Rev.Iain Macritchie- David and Mephibosheth

Sermons - Part 124


Guest Preacher

Aug. 26, 2018


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] If we could turn back to the chapter we made together in 2 Samuel chapter 9.

[0:22] Second Samuel chapter 9 and although I'd like us to consider the whole chapter we can perhaps take our text this morning from the words that we have in verse 7. Second Samuel chapter 9 verse 7. And David said to him, do not fear, 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. You shall eat at my table always. My friends the chapter we have before us here this morning is a chapter that perhaps shows King David's actions to be more Christ-like than at any other point in his life. As we know King David had a rather mixed history both good and bad but here we very much see what some commentators have called the golden era of David's life. Here we see King

[1:36] David showing kindness to the most unlikely of candidates, my Phobisius. Now the circumstances surrounding the narrative we have before us here have much to teach us and I'd like us just for a short time and with the help of the Lord leading us this morning to go through this chapter and to think of what's happening here under three headings. We're going to first of all think of the call of King David to my Phobisius. And then after thinking about this call we're going to see my Phobisius response to this call and then lastly following on from this response we're going to see that the consequence of my Phobisius response. So here we have the call, the response and the consequence. Now of course it is a King's prerogative. It's a King's right to call for whoever he wants whenever he wants. He doesn't need to give a reason he just says for that person to come and that person is expected to come straight away. And so here in verses one to five we see King David calling for this man, a man who went by the name of my Phobisius. But who was this man and why is it that David was wanting to see him? Well we don't know much about my Phobisius from the text before us but we do know that he was lodging in the house of Machyr, the son of Amiel in a place called Lodibar.

[3:17] Now Lodibar literally translated means wilderness, a dry or a barren place, a place where nothing grew. We also know that my Phobisius couldn't walk. He was crippled on both feet. Now the chapter doesn't tell us how he became crippled on both feet but if we were to turn to 2 Samuel 4.4 we read there that my Phobisius he was dropped by his nurse. When his nurse was fleeing the Philistines, his nurse, the one who was in charge of him, she dropped him. And because she dropped him he was left lame. He was left unable to walk for the rest of his life. And so this would have had a huge effect on this boy. My Phobisius as a child he wouldn't have been able to run around with the other children. He wouldn't have been able to enjoy the activities that other children enjoyed.

[4:17] And even as he went up into adulthood he would have found his contribution into society would have been limited. And of course at this time in this context that we have here to be quite blunt about it, my Phobisius would have been seen as an outcast in society. Someone that you would stay away from. Someone that you wouldn't really want to be associated with because of his disability.

[4:49] Thankfully things have moved on since these days. So why is it that the king wanted to see this crippled man? Well that might be surprising in itself but there's something even more surprising that King David wanted to see a man who was crippled. And it's not the fact that he was lame on both feet. But the very fact of who my Phobisius was. You see my Phobisius was the son of Jonathan as we read. Jonathan was the son of Saul who had been the previous king of Israel. Now normally when a new dynasty would come in, in this case King David, they would do all that they possibly could to purge out the old regime. So any of the old kings or any of the old kings relatives if you like they would be destroyed. They would perhaps have been seen as a threat to the throne that was now in place. We see an example of this in 1 Kings 15 where Beesha he conspired against and he subsequently murdered Nadab. So friends can't you see that effectively my Phobisius in every way he should have been an enemy to King David. Do you know what we have here this morning? It's such a clear picture of a sinner. It's such a clear picture of you and of me. The fact remains that as we sit here this morning friends we are all crippled. Now I'm not talking about physical ailments which we may or may not have but I'm talking about the very fact that that we're all crippled because of that fall in Adam. The fact that Adam's sinned meant that we too are sinners. We've been left to the very core of our being crippled by this sin. It's a sin that has left such a visible mark on our lives. It's a sin that's broken our communion with the King of Kings the Lord Jesus Christ.

[7:07] It's a sin that's even left us unable to stand upright in our own strength before a holy God. Friends consequently isn't it true that that all too often we find ourselves limping through life.

[7:26] We find ourselves looking to this and to that to lean on and to help prop us up as we go through this world week after week year after year but as I said to the children finding that if we don't have Christ we're not really getting anywhere. And so at this point you might be forgiven for thinking that King David is summoning Mephibishith to the palace so that that he might have him killed.

