Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Kindness of God

2Samuel 9:7 - And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly."

An old drafted blog post from June, 2010! 

I'm thinking about what I wrote about last week regarding Brokenness to Restoration. It ties in with the sermon Pastor Paul Hanson talked about on the Kindness of God on Sunday. Biblical stories have more than just the literal meaning. They are timeless and that is why they are there...for us to learn from and relate to. God is all over the pages and in the midst of every detail. It never gets boring!

Israel's first appointed king was Saul. Pastor Paul talked about David's relationship with Saul's son Jonathan. The two were like brothers and would have died for each other. Saul started out as a godly king, but sometime during his reign he turned away from God and soured in His eyes. God even regretted choosing him. David was in the meantime anointed (not yet appointed) by God to become king. Saul sought to kill David out of jealousy over David's fighting abilities. Saul's son Jonathan, however, chose to help David. 

Normally the throne stayed within a family, passed down from father to son or grandson. In this case, Jonathan had a son, Mephibosheth. Unfortunately this son had been dropped as a baby, probably by accident, in the process becoming lame in both feet. He lived in another city in the care of a servant. He would have been the only child left to take over as king in Saul's family, but because of his handicap, it could not happen. Those were the rules!

Saul and all his sons, including Jonathan, died in battle. Before David considered assuming the role as king he inquired as to any other sons in Saul's family to be successor. He was reminded of Mephibosheth. Pastor Paul talked about the meaning of Mephibosheth's name, 
one who destroys idols and dispels shame. He could have been a great, godly king. Because of this accident he was unable to become that person. His entire life was lived out without the ability to become who he should have.

It was suggested that every one of us has been "dropped" as it were at some time in our lives. Not physically, but emotionally. He listed many ways: abuse, abandonment, teased, criticized, demeaned. Even if it was not purposely done, it has had some affect on all of us, like Mephibosheth.  The word drop used in the context above in the Hebrew language means to fall, failure, fall short. Interesting. 

Then to top it off, Mephibosheth went to live in "Lo Debar" which means "no word, no counsel, no direction." Anyone who has been dropped, or fallen short, has found themselves in this same dry place where we have received no direction, no counsel. We can feel insecure about who we should be.

So when David found out about Jonathan's death he had his men search for Mephibosheth and had him brought to him. Of course Mephibosheth didn't know why he was being summoned. For all he knew he was to be killed. Little did he realize that he was being sent back home to become restored. David took in Mephibosheth and promised that he would restore to you all the lands of your father Saul and you shall eat at my table regularly. He took him in and treated him as his own son. 

David is a type of Jesus. We all at some time in our life, and we cannot deny this, have been disappointed and discouraged. It may have shaped who we are or who we wanted to become. We have all been crippled in some way. It may have shaped our personality, to either shrink back or put on a front to mask what we feel inside. Often people don't have a clue that there is this crippling in our spirit. Think of Mephibosheth. He was not who he could have been because of his disability. We all have some disability. 

David took Mephibosheth in and restored him. Jesus wants to take us all in to restore us to that relationship with our Father in heaven. He wants us to come home. He wants to show us his kindness and love that brings this restoration. The relationship between David and Mephibosheth is like the relationship between God and us, if we choose this avenue in life. Praise God that we have this option set before us!

All God desires is for all people to be restored. Many do not know the real meaning of life and go with the flow as the world goes. It's like the blind leading the blind. Following Jesus opens us up to the truth and we see this world for what it is--lost in personal gains and personal desires. When God is left out of the equation, a person can be forever blind and lost, crippled like Mephibosheth, always falling short, even if it isn't recognized or we argue that this just isn't true. Our lives are not complete without God's guidance. We can never be all He created us to be without His wisdom and knowledge, His truth, residing within us.

When David said, I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father, he was speaking as Jesus does today, I, Jesus, will surely show you kindness for the sake of your Father (in heaven). And like David, Jesus would say, Do not fear. Do not fear what others will say if you choose to follow Him. It's a totally different road, a narrow road, that few travel. He will restore what was rightfully ours in the first place, that thing or those things someone took away from us, that God created in us at conception.

There was a personal note to end the sermon. One for our own church and one which could easily be for the Church in general. If someone has left and wishes to return, who are we to refuse to let them come back? If they left feeling like they'd been "dropped," or left with an attitude issue, and want to return to once again, it is our obligation to open our hearts up to them, allow them to be restored. All God desires is restoration.....

Joel 2:25 - So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust...

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