David and Mephibosheth

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The conversion of John Newton

Show on MTV where wealthy kids were thrown over-the-top birthday parties on their 16th birthday
Born in 1628 into very poor family, his mother, who was a christian, died when he was 16 and he was raised by his tough dad and distant stepmom.
Known for writing the most popular Hymn in history “Amazing Grace”
What every episode included:
He wrote the hymn while a pastor in England.
He was married at 19 to a Godly woman. Bunyan was a vulgar man and struggled to believe in God
It is a testament to his story of coming to Christ.
After reading a couple books and attending a local church for a time, Bunyan became convicted of his lifestyle and started to make some drastic changes.
He was raising primarily by his father, who was not a great influence.
Though he was reading the bible, refraining from the sinful habits of his old life, and never missing a church service, he was conflicted and joyless in his faith.
After deserting from the Royal navy, Newton eventually joined the slave trade.
One day he overheard 2 poor ladies talking about their joy in Christ because of their “new birth” in Him. Bunyan was struck by this.
He served on slave ships which transported slaves from Africa around the world.
He later dreamt about these women on a side of a mountain sitting in the warmth and beauty of the son, while he was on the other side of the mountain, in the dark and cold.
On one occasion, Newton began reading Thomas a Kempis's The Imitation of Christ during a storm and was struck by the words. In that moment he trusted Christ.
He picked up Martin Luther’s commentary on Galatians and realized that his only hope for salvation was trusting in Christ fully and completely.
"I saw that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, 'the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever."
After a period of time Newton left the slave trade, was ordained by the Anglican church and began his ministry of preaching, writing hymn, and fighting to end slavery.
John Bunyan
It is an amazing story of conversion.
Bunyan went on to write one the of the most popular books in history “The Pilgrim's Progress”
“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a WRETCH life me.”
Today’s story gives us a powerful picture of this Grace Newton wrote about from his experience of it.
Tells the story of a man named “Christian” on his journey to faith. In it we find Bunyan’s story, and the
2 Samuel 9:1–13 ESV
1 And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” 3 And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” 4 The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 6 And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” 7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” 8 And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?” 9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons. 12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

God’s Loving Kindness

David inquires to his servants whom from the house of Saul he can show “GOD’s Loving Kindness” toward.
Hebrew word “ḥesed” - loving-kindness and mercy.
David had experienced this loving-kindness from Saul’s son Jonathan.
Jonathan had protected David when Saul was seeking to kill David in order to maintain his throne over Israel.
He had made a promise to Jonathan that he would show his family the same “hesed” that Jonathan had shown him.
This is a powerful word whose closest relation in Greek is the word for love “agape”.

Mephibosheth’s Former Reality

1) He was Broken

He was dropped as a child when the servant taking care of him was fleeing after Saul’s death.
The fall caused him to become lame, or crippled in his feet.
In this culture, life for Mephibosheth would have been hard.

2) He was Rejected

He was sent to Lo-debar, away from his family’s home.
Exiled from what would have been his home having been a grandson of Saul.

3) He was Hopeless

As a grandson of Saul, David had the right to kill Mephibosheth and his family. It was common for kings who had overthrown the prior king to eliminate anyone in the former kings house who may seek to take back the thrown.
Not only that, but with his physical state and the ruined state of his family, there was little hope for Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth’s New Reality

1) He is Redeemed

Through the loving-kindness of God, David restored Saul’s land to Mephibosheth.
This was not necessary, but was an incredible gift
It was not deserved, but was an act of sacrificial grace

2) He is Restored

Not only did he give him his grandfather’s land, but he gave him a seat at the King’s table.
“In the Near East, to share a meal with someone is a guarantee of peace, trust, fraternity and forgiveness–the shared table symbolizes a shared life.”
When Jesus dined with “sinners” he, in effect, took away their shame, humiliation and guilt.
This is a powerful gesture of restoration.

3) He is given a Lasting Hope

David also gave Mephibosheth servants who would work his land and “bring back the crops”
Never again will Mephibosheth have to worry about food or anything else.
David has given him a lasting hope.

We are Mephibosheth

We have to realize that we are Mephibosheth in order to understand the beauty and purpose of the Gospel.
Jesus is the greater David, seeking out broken, rejected, and hopeless people like us and offering us the greatest gift anyone could ever receive.

Our brokenness, rejection and hopelessness.

John Bunyan illustrates our pre-converted life like the pursuits of a hunter. They search every nook and cranny in order to find something to shoot.
Our brokenness may not be physical, but we are on a broken pursuit of happiness and temporary pleasure that leaves a wake of brokenness throughout our lives.
Our longing for rescue shows up as we search from something that will make us whole, some place to call our, and someone who will accept us.
We are broken, rejected, and hopeless just like Mephibosheth

Our Rejection

The Hope of Christ’s “Hesed”

In Jesus we are redeemed - we are set free from our brokenness and given the riches of heaven in Christ Jesus.
Showered with the grace of God in Christ.
In Jesus we are restored - We are brought to the table of the Lord.
Welcoming as sons of the King
In Jesus we are given a Lasting Hope - Our hope is grounded in our living savior.
1 Peter 1:3–5 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 peter 1:3-5

Our Response

1 peter 1-3-5
“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

We are all dead dogs who have recieved an incredible gift we neither earned or deserve.

There are two groups of people in this room today:
Those that broken, rejected, and hopeless.
Maybe you are just today realizing this is you.
Maybe you made a profession at some point in your life, but are realizing today that you hadn’t experienced the “hesed” of God in Christ.
I invite you to come to Jesus today.
Those of us who need to remember afresh the great grace of God shown to us in Christ and repent that is has become so common and mediocre to us.
May we pray that God would stir in us a new found awe in His loving-kindness showered on us in Christ Jesus.
We are all dead dogs who have recieved an incredible gift we neither earned or deserve.
“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
Let us dwell on the Cross of Christ as we sing and respond to the Lord.
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