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David: A Man After God’s Own Heart – Sermon #15


2 Samuel 9:1-13


Intro: A story is told about Fiorello LaGuardia, who, when he was mayor of New York City during the worst days of the Great Depression and all of WWII, was called by adoring New Yorkers 'the Little Flower' because he was only five foot four and always wore a carnation in his lapel. He was a colorful character who used to ride the New York City fire trucks, raid speakeasies with the police department, take entire orphanages to baseball games, and whenever the New York newspapers were on strike, he would go on the radio and read the Sunday funnies to the kids. One bitterly cold night in January of 1935, the mayor turned up at a night court that served the poorest ward of the city. LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench himself.

      Within a few minutes, a tattered old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. She told LaGuardia that her daughter's husband had deserted her, her daughter was sick, and her two grandchildren were starving. But the shopkeeper, from whom the bread was stolen, refused to drop the charges. "It's a real bad neighborhood, your Honor." the man told the mayor. "She's got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson." LaGuardia sighed. He turned to the woman and said "I've got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions--ten dollars or ten days in jail." But even as he pronounced sentence, the mayor was already reaching into his pocket. He extracted a bill and tossed it into his famous sombrero saying: "Here is the ten dollar fine which I now remit; and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Baliff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant."

      So the following day the New York City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to a bewildered old lady who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren, fifty cents of that amount being contributed by the red-faced grocery store owner, while some seventy petty criminals, people with traffic violations, and New York City policemen, each of whom had just paid fifty cents for the privilege of doing so, gave the mayor a standing ovation.[1]

      My friends that is the essence of grace!  It recognizes our wretched condition; it pays our debt and it gives us more then we could ever have imagined.  No wonder it’s called amazing!

      The passage we have read today provides for us one of the clearest pictures of amazing grace in the Word of God.  God uses David as a living illustration of what grace is all about.  I want to examine this text today.  I want to point out some observations about amazing grace.  I would like to preach for a few minutes on the thought: No Wonder It’s Called Amazing.


  I.  v. 1-5               AMAZING GRACE IS EXTENDED

A.  v. 1  The Reason For This Grace – David says that he wants to show “kindness for Jonathan’s sake.”  The word for “kindness” is also translated “goodness, mercy, favor, and loving kindness.”  It is the Old Testament equivalent to the New Testament word “Grace.”  Grace is often defined as “the unmerited love and favor of God toward the undeserving.”  Grace is one person accepting another in a positive manner in spite of the unworthiness of the person being accepted.

            David desires to extend grace to a member of Saul’s family.  This is amazing in light of the fact that in those days, when a new king came to power, he usually destroyed every member of the former king’s household, in an effort to prevent any rebellion by that family.  David had the right execute judgment, but he chose to demonstrate grace instead. David did this, not because the house of Saul deserved it, but because of his relationship with Jonathan, and because of two promises he had made years before.  David had promised both Jonathan and Saul that he would not totally destroy their offspring, 1 Sam. 20:13-17; 1 Sam. 24:20-22.  So, this grace is extended because of another.


(Note: No wonder grace is called amazing!  God extends His grace to the members of Adam’s family.  We do not deserve His grace, His love and His mercy.  In fact, if we received what we deserved, we would receive judgment, damnation and Hell, Rom. 6:23; Eze. 18:4. Yet, God extends His amazing grace to us because of Another.  He reaches out to fallen, depraved sinners because He loves His Son; and because Jesus died for us on the cross.  Neither you nor I have anything to merit us to God, but because of Jesus, we can experience God’s amazing grace 1 John 2:12; Eph. 4:32. No wonder it’s called amazing!)


B.  v. 1  The Reach Of This Grace – When David decides to extend grace, he does so without any limits.  He is looking for “any that is left of the house of Saul.”  The house of Saul was the house of his predecessor and bitter enemy, but that did not matter.  David also placed no limits on this grace.  He was willing to extend it to “any” member of the house of Saul.


(Note: The key word in verse 1 is “any”.  David was not looking for people who met a certain criteria. But, anyone who was of the family of Saul was a candidate for grace.  Thank God that our Lord’s amazing grace knows no boundaries!  It extends to all men regardless of their past, their race, their social standing, or their deeds.  God does not reach out to save the righteous, but the sinner, Mark 2:17.  God extends His grace to “whosoever will”, Rev. 21:17; Matt. 11:28; John 7:37.  Praise God, there are no limits on who can come, but grace is extended to all who will!

That is how you and I got in.  Friend, if you are lost, that is how you will get in as well!  You see, no one deserves it; but all can have it.  That is what makes grace so amazing!)


(Ill. Mel Trotter was an alcoholic. Again and again he promised his wife that he would give up drink for good. Once he managed to stay dry for eleven and a half weeks. At the end, thirst overcame him. He squandered his horse to pay for a round of drinks. He reached the point that he committed burglary to feed his awful habit. His wife and child suffered terribly for his sin.

      They had only the one child. The boy was about two years old when Mel came home after a drinking spree. "I went home after a ten-day drunk and found him dead in his mother's arms. I'll never forget that day. I was a slave, and I knew it. It pretty nearly broke my heart. I said, 'I'm a murderer. I'm anything but a man. I can't stand it, and I won't stand it! I'll end my life." But he didn't have the courage to do it because he feared God's judgment.

