March 30

2 Samuel 9-12, Psalm 89

When those in the world give of their time or money, often they seek something in return, either acknowledgment, something materially, etc. When celebrities give often they have a media crew with them to capture the moment. In religious settings you might have your family name attached to a pew or have a gymnasium named after you. How often when someone feels slighted or disrespected do we hear them give a list of all that they did for the other person, only to say how offended they now are that what they did was not returned in kindness or at least acknowledged? But this is not how God says we are to give. We read in Luke 6:34-36, "And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."

In 1 Samuel 20:14-17, David made a vow to his friend Jonathon to offer kindness to Jonathon and his household whether he remained alive or whether he was dead. This was a departure from the way things were usually done. If the previous king was dethroned, the new king would eliminate all members of the previous king's family in order to protect the new king from any threat. We briefly read of Jonathon's son, Mephibosheth, in 2 Samuel 4:4, that due to trauma, he was lame in his feet. Years later when David was king over all of Israel, he asks in 2 Samuel 9:1, "Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show kindness for Jonathon's sake?" When Mephibosheth is found and brought before the king expecting death he falls on his face before David in 9:6. We read David's response in 9:7,11, "So David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathon your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually."..."As for Mephibosheth," said the king, "he shall eat at my table like one of the king's sons."

This is a beautiful picture of God's love for us. As Chuck Smith puts it, "We are wounded and lame and there isn't much hope for us. We hide out, hoping no one notices. But God comes looking for us, seeking to save His lost lambs. He restores our inheritance, and invites us to dine at His table-all because of His love for us and for our relative, Jesus Christ." Part of our problem is we often see ourselves as David, rather than who we are truly like, Mephibosheth. We read in Roman's 3:10-12, "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God...There is none who does good, no, not one." We might want to elevate ourselves in our own sight, but before God we are as crippled and lame as Mephibosheth. Right now Jesus is sending out the same invitation to us that David did to Mephibosheth. He is saying, "Come to my table of salvation just as you are, crippled, and I will feed you." In Roman's 5:8, we read, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." When we realize just how lame we are compared to God and how we offer Him nothing in return, may we all act like David did for Mephibosheth, giving to others and expecting nothing in return.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster