Portrait of Grace

He gave to his enemies.

Saul was after David. He felt threatened by David, but Saul is eventually mortally wounded. David becomes king. He establishes his kingdom, and gives us a striking picture of salvation by grace and true friendship.

Meet Mephibosheth. We do not know much about him. He was the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul. This would have put him in line for the throne, so when Saul was killed, Mephibosheth’s family feared for his safety.

In those days, one of the first acts of a new king was to eliminate any threat from the previous king’s family, so Saul’s family was obviously in a hurry to hide.

2 Samuel 4:4 records, “Saul’s son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, who was crippled as a child. He was 5-years-old when the report came from Jezrell that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle. When the child’s nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled, but as she hurried away, she dropped him and he became crippled.”

David did not have any plans to follow tradition of killing the previous king’s family; however, Saul’s family had no way of knowing David’s plans. They hurried, dropping the boy and causing permanent damage to his feet.

For nearly two decades, Mephibosheth lived in a distant land. He was afraid of David, and he was unable to help himself. That is, until grace entered the picture.

David remembered his promise to Jonathan, and fulfilled it through Mephibosheth. David invited Mephibosheth to eat at the king’s table; this was a great honor. David gave Mephibosheth servants and land. In short, David took care of Mephibosheth’s needs.

Sound familiar?

Like Mephibosheth

There are some paralleles between Mephibosheth’s story and our story. We too had needs which were unmet, and we were unable to help ourselves. God, in his grace through Christ, invited us to his table. He offered us salvation to meet our needs.

Romans 5:6 says, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”

Like David

In many ways, we are also like David. During the course of our lives, we will come into contact with people who have needs. The Lord may use us to meet those needs. When we are tasked with meeting those needs, may we respond with the same grace we have been shown.

 

Remaining Confident

A shaken life of a confident person.

David spent much of his life running and hiding. As a young man, David had to hide from Saul. Saul was jealous of David’s popularity, so he wanted to kill David. As an older gentleman, David had to run from a rebellion started by his own son. David’s Scriptural biography is filled with turmoil and heartbreak.

On one occasion, David writes in the Psalms, everything is shaken. Nothing is stable. He writes in Psalm 11:3, “The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?”

Perhaps you can relate to this feeling.

Everything is up in the air. Life is shaken. Your life has endured an earthquake leaving everything trembling in its path.

The career you worked hard to establish has vanished. The good health you once enjoyed is fading. Your journey is not what it once was.

David’s wasn’t either, and his Scriptural biography is filled with confidence in the Lord.

Amid everything, David had great confidence in the Lord.

It may have seemed like everything was falling apart, but David remained confident in the Lord.

He continues in Psalm 11, “But the Lord is in his holy temple. The Lord still rules from Heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth.”

In Psalm 12, David writes, “The Lord replies, ‘I have seen violence done to the helpless and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them as they have longed for me to do.’ The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over. Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed….”

Can we remain confident in the Lord?

As it seems everything is falling apart around us, we too can remain confident in the Lord’s promises. The promises are as pure for us as they were for David.

 

Enabling Grace

David was reminded of God’s grace.

David was in a season of turmoil. His family was a mess; there were many reasons for the messiness, and one of David’s advisors wanted to help him clean it up. He drafted a woman to tell David a parable.

The parable consisted of a widow with two sons. One son murdered the other, and the community shouted for the murderer’s head. If he was convicted, the widow would have no hope of continuing her family line. She pleads for mercy from the king.

David compassionately says she should receive mercy. Then, the woman applies the parable to David’s situation.

She points out David has a banished son needing reconciliation, and reminds David God himself makes plans to enable a banished person to be reconciled to the Lord. 2 Samuel 14:14 says, “All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again, but God does not just sweep life away. Instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.”

Mistakes; they have been made. Regrets exist. The list of things we would not do or redo can be extensive, but God knows how to handle all of it.

God has devised a plan to restore us to the family.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only son, so everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his son into the world, not to judge the world but to save the world through him,” Jesus explains in John 3:16-17.

Jesus also says in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

Jesus is the plan which enables man and God to reconcile.

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3 Questions from Three Wooden Crosses

brown wooden cross on a hill

“It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you; it’s what you leave behind you when you go.”

Welcome to Music Monday. There are many songs whose lyrics reach out and grab listeners by the heart. They present the Lord’s message to us in a place and way we do not expect to hear it.

With Three Wooden Crosses, Randy Travis takes listeners on a dramatic bus trip. The story of the teacher, preacher, farmer, and sex worker leave us pondering 3 questions.

Does our influence matter?

The preacher may have not reached anyone else in his lifetime but reaching the sex worker had a multigenerational impact.

How powerful are our choices?

One choice changed everything for one passenger on the bus. Her story may be like Rahab’s story. Joshua 2 tells us Rahab made a multitude of bad choices, but she changed the direction of her life with one right choice.

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What are we leaving behind?

This may be the deepest of the 3 questions causing us to take a hard look at our legacy. What kind of legacy will you leave? What do you want to leave behind you when you go?

You and I should answer this question for our lives, but also for the various seasons of life. As we transition from one chapter of life to the next, what do we want to leave behind?

What songs grab your heart? Share in the comments below.