Kindness, Grace, and Generosity (Part 5)

Here is the whole story from 2nd Samuel 9 – Read it and take it in.

1 Then David said, “Is there yet 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.” 3The king said, “Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.” 4 So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. 6 Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!” 7 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 and of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” 8 Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”

9 Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so that your master’s grandson may have food; nevertheless Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.” 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 your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.

Now that you read it – ponder on these thoughts (some are mine and some are from a variety of other sources).

David’s grace to Mephibosheth is a wonderful picture of God’s grace to us.

1. The name “Mephibosheth” means shameful and he live as a shameful man – we too before God’s grace comes upon us are shameful men and women.

2. Mephibosheth was considered the king’s enemy – we too are enemies of God before His grace comes upon us.

3. Mephibosheth became lame through a fall (v. 3) – we too are lame and crippled because of the fall of Man.

4. And Mephibosheth was in a far country (v. 4) – before God’s grace comes to us we are living far from God in a foreign land.

5. Mephibosheth was called by the king (vv. 4-5) – When God’s grace comes upon us we are called by the King of Kings who is God.

6. David sought Mephibosheth — Mephibosheth did not seek David. God seeks us and we do not seek Him.

7. Mephibosheth came before the king in reverent submission (v. 6) – this too is how we need to come before God when he offers us Grace.

8. Mephibosheth was received in all his deformity – God does the same for us, he receives us just as we are.

9. Mephibosheth was received for the sake of his father (v. 7) – we receive the grace of God because of our heavenly Father.

10. When Mephibosheth came to David, he learned to have a proper estimate of himself (v. 8 ) – when God’s grace comes upon us we see a proper picture of who we are.

11. Mephibosheth was reconciled to the king by an act of the king’s own mercy (vv. 9-10) – we are reconciled to God because of the mercy of God.

12. And under the king’s table Mephibosheth’s crippled feet were covered – we too become whole people because of the grace of God that covers us.

What we need to recognize is that David’s grace to Mephibosheth is also a pattern for us in serving and ministering to others. This example of David is how we need to live, serve, and minister.

1. We should seek out our enemies and seek to bless them and not harm or humiliate them.

2. We should look for the poor, weak, lame, and hidden to bless them and show them the love of God – even if we get nothing in return.

3. We should bless others when they don’t deserve it and bless them with much more than they could ever want or need.

4. We should bless others for the sake of someone else – honor other by honoring their family.

5. We must show the kindness, generosity, and grace of God to others if we wish to be significant and make a difference in the world in which we live.

What is your gut level reaction to this story and what stands out to you in all this?

Kindness, Grace, and Generosity (A Special Story)

I came across this story back several years ago and have modified it with some of my own words and thoughts (not sure from where I got the original story or I would give credit).  This afternoon I  thought I would share it as an illustration of Kindness, Grace, and Generosity.

In 1991, Tom Weaver was a 39-year-old husband and father. He and his wife had two girls Emily who was 12 and Karen who was 8. He was an avid golf fan. He had begun to share his passion for golf with his daughter Emily. They had taken golf lessons together and this had become a real father daughter time for them. In the summer of 1991 he went to the PGA championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana with some friends. Tom never returned home from that trip. You see Tom was struck and killed by lightening the very first day of the tournament. A storm rolled in quickly and they sounded the alarm on the course to get off. Tom and his two friends where in sight of the van, when Tom was struck and killed. Emily was at camp when the accident happened and her grandmother and aunt went to camp to get her and tell her what happened. Emily says all she remembers from that night is that she cried herself to sleep on the way home. If you would ask Emily what that weekend was known for, she would tell you it was the time her father died. Now if you ask an avid golf fan what happened that weekend you will hear a much different story.

In 1991, John Daly was a 25-year-old professional golfer who was struggling with his game and with his finances. He was listed as the 9th alternate to get into the PGA championship that weekend. That meant nine people had to drop out before the first day of the tournament if he would be able to play, those were tough odds. The night before the championship John got the call to play because the ninth person had just dropped out. He headed there to play in his beat up car. This turned out to be a miracle weekend for Daly, as the ninth alternate he played so very well that he won the championship. He won $230,000 that day. This was the first real money John had ever made. He owed much of it because he was in severe debt from traveling the PGA circuit and having just bought a home. John since that time has had real ups and downs in his personal life and his career. But John did something after winning in 1991 that is still not too well known.

John was well aware, as all the golfers were that Tom Weaver was killed that weekend. John felt as though he need to do something for this family. He did not know what to do but learned that Weaver had two young daughters. John went through the PGA because he did not want any publicity and donated $30,000 of his winnings to create a college trust for Emily and Karen. One of the things the Weavers worried about was their daughter’s college education. Karen and Emily said they did not realize the value of what was given to them until they were nearing the end of High School. They were able to both go to college and not have to worry about Student Loans or how they would pay for their education. Karen said that the money being donated helped motivate her to doing her very best.

