A Compassionate Heart

November 15, 2009 ()

Bible Text: 2 Samuel 9:1-13


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“A Compassionate Heart” - 2 Samuel 9:1-13


Two questions to ask about this text:  1) What do we learn about God 2) How is it instructive for the way live

Comprehensive reading of the Bible says more about this topic of compassion and mercy than almost any other: show mercy and do justly.  From the garden of Eden where God clothes a naked Adam and Eve, to the giving of the Law through Moses, through the period of the Kings (like David), the prophets are absolutely saturated with this message, certainly in Jesus’ ministry, and through to the end of the NT.  This is not an isolated or obscure theme – it’s very much central to the biblical testimony.  So as we continue to look at the life of David, we’re going to see in his dealing with this man, Mephibosheth, he demonstrates a compassionate and merciful heart, which sheds light on the very nature and character of God, and instructs us in how we should live in response. 

BACK STORY:  See 1 Samuel 19-21 and 2 Samuel 4 for back story on Mephibosheth and covenant made with David. 


1)  Seeks Out an Opportunity (v.1-4)

  1. David:
    1.  Mephibosheth wasn’t seeking out David, he was hiding from him in fear
    2.  David called for him and pursued him


  1. God:
    1. We hide just like Mephibosheth, and God pursues us like David
      1. Gen 3:8-9, Romans 3, 1 John 4:10, Mark 2:17
    2. God’s method of pursuit – INCARNATION in Jesus
      1. Didn’t love from afar or help from a safe distance.  He entered into our reality where things were ugly and dirty and broken.
  2. Us: Incarnate the love of God (hesedh: kindness, loving-kindness, grace, loyalty, mercy, covenant)
    1. 2 Tim 1:15-18 – pursuit from Onesiphorus
    2. We’re called as a church to incarnate by loving and serving the poor, oppressed, hurting and marginalized, and will through programming: HTS, AT, HFNY, L146, DFN
    3. Who has God placed on the peripheries of your life to seek out? David could have easily hidden behind ignorance, but didn’t.  Chose to ask hard questions even if the answer was inconvenient.



2)     A Place at the Table (v. 7-13)

  1. David: Treated Mephibosheth as a son. Extended a seat of honor, inheritance, protection – effectively all the rights of a son of the King.


  1. God: John 14:1-14; Ephesians 1, Rom 8 – we’ve likewise been adopted & given inheritance


  1. Us:
    1. When you host a dinner, invite the poor (Luke 14)
    2.  Incarnation – must enter into the places where the broken and hurting are.  Must do it      



Service to people that honors God is both Word & Deed, both Gospel Proclamation & Gospel Demonstration, both the Message of Christ & the Mercy of Christ. 

The hope of the world isn’t acts of kindness or a more gentile humanity.  That’s helpful, but not our hope.  Our hope is Jesus coming to save and reconcile a broken and fallen humanity – so we must both proclaim the gospel of salvation through Jesus, and demonstrate the truth of that gospel through seeking out opportunities to show kindness, and creating margin in our lives to allow that to happen. 

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