[7:57] That's not what we read here that's not the text before us tells us and in fact King David's motive it appears to be quite the opposite. He doesn't say is there anyone still in the left in the house of Saul that I may kill him. Instead he says is there anyone left of the house of Saul that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake. That I may show him kindness. Friends at this point that we can see why some commentators have called this this chapter a golden era in the history of King David. You see we read in 1 Samuel 20 that David had previously promised not to cut off his steadfast love from the house of Jonathan. This of course going back to 1 Samuel 20 this was a time when things were so much different to what we have here in this chapter this morning. Here we we see Saul rather was King Jonathan was was a prince and David was little more than a fugitive who posed no threat to anyone. But now fast forward 15 or 20 years later isn't it amazing how how how Providence has led things to change because here we see David that that past fugitive we see him here as King. Not only do we see him as King but here we see him as King as a King who wants nothing more than to see that covenant that he made all those years ago fulfilled. Friends it would have been the easiest thing in the world for David in his position as a king of Israel. It would have been the easiest thing even his right to have gone back on his word to have allowed his change in circumstances to to break his promise or for him perhaps even to forget that he had ever ever made a promise but that's not what we read. Instead we we see here David at least at this point in his life we we see him acting as a man of his word a man of integrity. He had promised

[10:25] Jonathan that he would show kindness to his house to his family and when he finds out that Mephibishith is still alive he he wants nothing more than to fulfill this promise. Now bear in mind he knew nothing about Mephibishith. This this man could have been trouble Mephibishith could have conspired against the king but yet he was willing to take that risk. Why? Because he took truth seriously and he knew that not keeping his promise it posed a far greater risk to his relationship with God than anything else could. You know that's such a lesson for you and for me this morning. How many times have we and me with you have we have we made promises to people maybe flippantly maybe without thinking I'll do this and I'll do that I'll maybe come to see you or or I'll pray for you and for whatever reason we might forget or circumstances change we don't keep our word that's that's so like us. Friends ought not be that like David when we make a promise when we really vow to someone that we're going to do something for them or with them that we be men and women of integrity men and women of our words why perhaps that person might forget but the fact remains when we make these vows these promises we're not making them just before men but also before God he doesn't forget and he he sees all our actions and that's just by the way and so my Phoebusians he's sent for by the king and if we have a clear picture of the sinner in my Phoebusius we equally equally have such a clear picture of Christ as saviour in David you see

[12:35] David's love for my Phoebusius and desiring to show him kindness this love shouldn't really have happened he was a cripple he was an outcast in society his lineage made him an enemy of the king but that didn't stop him it didn't stop him fulfilling his covenant obligations and and these actions of David they they so clearly mirror don't they the love of Christ for his people you see this morning friends Christ is calling you he's calling you to be his own just like my Phoebusius it's true to say that that each and every one of us gathered in here this morning we are all without exception we are all the most unlikely candidates to be called to come into the presence of the king of kings we're crippled by sin and we read in the word of God that the Lord is of pure eyes and and to behold iniquity that he cannot look upon sin and that Romans 5 tells us we are in fact enemies of God so friends God has every right to not invite us into his presence but turn his back on us does he do that no notice the words of verse 3 and he's and the king said is there not still someone of the house of Saul that I may show the kindness of God to him is there not still aren't these words so precious my Phoebusius was still alive he was still able to receive the kindness of the king he was still able to be a recipient of the the covenant promises of the king the the day of opportunity was still there for him so friends it is with you the gospel call goes out to you this morning and and in this gospel call as it as it is week in week out God continues to make promises to you here in his word and you know these promises they're not like the false promises of this world that are broken time and time again because you see the Lord promises that that if you you seek him you will find him that if you knock on that door it it will be opened unto you that if you're weary and that heavy laden and this goes for Christians too if you're weary and that heavy laden if you come to him he will give you rest and the Lord makes promises that he will not break and unconverted friend he's calling you today he's calling you each and every time you sit under the gospel but I wonder how you respond I wonder how you respond to this message do you say to yourself ah well it's just the same old story I've heard it all before do you go back out into the world tomorrow thinking that you can go it alone you can do life without Jesus you don't need him well friends you might be led to think that but for how long how long will it be until you come to that place where you realize I need Christ for myself how do you respond we see a response here in the chapter before us from Mephubisheth and that brings us to our second point Mephubisheth's response you see Mephubisheth was well aware of who he was he knew he was a descendant of the previous king and he he knew only too well the consequences that he could have faced should the king catch up with him of course because of this he no doubt would have been living a quiet life he would have been living his life under the raid or not wanting to be found and so when David finally does track down Mephubisheth when he's when he's summoned to that royal court you can just imagine how he felt and there's nothing that to suggest that he was aware of this covenant that had previously taken place between David and his father Jonathan and so as he made his way to the king I think it's fair to say that that