Something else is that John Daly never had any contact with the girls or the family. Tom’s wife remarried in 2000 and a few years ago her new husband emailed Daly through his website and told him how the girls were doing. Emily graduated from the College of DuPage and is now a respiratory therapist at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Ohio and Karen had graduated from the University of Indiana with a degree in Biology and went on to Medical School. Daly’s act of kindness and grace has and is paying off in many ways. There are people who will be helped physically/medially because these girls can give back in the medical profession and Daly’s kindness, grace, and generosity play a part in the helping others. Daly’s graciousness, generosity, and kindness in this situation is a model for all us.

Any thoughts?

Kindness, Grace, and Generosity (Part4)

Looking at the last section of Scripture from 2nd Samuel 9 today and  then tomorrow at some more applicaton of this passage.  9 Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, "All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 "You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so that your master’s grandson may have food; nevertheless Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly." 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 your servant will do." So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth.

David does not only bless Mephibosheth who was eating at his table but is now blessing his whole family. Mephibosheth’s son is now being treated like one of the family just like his father. David’s graciousness, generosity, and kindness went much further than just Mephibosheth. The servants will be going out and farming the land for Mephibosheth that means his family will be feed with that which is grown. We never know how far reaching our graciousness and kindness will end up going.

David just does not bless him but makes him part of the family. Think about that – he made him and his family apart of his royal family. This is truly kindness and grace that is shown. There is an example here for us! We need to be this gracious and kind to all we come in contact with. David is not just kind and gracious though but generous! Are you a kind, gracious and generous Christian? This is the way we should be.

The last verse says this: 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.

David was a man of his word. He did not just promise Mephibosheth the world and not follow through but he followed through with all that he promised. He was a man of his word. He was a man of kindness and integrity with the way he treated Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth was a nobody in a house full of somebodies. There was Absalom, perfect and handsome. There were David’s other sons. There were David’s beautiful wives and daughters. There was Joab the general, proud and strong. There were princes and princesses; soldiers and statesmen; men of wealth and men of power. All of these took their place at the table of King David. But wait, as the family gathers, there is the sound of a crippled man coming down the hallway. There is the clump of his crutches and the sound of his feet being dragged. It is Mephibosheth and he takes his place at the King’s table with all the rights and privileges as the rest. Then, when he takes his seat and the tablecloth falls across his legs. He looks just like the rest. Grace took a nobody from nowhere and made him a child of the King! Grace will take you, a nobody and make you a child of the King but you need to accept the offer. Have you done it, have you accepted the position at the King’s table and his offer of Grace?

What is the greatest Blessing you have ever received apart from salvation?

Kindness, Grace, and Generosity (Part 3)

We are moving forward in 2nd Samuel 9 and looking at the kindness, grace, and generosity of David toward Mephibosheth.  We will look at verses 7 and 8 today but before we do, let us be reminded that yesterday we looked at how Mephibosheth was hiding out and would have been fearful that David would be wanting to kill when David called for him.  Let us see what happens when he comes before David." 7 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." 8 Again he prostrated himself and said, "What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?"

The first thing we read is that David did away with Mephibosheth’s fear. David gave him all that was his and more.  David gave him all the land that was his grandfather Saul’s. David also brings him to his table to eat. This one who is lame and worthless in society is now going to be eating at the King’s table and he now has land. David went against the custom that would have been to kill and blessed him instead. This one who society said should be his enemy David choose to bless. 

David did more than that by allowing him to eat at his table he gave him the privilege of being in his presence continually.  What that would mean would be that in essence he was added into the family. He was being treated like an adopted son which he actually calls him in verse 11.

So how does Mephibosheth react?  Mephibosheth reacts by telling David that he is not worthy of such an honor. He calls himself a dead dog which is a pretty bad thing at that time. In the Jewish culture dogs were repulsive, disgusting, something to be despised. Calling yourself a dead dog in those days would carry the connotation today of saying, "I’m just a road killed skunk – a smashed cockroach." He sees himself as worthless when he was heir to the throne! What happened was because he was crippled, society at that time would have taught him that he was worthless and unfortunately he believed them. He was at one point in time the rightful heir to the throne but did not live like it until David brought him to that point.

God says you’re an heir to the kingdom – do you live like it? You are an adopted son or daughter of God’s but do you live like it? Do not believe society when they tell you that you are worthless or do you keep in your mind that you are a priceless child of the king and an heir to the thrown of God?  These are questions that we need to wrestle with and find your answers in God and in His Word.

What does it mean to you that you are a son or daughter of God?

Kindness, Grace, and Generosity (Part 2)

We are continuing to look at 2nd Samuel 9 and at the idea of kindness, graciousness, and generosity.  Let us look at verses 4 – 6 4 So the king said to him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said to the king, "Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar." 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.

We see that Mephibosheth was living with another family in a different area and was most likely living in terrible poverty. Mephibosheth is hiding out in a place called “No Pasture” which is what Lo-debar means and it would have been desolate. He is gone off the grid like they say in spy movies – he is in deep cover and most likely struggling greatly in life.

