. Amen.