David had a very unselfish response to not being the one to build God’s house. In 1 Chronicles 22:1-5, David sets everything in order for God’s house. Verse 5 – …so David made abundant preparations before his death.
When our way doesn’t work out, just hold on. God has a better way and He wants us to support it. Not everyone gets their name in lights. Maybe your assignment is to help someone else achieve the bigger thing for the kingdom. David prepared the way for Solomon to build the most magnificent house for God that would ever be built.
We are about to start 1 Samuel chapter 9, where David shows the meaning of grace.
Grace means many things to people, but the true meaning is unmerited favor. This is extending special favor to someone who doesn’t deserve it, who has not earned it, and can never repay it. One of the most illustrated examples in the Old Testament of grace is David and Mephibosheth.
2 Samuel 9:1 – Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
David had remembered his promise to Jonathan. The original word for kindness in Hebrew is closer to “grace.” Grace is an unconditional acceptance in spite of the other person. Grace is a demonstration of love that is undeserved, unearned, and unrepayable.
It was the custom in eastern dynasties when a new king took over, all the family members of the previous dynasty were to be exterminated in order to take away the possibility of a revolt. Back in 1 Samuel 20:13, 14, Jonathan had asked David to show his family grace when David became king. Without any hesitation, David had agreed.
David starts asking those in his court, “Is there anyone left?” He didn’t ask if anyone was qualified, or if anyone was worthy. Regardless of who they are, are there any persons left in Jonathan or Saul’s house I can be gracious to?
2 Samuel 9:2, 3 – And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “At your service!” (Verse 3) Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness of God?” and Ziba said to the king,” There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.”
Even though Ziba made the distinction that the boy was lame, David didn’t acknowledge it. I think Ziba was saying, “Ya, but, you don’t want him. He’s crippled”, or why else would he have mentioned it? Why is it people always have to point out others flaws or what color of skin they have when telling a story?
Grace doesn’t want to know all the flaws. Grace is one-sided. Grace is God giving Himself in full acceptance to someone, like you and me who don’t deserve it.
Mephibosheth is in Lo debar. (I could preach a whole sermon on that place.)
Lo in Hebrew means “no,” and debar is from the root word meaning “pasture or pastureland.” So this son of Jonathan is in some obscure, barren field in Palestine. He was hidden because he didn’t know if the next king would kill him or not, according to custom. The only person who knew where he was is Ziba.
We find out how Jonathan’s son became crippled.
1 Samuel 4:4 – 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 a nurse took him up and fled, that he fell and became lame. So his name was Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth had been hiding all these years in Lo-Debar. He must have been a young man by now because later on scripture says he had a son, Mica. So David sends men to get him and bring him to David.
2 Samuel 9:6 – And Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, fell on his face, and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant.”
Imagine; Mephibosheth can’t stand properly before the king, scared, and throws himself flat on the floor before David.
2 Samuel 9:7 – So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness (grace) for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul, your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”
Mephibosheth was probably expecting a sword to the neck, but instead found grace. Then David called Ziba and told him all that was Saul’s is to be given to Mephibosheth. Ziba’s household is to cultivate the land for him. Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Mephibosheth also, was to eat at the kings tables as one of his sons (2 Samuel 9:8-13)
Once Mephibosheth had enjoyed uninterrupted fellowship with his father, Jonathan and so did Adam who walked with the Lord in the cool of the evening. Like Adam, Mephibosheth once knew what it was like to be in close fellowship with the king.
Then disaster strikes. The nurse running away from harm drops Mephibosheth and he becomes lame. Likewise, when sin came, Adam and Eve hid in fear. Their first response was to hide in fear, which resulted in mankind becoming a spiritual invalid.
David, the king, out of pure love for Jonathan, demonstrated grace to his handicapped son. In turn, God out of love for His son, Jesus the Christ, paid the penalty for our sin on the cross, shows the believer grace-undeserved.
God is still seeking those who are hiding in fear and confusion, to shed His grace on and have them sit at “The kings table!”
Mephibosheth had nothing, deserved nothing, and could repay nothing. The same is true of us. We have nothing to offer to the “One” who wants to shed His love and grace on us in abundance.
Some of us had despicable lives before we came to Christ. He sought us out with His heart. That’s what God does when He comes to free us from the guilt of sin. He says, “Your mine just as you are crutches, hang-ups, bad attitudes, and all.
That’s what David did for Mephibosheth. He took him from a place of barrenness to a place of honor, a place of plenty, to the very courtyard of the king.
God has taken the believer from a life having no purpose and meaning to where He is, to a place of fellowship. He restored us to what He once had with Adam.
David adopted Mephibosheth into his family, and he became one of the king’s son’s. God adopts every believer into the family of God with the same privileges. God’s constant grace and favor reminds us of this adoption every time we mess up-sin.
This is one of the reasons why I think it is so important to study David. There were so many times in his life, that it looked like our lives. Every time David was brought face-to-face with his sin, he knew where to go—to the Father. Our God loves us! Never let guilt keep you from having that intimate relationship with the One who understands. Christ has given us His righteousness, so believe that and you’ll live right, free from sin consciousness.