I want you in your mind to imagine what it must have been like for Mephibosheth to get the knock on the door and realize that David the King is calling for him. He has most likely been hiding and not thinking that anyone knew about him and now the king is calling for him. He must have thought he was going to be killed because he was an heir to the throne of Israel. The rule of the day was that anyone who was an heir and could lead a rebellion against you should have them killed. So this knock on the door probably had fearing soaring through his body as he was thinking he was going to be dead very soon.

Look at what happens: 6 Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, "Mephibosheth." And he said, "Here is your servant!"

As I have said, he is most likely very afraid as he came before David. He has most likely kept himself hidden from David for fear this day would come where he would have to face him and in his mind face death. He fell on his face before David and David called him by name. This is an important thing being called by name. People love to hear their name called most of the time. People feel important when others know their name.

Here we read that David called him by name and that is just the same as us, when God calls you, he calls you by name. God knows your name because you are his son or daughter. Then we read the response to his name being called and that was Mephibosheth called himself David’s servant. That is the same response that we should have when God calls our name, here is your servant. Never forget that the most important things that in life is a son or a daughter of God and a servant to the Most High God.

Mephibosheth saw himself as lost, forgotten, obscure, and really unimportant person to David or anyone else for that matter but now with the call to see David things are changing because he is going to find that David is not going to kill him. For whatever reason, David now has him on his mind to help and he will no longer be lost, forgotten, obscure, or unimportant but we will look more at that tomorrow.

What was the scariest knock that you ever had on your door?

Kindness, Grace, and Generosity (Part 1)

What we need to understand is that acts of kindness, graciousness, and generosity to others need to be a priority for us and there is a beautiful picture of this in 2 Samuel 9. Here in this chapter we have another one of my favorite stories in the entire bible so let us take some time and look at David and an act of kindness, generosity, and graciousness that he performed.

2nd Samuel 9:1 – Then David said, "Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?"

This goes back to a promise that was made between David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20:14,15 " 14 And may you treat me with the faithful love of the LORD as long as I live. But if I die, 15 treat my family with this faithful love, even when the LORD destroys all your enemies. David is following through on this promise that he had made with that Jonathan and now is searching to find out if there is any family of Jonathan left. God has been kind to David over the years and now he wants to pass the kindness on. I want you to notice that David was proactive in his kindness. Too often we wait till someone is hurting to do something nice for them. David just did something kind for the sake of being kind. David makes the choice to be kind or better yet gracious. David is going to be showing a great amount of grace to Jonathan’s family.

The question to ask is this: What can I do for other people? David was intentional in his kindness here, are you intentional in yours? What acts of kindness can I do for others? This is a question that we should be asking. Too many times we ask what is in it for me. I am reminded of the scene in the movie Field of Dreams, when Terrance Mann is asked to go out into the corn field with the baseball players. Ray Kinsella who took his land to build the field gets frustrated about this because he wanted to go and see what was out there and he says: I did it all. I listened to the voices, I did what they told me, and not once did I ask what’s in it for me. Shoeless Joe Jackson the lead baseball player responds: What are you saying, Ray? Ray then stops then says: I’m saying? What’s in it for me? You see the heart of the matter was he was trying to get something out of it. How often is this us, we make things look so good and do work saying it is not about us but then we get caught saying the same thing as Ray – what is in it for me.

Instead of asking what can I get out of this we need to have David’s perspective attitude and ask what can I do for others. When was the last time you did something for someone else and did not expect something in return? When was the last time you did something for someone that they just did not expect? That is what we are seeing from David here and that is what we should be doing.

Let us move forward: 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 The king said, "Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?" And Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet."

David searched out and found one servant of Saul’s who remained. David called him to him and asked who remained from Saul’s family of whom he could show the kindness of God too. The answer David got from Ziba is there is one left and it is one of Jonathan’s sons, the one who was crippled. Let us look back to 2 Samuel 4:4 to read about how he became crippled. Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. So we see that the nurse was in a hurry to get him out of the house. The reason was she heard that Saul and Jonathan were both dead and now they would want to kill all the descendants and Mephibosheth was one to be killed. In her hurry the boy fell and became lame. How he fell is unknown but he did and became crippled as a result.

The name Mephibosheth means, “shame”. He is a young man whose father and grandfather were killed when he was 5 which means he would be about 25 at this point when David is looking for him. As we have just seen he is crippled. He is in the economy of that time absolutely worthless because of his being crippled. He was an heir to the throne but it is not possible that he could never lead troops into battle. He could not even be a servant of anyone because of his disability. He later himself says he is worthless. He had such a promising future as a child but now he is just considered a worthless human being because of being crippled.

Do you ever feel spiritually crippled? Do you struggle with feeling worthless? Know and remind yourself of this fact next time you struggle with such feelings:  if you have place your faith and trust in Christ then you are a child of the King.  You are a son or a daughter of God and that is where your worth comes from.  Never think of yourself as worthless because you are God’s child. You are a worthwhile child of the King.

What is the coolest thing you ever surprised somebody with who just did not expect it?