      He put his arms around his wife and swore on the baby's coffin that he'd never touch another drop. Two hours after the funeral, he staggered home blind drunk.

      On this day, January 19, 1897, Mel Trotter made the decision to kill himself. He staggered drunk through Chicago, determined to throw himself into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan. Unable to break his habit, unable to keep his promises, he wanted to die.

      His progress brought him past the door of the Pacific Garden Mission. Harry Monroe, who himself had been an alcoholic, was leading singing. As the doorman helped Mel in, Monroe stopped to pray for Mel. "O God, Save that poor, poor boy," he pleaded.

      Monroe told the audience of his own past and how Christ had delivered him from alcohol. Mel listened and believed. That night, he answered Monroe's invitation to make room for God in his life. Monroe explained that Jesus loved him and would change him.

      And that is what Jesus did. Asked later how he knew he was saved, he replied, "I was there when it happened, January 19, 1897, 10 minutes past 9, Central time, Pacific Garden Mission, Chicago, Illinois, USA."

      Three years later, Mel was asked to head a rescue work in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He went on to found a chain of missions throughout the United States to help men like himself who could not escape the slavery of alcoholism.[2]  What made the difference? Grace!  No wonder it’s called amazing!)


C.  v. 1-5  The Response Of This Grace – David discovers that one of Jonathan’s sons is still living.  He also hears the news that this man is crippled.  Yet, the response of grace is not to ask what kind of man he is, or even how bad he is crippled.  Grace does not concern itself with the man’s background, his surroundings, his abilities, his appearance, his future potential, etc. The response of grace is to ask “Where is he?”  As soon as David hears where this man is, he sends his servants to “fetch” him.  Grace said, “I am not concerned about his condition, I want him just like he is.”


(Note: So it is with the amazing grace of God.  He does not look upon us and concern Himself with our crippled spiritual condition.  He looks upon us thought the eyes of grace.  He sees us exactly like we are, but He loves us in spite of what we are.  He knows all about our past, our problems and our potential, yet He responds by drawing us to Himself anyway!  When grace fixes its gaze on one of the crippled sons of Adam’s race, it cares for nothing but fetching us to itself.  No wonder it’s called amazing!)


 II.  v. 6-8               AMAZING GRACE IS EMBRACED

(Ill. For just a moment, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of Mephibosheth. He is one of the few remaining members of the house of Saul.  He is living in a place called Lo-debar, which means “no pasture.”  He is probably living each day in fear for his life; afraid that King David will come and take his life way.  No doubt he is a poor man.  He does not have access to the wealth or the lands of his family.  He is a crippled man.  His father was killed in battle and when the news came, his nurse tried to flee with the child and he was dropped and his legs were permanently damaged, 2 Sam. 4:4.  He was five when this happened.  All of his life he has been warned that David might find him.  He lives in fear and he lives in misery every day.

      Then, one day it happens! There is the sound of horses and chariots outside the little house in Lo-debar. There is a knock at the door and in come men from Jerusalem. “The king wants to see you” they say.  So, with a fearful heart you gather what meager possessions you have and you leave with the guards to go see the one man you never wanted to see.

      After a while the chariots arrive at the King’s palace.  Mephibosheth is carried into the King’s presence.  When he arrives there, nothing is like he had imagined it.  Mephibosheth has entered the presence of grace.  Notice how he embraces it.)

A.  v. 6a  With A Humble Heart – When Mephibosheth comes into David’s presence, he is aware that as a descendant of Saul he deserves nothing but judgment from the King.  Therefore, he humbles himself in the presence of David.

B.  v. 6b-7  With A Happy Heart – Instead of judgment, Mephibosheth experiences tenderness.  He hears David call his name.  And, then to his amazement, he hears David speak peace to his heart.  He hears the King as he promises him restoration of all the wealth and glory that once belonged to the family of Saul.  Then, the icing on the cake, David promises to give Mephibosheth a place at the King’s table.  It is with a happy heart that Mephibosheth embraces the treasures of grace!

C.  v. 8  With An Honest Heart – Mephibosheth is overwhelmed by the grace he has received.  He acknowledges that he is undeserving of such love and mercy.  Grace has been extended and it has been embraced and nothing will ever be the same in Mephibosheth’s life again!


(Note: What a picture this is of the lost sinner who encounters grace.  When the King first calls there is fear brought about by conviction, John 16:7-11.  The sinner knows that he deserves nothing but judgment and damnation from the hand of God.  Yet, the call comes and it cannot be denied.  When the sinner responds to the call and is ushered into the presence of the Lord, he falls down in humility, reverence and worship.  Then, the King speaks and He reveals the fact that grace has turned away His wrath, opened His heart and His Heaven and that grace offers to restore to the sinner everything that sin took away!  If you have experienced God’s saving grace in your life, then you know how overwhelming it truly is.