[17:32] Mephubisheth would have been terrified he would have been so unsure as to what fate awaited him when he came before the king we see this in verse 6 as he comes into the the presence of the king what does he do will he helplessly falls before the king in reverence how does David respond does he respond with a sword does he sentence Mephubisheth to death no instead we read he responds with just one word Mephubisheth he's not questioned he's not interrogated instead he's addressed personally by his name you know I can't help think that there was something in the tone of David's voice that that would have reassured Mephubisheth David was now able to fulfill his covenant promises he would have he would have been pleased about this and surely as he addressed

[18:41] Mephubisheth Mephubisheth would have heard something in his voice that would have perhaps told him that maybe everything's gonna be okay and so hearing these words Mephubisheth responds behold I am your servant right there at that very point Mephubisheth has a desire to serve the king of course no doubt he still has that anxiety in his face as as this is all taken place and we we read that that David reassures him further with these words fear not for I will surely show the kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake isn't this such a clear picture of what so often happens to us when we hear the voice of God calling us in the gospel we can be so scared as to what will happen if we respond we can be so scared as to what might happen to us if we're converted we might think even that just like Mephubisheth that if we come to Christ that somehow our lives will be over somehow the all that we've known and love will be will be cast to one side and it will be replaced by something that is dull and boring and something that's not really worth living for well friends that is nothing but alive from the devil you see nothing in this world compares to the riches that are to be found in Christ why on earth do the Lord's people keep carrying on why on earth do the Lord's people keep drawing with joy from the wells of salvation is it out of mere routine or formality no we simply couldn't keep that act up it's because we've tasted this sweetness of Christ for ourselves and we know how bitter the things of this world is friends won't you try this for yourself won't you come to that place where you say yes I know I need Christ you know when Christ calls you personally by your name when you hear his voice speaking to you in his word in the Bible you soon realize that that what you had was nothing you see Mephubisheth had been living all these years in bondage he may have thought he was free because the king hand caught up with him he may have thought that he had escaped the wrath of the king the fact is that he would have been living his life day after day looking over his shoulder deep down not really knowing when the king might catch up with him he would have been living that life of unease not knowing what would happen when he would be caught I wonder if anyone here is on the run from King

[22:01] Jesus you might say well of course I'm not I'm here in God's house I've come to hear the word preached what about the rest of the week are you on the run from King Jesus is he just for Sunday when you come here is he just for a preacher to tell you about and for you to go home and forget are you keeping him at arms length are you running towards the flimsy the temporary things of time and sense thinking well maybe one day but not not today friends you might think you're free in doing that you might look at Christians and think that that they're in bondage that they're restricted that they're hemmed in an actual fact it's you friends and I say this out of love and out of experience it's you that's in bondage it's you that refuses to escape the bondage of the world the flesh and the devil you see the Gospel of John tells us that if the Sun shall set you free you shall be free indeed how under how much longer are you going to deny yourself that freedom that is to be found in a saving knowledge of Christ how long are you going to instead choose to to be enslaved and entangled by the shallow things of this world in verse 8 we read that if I wish to ask David why verse 8 what is your servant that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I called himself a dead dog and you know in this tradition a dead dog was the most humiliating image there was the most degrading image there was yet this is how Mephibishith saw himself before the King he saw himself as nothing and he he simply couldn't believe that that King David wanted to deal with him in such a loving way it was almost too good to be true you might think that you are the lowest of the low you might be sitting here saying to yourself well if only you knew my heart if you only you knew what I did yesterday if only you knew the thoughts that

[24:47] I've had even since I came into this church this morning friends I know because I've been there myself you know you might think that because of of the sin in your life whatever it is you may think that you're so deep in sin you are so crippled by sin that God couldn't possibly ever want anything to do with you you might even be thinking that because you're in the twilight years of your life that at your time for salvation is past that the Lord has passed you by again another life from the devil friends as you sit here in carla way free church this very morning you're on Marcy's ground right now here no matter what your past is no matter what you've done or what you haven't done the fact is that Christ desires for you to respond to the good news of the gospel while there is still time who knows you might not be on Marcy's ground tomorrow but today you are imagine how foolish my fubbish would have been had he not responded to this call imagine and all the of all the blessings he would have missed out on we read in verses 9 to 13 and this is briefly out our final point we read of the consequence of my fubbish its response then the king called

