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"And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?”
“And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.”
“And the king said unto him, Where is he?”
“And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar.”
“Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth.”
“And he answered, Behold thy servant!”
“And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continuely.”
“And he bowed himself, and said,What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”
“And the king said….” If God’s people would simply obey what the king said. This Book is clear in His plan for our lives. We preachers would be traffic directors for God’s people as they moved in a steady flow of obedience to the King. One would be serving here while we prayed for the next going to the regions beyond. The message has been given, but over and over again there is disobedience. If we would but do what the King said.
Please note in our text:
Lo-debar was a place of no pasture, therefore no shepherd. One preacher said Lo-debar was a place of no bread.
Lo-debar was in Gad beyond Jordan near Mahanaim, just south of the sea of Galilee. This was a place of hiding for the crippled Mephibosheth.


“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, in this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;” Eph. 3:8

Permit me to tell you the story of Dakota and the cupcake. Dakota is a precious little 4 year-old boy removed from drugging, drinking parents and placed in foster care. The parents had done jail time and Dakota was in the care of his grandparents. Sadly the aged grandparents were already caring for two older siblings and requested for Dakota to be removed by DSS and take custody of him and his sister. This little child came from abusive parents, padlocked refrigerator and closets stacked from floor to ceiling with booze. Fast forward a bit-- Dakota is now in a loving Christian home with security and food! One day Memaw bakes chocolate cupcakes for Dakota and his sister. Seated at the counter with this delicious, creamy chocolate cupcake that seems as big as the face of little Dakota, he takes a huge bite. With chocolate from ear to ear, Dakota lifts his head and says, “Um, um, um, um, um, um, um!!!” You would have to be present to capture the visual imagery and sound effects. For Dakota, there was unspeakable pleasure in that single bite of chocolate cupcake—“Um, um, um, um, um, um, um!!”

I am less than the least---but
 “the unsearchable riches of Christ” Um,Um,Ummmm!

Lo-debar was a place of no pasture, therefore no shepherd.

Lodebar was in Gad beyond Jordan near Mahanaim, just south of the Sea of Galilee. A place of hiding for Mephibosheth.

Across the street and around the corner the world sits in Lo-debar without knowledge of the King and His kindness.

In Lo-debar the world is crippled and cannot come.

The world is as a dead dog.
Helpless, repulsive, no redeeming qualities.
Church - That’s the mission! To go to Lo-debar with “The King said!”

We have record in II Samuel 9 of :

The King – royalty – one who even holds the power of life and death.
The Enemy – the house of Saul – Church, there indeed is an enemy to all that is good and right.
The Steward or Servant – Ziba (one to do the bidding of the King)

The Lame or Least of these in Lo-debar – Mephibosheth – the lost, lame, the least - those who know not the King’s kindness.

David had a covenant with Jonathan but was unable to fulfill that covenant because of Jonathan’s death. David evidently had knowledge that descendant’s of Saul and Jonathan were still alive. Ziba, a servant from the house of Saul, recognized that King David wanted to “shew the kindness of God unto him” Mephibosheth. 

II Samuel 9 records Mephibosheth coming to the King with great fear and trembling. There was an oriental custom in which rulers would slay the relatives of their predecessor to prevent future problems. Thus, the fear that Mephibosheth had of King David. Mephibosheth crossed the Jordan River for the first time since his father had been killed in battle with the Philistines. Mephibosheth had found a place to hide since he was unable to care for himself, being a cripple. Over time he had married and now had a family of his own. The servant Ziba had faithfully kept the secret of Mephibosheth’s existence and where abouts.

Apparently there were yet members of the house of Saul that continued in opposition and resentment of David’s rule. Most likely Mephibosheth knew of this activity and feared that King David would do him harm. Yet, the King promised to show kindness for Jonathan’s sake. The King promised to restore all of Saul’s land, and the King promised to take Mephibosheth into his own house and feed him at the King’s table for the rest of his life.

The servant Ziba was made a steward for the restored estate of Mephibosheth. All the fruits of profit were to go to the family of Mephibosheth.

I Samuel 9:21 “And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin?”

Probably a bit of false modesty on Saul’s part in order to influence Samuel. Yet in II Samuel 9:8 Mephibosheth, “Bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”

The confession of the least of all was “thy servant”, but not only a “servant” but a “dog” and not just a “dog” but a “dead dog” am I. The least, the lost are dead and helpless! YET…

The King brings forgiveness and a feast at the Kings Table.

The sinner is at enmity but the King (David) offers His favor and friendship because of The Son (Jonathan) to the Least (Mephibosheth).
The servant (Ziba) must take the good news to Lodebar! Oh and the servant must as a steward help Mephibosheth manage this great blessing given by the King.

Watch this carefully, Church...
Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Note verses 42-45 “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”

Will you do it for Jesus? For the least in Lo-debar!
Will you take the message of the King to Lo-debar?

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” – Luke 16:10.

II Samuel 9       V3 The Fall – Crippled -The Feet cannot come.
                          V7 The Fear
                          V8 The Failure, Filth, and Forfeiture – Dead Dog
                          V10 The Feast – Lifted to the King’s Table in     
                           friendship and favour. Um! Um! Um! What a
                           feast! Will we do this for Jesus?

D.L. Moody observed “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord; but few of us are willing to do little things.“ And only God can make the little things great things.
Will you go to the least in Lo-debar? Some have obeyed in great sacrifice.
Thomas Hawkes was arrested for refusing to have his child christened by Romanish priests, refusal to hear the Mass in Latin and for reading and studying the Bible for himself. Thomas Hawkes along with Thomas Watts was condemned and sentence to die. Hawkes friends knew they too would soon be arrested. They asked him to give them a sign that he was still at peace when the tortuous fires of the stake began to consume him. His friends simply asked Hawkes at the point of death to raise his hands toward Heaven.
Now bound to the stake the flames searing his voice away, skin scorched and his fingers burned off his friends thought Hawkes was dead. But no, suddenly Thomas Hawkes raised his fiery hands skyward and clapped them three times as his spirit winged its flight to the Fathers arms. His friends broke into praise and applauded at this sign of victory!
Thank God for those who have gone through the FIRE and passed such a rich heritage on to me. Through the Lord Jesus Christ so many have journeyed deep into Lo-debar, paying a great price  – Surely I can be faithful to Jesus even in the small things He has place before me! Will we go for King Jesus to the least in Lo-debar?