      Think back and remember that day when as a lost sinner you were brought by the Spirit of God into the presence of God.  Do you remember the fear?  Do you remember the feeling of dread?  But, do you remember how that He spoke peace to your soul that day?  Do you remember how you came with nothing and left with everything?  What grace!  What blessing!  What a great, wonderful, matchless, glorious Savior we have!  When His grace is embraced, everything changes.  No wonder it’s called amazing!)


III.  v. 9-13            AMAZING GRACE IS EXPANDED

(Ill. When Mephibosheth came to David, he did not get what he deserved.  He received grace.  When he received grace, he also received more blessings than he could have ever imagined.  Grace was expanded.  Notice what grace provided to Mephibosheth and what saving grace provides to you and me.)

A.  v. 9-11a  Grace Provided A Future – In Lo-debar, Mephibosheth had nothing.  He was poor.  He was an outcast.  He was a fugitive. He had no hope and no prospects for his future.  All he had was a pair of crutches and little more. But, when he met grace, everything changed!  All of his present needs were met and his future was secured.  Grace gave him something he never could have had in Lo-debar: grace gave him a future. Grace gave him the plenty of the King!


(Note: The same is true for all those who experience God’s saving grace.  In Adam, our Lo-debar, we had nothing!  We were lost, undone and headed to Hell.  We were outcasts and fugitives, running for our lives from a holy God Who possessed the right and the power to send us to a lost eternity.  But, when grace was extended and embraced, everything changed!  What sin could never give us became ours in Jesus!  For the first time, there was hope for the future. 

·         We are promised security – John 6:37-40; John 10:28; 1 Pet. 1:5. 

·         We are promised a home in Heaven – John 14:1-3. 

·         We are promised that our needs would be met – Phil. 4:19, Matt. 6:25-34. 

·         We are promised His presence all the way home to Heaven – Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.

      That is what grace gives to all those who embrace it!  No wonder it’s called amazing!)


B.  v. 11b  Grace Provided A Family – Mephibosheth was adopted out of Saul’s family and into David’s.  Grace gave him something that he did not have before it was extended to him.  Grace gave him a family! Every day he lives, Mephibosheth was reminded by his surroundings and by the presence of the King that he was the recipient of grace.  He was where he was because of the grace of the King!


(Note: When a sinner responds to the call of grace and is saved; that sinner is immediately adopted into the family of God, Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5.  He is taken out of Adam that doomed race, and is placed into Christ, Col. 1:13; 1 Cor. 12:13.  You see, in Adam, we were doomed to death; in Jesus, we are destined for life, 1 Cor. 15:22.  Grace took us from our Lo-debar and brought us into the family of God, 1 John 3:1-3.  My we never forget that we have what we have and that we are what we are simply by the good grace of God, 1 Cor. 15:10. No wonder it’s called amazing!)


C.  v. 13  Grace Provided Fulfillment – Mephibosheth was a nobody in a house full of somebodies.  There was Absalom, perfect and handsome. There were David’s other sons.  There were David’s beautiful wives and daughters. There was Joab the general, proud and strong.  There were princes and princesses; soldiers and statesmen; men of wealth and men of power.  All of these took their place at the table of King David.  But wait, as the family gathers, there is the sound of a crippled man coming down the hallway.  There is the clump of his crutches and the sound of his feet being dragged.  It is Mephibosheth and he takes his place at the King’s table with all the rights and privileges as the rest.  Then, when he takes his seat and the tablecloth falls across his legs. He looks just like the rest.  Grace took a nobody from nowhere and made him a child of the King!


(Note: That is the power of grace!  It takes the lost sinner, changes him completely and gives him a seat at the Lord’s Table.  It takes us from our Lo-debar and makes us one of God’s children.  It puts us on even footing with all the rest of God’s precious saints.  When you embraced His grace, He elevated you to a new position.  You are not beneath Abraham, Moses, the Apostles or any other saint of God.  You are His child, seated at His table and His grace has taken care of your past and your infirmities. That is the power of grace!  No wonder it’s called amazing!)


Conc: Julia Johnston penned a great hymn that speaks to what I have been trying to preach today.  It is called “Grace Greater Than Our Sin.”  It goes something like this:


1.   Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,

grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!

Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,

there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.



Grace, grace, God's grace,

grace that will pardon and cleanse within;

grace, grace, God's grace,

grace that is greater than all our sin!


2.   Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,

threaten the soul with infinite loss;

grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,

points to the refuge, the mighty cross.



3.   Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.

What can avail to wash it away?

Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,

brighter than snow you may be today.



4.   Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,

freely bestowed on all who believe!

You that are longing to see his face,

will you this moment his grace receive?



      Thank God for grace!  Thank God for His saving grace!  No wonder it’s called amazing!

      Have you been “fetched” by it?  Has its power, promises and provisions been made real in your heart and soul?  If you are saved by grace, then you know what I have been trying to preach today.  If you have not, but feel like the King is calling you to come to Him, the time to do that is now.  If you would like to be saved; if you would like to have your fellowship with the King restored; or if you would like to come and thank Him for His grace, this altar if open.

[1] Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Multnomah, 1990, pp 91-2.

[2] http://chi.gospelcom.net/DAILYF/2003/01/daily-01-19-2003.shtml

[3] http://hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh365.sht

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