[26:23] Zeba Saul servant and said to him all that belong 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 bred to eat but my fubbish your master's grandson shall eat shall always eat at my table isn't it so interesting that in making this promise to Jonathan all David really had to do was was to ensure that Jonathan my fubbish its life rather would be spared to ensure that he wouldn't be killed to ensure that you'd escape the sword but here we see David going far beyond any bear requirement because not only does he spare my fubbish its life he also he also gives back to him all that belong to his grandfather Saul he restores to him his inheritance you know this in itself is far more than my fubbish it could ever have hoped for but yet there was more because we read in verse 11 that that my fubbish its eight at David's table like one of the king's sons not only was his life spared not only was his inheritance returned but but my fubbish it was adopted into that royal household that royal family and here he was made a partaker of the richest of fair for a beautiful picture this is of the consequences of following Christ Ephesians 3 20 tells us that he is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think and so it is when we come to know Christ as our saviour when we're brought to that that banqueting table when we're adopted into that royal household of faith dear friends we are made a partaker of of the the most the richest of spiritual blessings that that go far and beyond anything we could ever imagine yes life is still hard yes we're not promised an easy ride in this world but that spiritual food that is ours in Christ gives us meaning gives us purpose friends don't you want that for yourself and you know this wasn't a one off he didn't come to the king's table and then rise and and carry on with his life verse 13 tells us that he that he ate continually at the king's table and surely that's an encouragement to to all Christians in here this morning an encouragement even to any Christian who who feels that they've lost their way with the Lord well friends let me assure you that that once you're sitting at the king's table you are always sitting at the king's table you will never ever ever lose your place at his table if you're truly one of his friends all you need to do and me with you all we need to do is to reach out and to feast on the riches of Christ that are available to us each and every day in his word this chapter ends with some interesting words we read in the last verse of this chapter verse 13 yet always at the king's table as I just said and then we read he was lame in both his feet he was sitting my phibbishith was sitting at the king's table but he was still lame and as we come to Christ we're still sinners but as he sat at that table friends it's true to say that that table would have covered his legs those around him were perhaps even unaware of the fact that here was a cripple and what a beautiful picture of what happens to us when we come to the table of King Jesus when he takes us from death to life from darkness to light friends when we are so mercifully given a place at his table when we come with with all our infirmities with all our weaknesses when we come with all our sin when we're able to cry out and say to him

[31:30] Abba father we do so why because all our sins are covered each and every one they are covered by the blood of the lamb they cannot be seen by God the father they have been cast into the depths of the sea as far as east is distant from the west so far he removed from us all of our sins each and everyone what an encouragement that is to us this morning as we struggle with our weakness with our infirmity as we struggle to be what we would like to be before our precious King Jesus you know a word of warning is also needed because with such blessing of course there comes responsibility as my Phoebuseth as he sat at this table I doubt very much because of the culture of his day I doubt very much that he was throwing attention to the fact that he was a cripple and in the same way friends as the Lord's people were not to throw attention to our sins by going back to them as even a dog goes back to his vomit that's such a vivid picture yet such a clear picture of what it is to to go back to flirt with sins of our past friends we should seek to do all that we can in our homes and out in our community in our workplaces to do all that we can to to honor him to honor the King who has covered our sins with his blood how do we do that and that true and right spirit of repentance by his strength by his help to flee each and every day from these sins we may have fallen in Adam friends but yet what an encouragement as we leave this morning that if we're in Christ we will be raised perfectly in him no more sin no more infirmity no more weakness no more feeling that we aren't what we ought to be before the Lord and what a blessing it is that this is just a vapor and that we have that great eternity to look forward to but yet I'm aware that there might be those in here who are yet to come and taste and see that God is good friends I don't need to tell you what awaits you if you continue to turn your back on King Jesus the fact is that you will not enjoy a restored inheritance and that royal household the fact is and I say this with a heavy heart not because I said but because the word of God tells us that that instead you will be subject to an eternal misery in hell itself it's solemn but it's true however the good news is that where there's life there is hope today is the day of gospel opportunity not tomorrow today and you know I would just urge you I would plead with you that you would not you wouldn't waste this opportunity as you have wasted it so many times in the past but rather that you would you would pray that the Holy Spirit would open your eyes this very day so that you too would behold the beauty of

[35:39] King Jesus that you would be adopted into that royal household of faith and so that you'll enjoy spiritual benefits yes here in time for 40 50 60 70 even 80 years so much more than that you'll enjoy that inheritance incorruptible undefiled that never fades away in heaven itself for all eternity friends don't go another day looking to lean on the things of this world you come to Jesus and I assure you I promise you that if you come to him he will never ever cast you out amen we pray that he'll bless these few thoughts to us that indeed his name would have all the glory let us pray Lord our God we come this morning so aware of the the gravity and the solemnity of the lostness of the lost but yet we pray that we may be reminded of that all the more and that even as thy people as thy church that we would seek to in knowing the the state of the lost that by thy grace we may say to those around us come see a man that told me all things that ever I did this is not the Christ we pray that many more would come and see Christ for themselves even in here this very morning that they would cry out that prayer of old Lord have mercy on me a sinner go with us now we pray and forgive us for all our many sins we ask in Christ's name and for his sake