2 Samuel 9:1-13 – A Seat At the Banquet Table That We Do Not Deserve

Posted: June 11, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel

2 Samuel 9:1-13
David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

As a Christ follower, have you ever really thought about how incredibly ignorant we are before we come to know Christ as our Savior and Lord? Before we come to Christ, we have no clue and we actually think that we are brilliant for having evolved above the mythological and mystic. We may have grown up in the church but never truly understood why Jesus being killed on the cross was for my benefit. We don’t have a clue why that act was the most important act in the history of mankind. We just go along and accept it but not really understanding why a man dying on a cross is so important.

Before we come to Christ as our Savior and Lord, we can accept that he was a revolutionary guy. We can accept that he was this anti-establishment nomadic preacher. We can accept that His teachings angered the Jewish religious leaders. We can accept that He upset the tense détente there was between the Roman overlords and the high Jewish council, the Sanhedrin. We can accept that the Romans allowed the Jewish high council a certain amount of self-rule but that there was always a threat of the Romans cracking down on the Jews and eliminating local rule if the Sanhedrin did not keep the peace. We can accept that the Sanhedrin was ever fearful of angering the local Roman governor and that the high council would lose its grip on power if it did not do what the Romans wanted. We can accept that along came Jesus who upset all that with his rhetoric toward the high council leaders. We can accept that His words created quite a backlash with in the high council and had the common man all whipped up as well. Jesus was preaching forgiveness of sins and repentance and making life anew through Him. It was all very radical and upsetting to the council. We can accept that Jesus would not shut up so the Jewish high council convinced the Romans that he was a threat to Roman rule. We can accept that Jesus was in fact crucified and we can accept that it was for political reasons as much as anything else. But we get lost on why His death on the cross was for our sins. It just didn’t make any sense to us.

Because before we met Jesus as Savior and Lord, we were unwilling to see that we are sinful creatures. We had the idea that if we just do more good than bad that we will get to heaven. We just saw things kind of like an accountant’s ledger – with debits and credits, assets and liabilities. Except in this case, the assets are our good deeds and our liabilities are our bad deeds. Before coming to Christ, we just think that if we do more good than bad (have more assets than liabilities) that we punch our ticket to heaven. The only problem with that approach is that we are often blind to the volume of bad deeds that we commit. We just think we are generally a good person and things will work out in the end.

It is only when we realize that we are sinners to the core that we come to Jesus. It is only when our eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit to our true state – sinful by nature – that we realize how we need intervention so badly. It is then that we realize that just one sin eliminates us from spending eternity in the presence of God in heaven. Just one. That’s all it takes. To be in the presence of God, we must be perfect, holy and sinless. None of us can say that. One sin taints our water like a drop of black ink into it. It is permanently defected at that point. It is imperfect and impure and can never be pure and imperfect ever again. No amount of good deeds can change our state. Then, add on top of that, the lifetime of sins that we commit are additional drops of black ink into the water to the point that the water is more ink than it is water and we are black and dark as night. We need an intervention.

It is only when we realize how completely hopeless we are in the face of a perfect and righteous judge in God is the only time that we see the cosmic purpose of Jesus Christ dying on the cross. It becomes more than just a political revolutionary being crucified for political reasons. It becomes the culmination of the Old Testament sacrificial system established by God. In that system only a pure and spotless lamb could be sacrificed for the sins of the people of God. They were made right with God temporarily through these sacrifices. It was all practice for the final sacrifice in Jesus Christ. He was of one and the same essence as the Father and the Holy Spirit. Thus, He was and is God. Thus, He who was pure and perfect and sinless for all eternity was able to come to earth and live the perfect, sinless and pure life which makes him the once and for all final sacrifice. On the cross, Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to take on the wrath of God for all sins of all time for all mankind, past, present and future. It was more than just some revolutionary dying on the cross. It was the culmination of God’s redemptive plan. Jesus took the penalty for our sins that we deserve so that we could be covered by His sacrifice and stand before God in purity and free of sin.

When we come to realize our sinful nature for what it really is and stop deluding ourselves about being good enough, that is when the Jesus dying on the cross makes sense. It is a gift of the highest order. He died for our sins. He took the punishment from a righteous and just and pure and holy God for our sins and the sins of all others. It is only then that we realize what an amazing thing, what an amazing gift the cross is to us. We don’t deserve it when we really look at ourselves for who we really are but Jesus did this for us anyway. He loved us anyway. He gave us the gift of salvation. We did not earn it or own it or deserve it. He just gave it to us.

The grace that we are shown in Jesus Christ is what I thought of this morning when I read this passage, 2 Samuel 9:1-13, this morning – about how David showed unmerited kindness to son of the one remaining member of Saul’s family. Let’s read it now:

Chapter 9
1 One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked.

“Yes sir, I am,” Ziba replied.

3 The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.”

Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”

4 “Where is he?” the king asked.

“In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.”

5 So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home. 6 His name was Mephibosheth[a]; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.”

Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”

7 “Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”

8 Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?”

9 Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and servants are to farm the land for him to produce food for your master’s household.[b] But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will eat here at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Ziba replied, “Yes, my lord the king; I am your servant, and I will do all that you have commanded.” And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table,[c] like one of the king’s own sons.

12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. From then on, all the members of Ziba’s household were Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem and ate regularly at the king’s table.

In this passage, we understand that most kings in David’s day would wipe out the families of rivals in order to prevent any descendants from seek the throne. However, David showed king to Mephibosheth, whose father was Jonathan and whose grandfather was King Saul. When God graciously offers to forgiveness of sins and grant us a place at his table in heaven, we are wholly unworthy of earning the position. It is a grant of grace that we must accept through seeing and understanding that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord and that He is the Son of God who died for our sins and arose from the dead to give us victory over sin and death. We graciously, gratefully, and humbly should accept God’s grant of grace through Jesus Christ. We can sit at the table of our Father in heaven because of Jesus and Jesus alone, just as King Saul’s grandson was granted a place of honor in David’s house and at David’s table through the grace David extended to him. He did not earn it or deserve it in any way. That’s what Jesus’ death on the cross means for us. We are granted a place at the banquet table of God that we do not deserve on our own. It is simply because we accepted the invitation to make Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Amen and Amen.

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