“So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.” (2 Sam. 8:15)
The Lord gave David victory over all of his enemies (v. 6, 14) and David always gave God all the glory as he dedicated all the gold, silver and plunder to the Lord as he continued to gather materials for the temple. This is David at the zenith of his career – fame, fortune, power and position and for a season he stewarded it all for God’s glory extending God’s influence over more and more nations.
David boasted in the Lord and “exercised kindness, justice and righteousness on earth” and reflected the very character of God in his reign. “This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.” (Jer. 9:23-24)
Speaking of exercising kindness, David now remembers his promise and covenant to both Jonathan and Saul. (1 Sam 20:14-17; 24: 20-22) to not cut off their descendents. It was customary when a new king came into power to kill all family members of the old regime to take away the possibility of a revolt. But David kept his word and sought out descendents of Jonathan and Saul. “David asked, "Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?" “The king asked, "Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God's kindness (or a better translation would be, God’s grace)?" (2 Sam. 9:1, 3)
Who is Mephibosheth? He is Jonathan’s son and his name means “dispeller of shame” and the Lord took away his shame through David. He must have been horrified when Ziba came to take him to King David. He was basically a fugitive hiding out in Lo Debar (means “no pasture”, i.e., a barren place) crippled from an accident as a child when fleeing from danger after his father’s (Jonathan) and King Saul’s death. Maybe he and his household were even fleeing from the new king David.
“When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down (“prostrated” himself) to pay him honor. David said, "Mephibosheth!" "Your servant," he replied. “Don't be afraid,” David said to him, "for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table." Mephibosheth bowed down and said, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?" “So Mephibosheth ate at David's table like one of the king's sons. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table, and he was crippled in both feet.” (See 2 Sam 9:6-13)
What a picture of what our Lord and King has done for us. Man who once walked close to God in the garden was crippled by sin and hid from God and then was banished from His presence. But as David did, God in His kindness and mercy sought us out and cleansed us from sin and calls us sons and one day we will sit at table with Him in glory.
Like David the Lord seeks us out: "For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” (Ezek.34:12) “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:10) He “dispelled our shame” and took our guilt on the cross. (Isaiah 53:3-6) He covers our sins with His blood as the table cloth covered Mephibosheth’s lame feet: "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” (Romans 4:7 Psalm 32:1) He restores our soul and one day will restore all things: “He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3:21) He calls us “son”: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” (1 John 3:1) And one day we will sit at table with Him: “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.” (Luke 12:37)
How do we respond to such love? Micah 6:7-8 comes to mind: “Should we offer him thousands of rams and tens of thousands of rivers of olive oil? Would that please the LORD? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for the sins of our souls? Would that make him glad? No, O people, the LORD has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” See questions for reflection, discussion and application on back.
How can we “dedicate” all of our blessings (time, talents, treasures and truth) to God and His work as David did and extend God’s influence over more and more people?
Do you know of many men who boast in “knowing the Lord” versus boasting in money, brains or power per Jeremiah 9:23-24? How can we boast in the Lord in our day to day relationships?
Coach McCartney would be proud of David for he was a true Promise Keeper, like men who “keep their promises even when it hurts”, even when it costs. (Psalm 15:4) Give examples of how we can do this in our business, with our family, with our Lord?
As we looked at Mephibosheth’s life we are reminded of how the Lord sought us out, covered our sins with His sinless blood, restores our soul and one day will restore everything (Rom. 8:18-25), adopts us and calls us son, dispel our shame and one day will serve us at His table at that great heavenly banquet. How does this make you feel and how can we respond to such amazing grace?
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25) It is in doing God’s Word, not in just hearing it, that we are blessed. What action will you take to apply these truths to your life?
Scripture memory verse: “This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.” (Jer. 9:23-24)