The Man The King Did Not Forget

Bible Book: 2 Samuel  9
Subject: Salvation; Redemption; Love of God; Mephibosheth

The Man The King Did Not Forget

Dr. J. Mike Minnix

2 Samuel 9:1-13; 19:24

A man was walking down a street one evening when three men jumped on him, beat him and robbed him. The thieves only found 75 cents in the man’s pockets. While holding him down, one of thieves asked, “Why in the world did you put up such a fight to keep us from getting just 75 cents from you?” The man who was robbed said, “Oh, I thought you were after the $500.00 hidden in my shoe."

There are many wonderful truths hidden in the Word which we must dig out as a miner digs for gold and silver (Proverbs 2:1-5). The story of Mephibosheth is a gem tucked away in the Old Testament. It is an incident that illustrates God's love and grace, and one that displays the wonderful characteristic of faithfulness to a promise on the part of a servant of God.

Who in the world has a name like Mephibosheth? Well, Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan, who was the son of King Saul. You remember that Saul tried to kill David because he was jealous of him. Jonathan had been a special friend of David and helped him escape from his father. Later Jonathan was killed in a battle. After David had been King he remembered that he promised to never forget Jonathan’s kindness to him. Once David was King he asked about any living relatives of Jonathan that he might bless such a person. The one person they found was Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, who had been injured in both legs when he was just five years old (2 Samuel 4:4 tells that story). Jonathan had been taken to the land of Gilead, where he was kept in the house of Machir at Lodebar.

David sends someone to bring Jonathan to Jerusalem, so that he might show kindness and love to Jonathan’s family. Mephibosheth is a wreck – a real mess. His toe nails had not been trimmed in years and he was dirty and unkempt. The story of David’s kindness and love toward Mephibosheth reminds us of God’s love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for our sins.

Mephibosheth came to live in the royal palace of King David and resided there the rest of his life. I want you to see the parallel between Mephibosheth and ourselves in the message today.

I. He Is Separated from the King

The family of Mephibosheth, with the single exception of Jonathan, were enemies of David. Mephibosheth’s grandfather, Saul, had tried everything possible to kill David. In essence, Mephibosheth was actually an enemy of David, and was living far from him in Lodebar.

A. Separated by a Fall

When Mephibosheth was five years old, a nurse tending to him feared that the boy would be captured by Philistines, so she began to run with him in her arms that she might hide the boy. But, as she ran, she fell. Mephibosheth’s legs were injured, never set properly, and thus he was basically an invalid.

His fall reminds us of the fall we have all taken in this world – not a physical fall but a spiritual one. Adam fell for sin the Garden of Eden and we have all followed in his steps. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and FALL short of the glory of God.” Our sin was our fall, and we are incapable of walking the way God designed and desired.

B. Separated by a Fact

Mephibosheth was separated by the fact that he was in Lodebar and David, the King, was in Jerusalem. There was a distance between them that Mephibosheth could not repair on his own. In fact he, like all of Saul’s relatives, feared that David might seek him out and destroy him. Lodebar might as well be on another planet as far as Mephibosheth could understand.

Dear friends, our sins separated us from the God of heaven. Only the King of Glory, the Lord Jesus, could save us. Phillip Bliss wrote:

“Free from the law—oh, happy condition!
Jesus hath bled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.”

Let us note next…

II. He is Sought by the King

David has a heart of compassion and love. So he sends some of his servants to find a relative of Jonathan. Note how this is a picture of God seeking us.

A. An Open Love

David says that the servants are to see if there is “anyone” upon whom he can grant his kindness. How wonderful that we are told in God’s Word that it is not God’s will that any perish but that all might come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Anyone hearing my voice needs to know that God loves you and seeks you out to reveal His affection for you.

B. An Overcoming Love

David said to his servants that they were to find anyone from the “house of Saul” that he might bless them. The “house of Saul” was the enemy of David. We recalled already in this message that Saul, the grandfather of Mephiboseth sought in every way to destroy David.

Though our sins were laid on Christ and He died for us, yet He wishes to bless us with His grace. He seeks out his enemies that he might bless them. That is an overcoming love – a love that overcomes our sinful position as His enemies.

III. He is Saved by the King

A. His Condition

Reading the condition of Mephibosheth reveals that he was in a wretched condition. He was dirty, destitute, and too poor to care for himself. He had nothing to bring that was worthy of the attention of a king like David.

Listen, dear friend, we have nothing with which to introduce ourselves to King Jesus. Our sins are wretched. Our walk has left our feet dirty with the habits and ways of this world. The only way we can come to Jesus is by invitation based on His grace and love.

B. His Confession

Look at what Mephibosheth said to King David in 2 Samuel 9:8:

Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”

Mephibosheth saw himself as unworthy of the King’s love and referred to himself as a “dead dog.” Let me tell you something today that is true of all who come to Christ – you come to Him with no merit of your own. You come to Him because He first loved you and gave Himself for you. You come to Him because of His grace.

“Come ye sinners, poor and needy,

Weak and wounded, sick and sore.”

Coming to Christ requires a confession that we are sinners. A lady is said to have come to the preacher at the front of the church during an invitation hymn. She said, “I would like to become a Christian.” The preacher said, “Pray these words after me, and if you truly mean them from your heart, God will save you today.” Then the preacher proceeded, “Dear God, I am a rotten sinner.” He waited, but the lady said nothing. When the preacher looked up at her she said, “I can’t pray like that. I’m not a rotten sinner; I’m a good sinner.” The preacher said, “Dear lady, there are no good sinners. Either you tell the Lord the truth or go back to your seat.” With that, the lady prayed with tears streaming down her face, “Dear God, I’m a rotten sinner.” She placed her faith in Christ with the continuation of the prayer for salvation and was delivered from her lost and hopeless condition.

David accepted Mephibosheth’s statement but he immediately ordered his servants to care for him. When we come to the Lord in humble confession of our condition and in full faith of His loving grace, He saves us and blesses us from that day forward.


Mephibosheth was kept from harm, blessed in the deep of his heart and given a home for his entire life. That is what King Jesus does for all who come to Him in repentance, humility and faith.

The Lord is calling out to someone in this service today. “Come to me,” He says, “and I will give you an abundant life now and everlasting life in my kingdom.”

Jesus will give you the peace described in Romans 5:1.

He will give you a home in heaven described in John 14:1-6.

He will give you the promises found in Romans 8.

He will give you a life that can’t be taken away from you, as He said in John 10:28.

Now, He is calling you. Come to Him. The King’s blessings are spread out before you. He is calling you from Lodebar to come to the palace to live forever.