Summary: We have a wonderful picture of grace here; the story of an obscure man with a name not only hard to pronounce, but with a terrible meaning.
Passage: 2 Samuel 9:1-13
Intro: Back in the 50’s, there was a TV show called “Queen for a Day.”
PP Show the picture of it.
1. today it is “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, where people get a new house.
2. these gifts are given for people in terrific need, and it is great.
3. it is what grace means in the world.
4. grace as presented in the Bible is different, deeper.
5. grace is what sets Christianity apart from every other belief system.
6. true Biblical grace is incredibly rare in our world.
7. but we have a wonderful picture of grace here in 2 Samuel 9, the story of a obscure man with a name not only hard to pronounce, but with a terrible meaning.
8. as we look at this “extreme makeover: Old Testament edition,” we are going to find what true grace is.
9. we’ll also discover that we are called to be people of grace.
10. so what characterizes Biblical grace?
I. Grace is the Active Expression of Love
1. following King David thru 22 years of waiting to become king of all Israel.
2. 15 years pursued by Saul, 7 years at war with Saul’s son Ishbosheth.
3. in these times, when someone became king, customary to kill all others with a claim to the throne.
4. many years later, Jehu did this very thing to the sons of Ahab.
PP 2 Kings 10:6
5. look at 2 Samuel 9:1 “Is there anyone…for Jonathan’s sake?”
6. David had made a promise to Jonathan that he would be kind to his family.
7. but hadn’t the ensuing mistreatment nullified that agreement?
8. not when there is true Biblical love.
9. Biblical love is a choice that is expressed most powerfully when it is directed at ones enemies.
10. not just loving people who have done nothing to deserve it, but loving people who have done everything not to deserve it!
PP Romans 5:8
11. Saul’s family was easily David’s enemy, but David’s determination was to love whoever was left alive.
12. there is no grace without love, and love will consistently demonstrate itself in grace.
13. and grace will always be for the benefit of another
14. and so David looked for someone, anyone, to whom he could show kindness.
15. this is just like God, whose undeserved love for us has caused Him to shower us with grace.
Il) Packer quote, Swindoll p. 236
16. if we say we love, then we will treat others graciously, and not as they deserve.
II. Grace Goes Looking
1. David did a Google search for Saul’s family
2. guy named Ziba came up, who had been a servant of Saul.
3. called for him, v3, got the info he was looking for.
4. Jonathan’s son, a young man who had been crippled during a panicked flight from the palace when Saul and Jonathan had been killed.
5. Mephibosheth, whose name means “from the mouth of the shameful thing”. Wow!
6. he was living in a town named Lo Debar, which either means “no pasture” or “no word”. Not very promising.
Il) like living in Purgatory, Maine or Hell, Michigan. Real places!
7. asked where he was (v4), then sent his people to get him.
8. grace does not love at arms length!
9. called this young man into his presence, and you can bet his knees were knocking.
10. grace is not satisfied with intentions or good feelings.
11. Grace proactively seeks to bless someone, not just react and respond.
PP Luke 19:10
Il) why Elizabeth Elliot returned to minister to the Auca Indians with her daughter; people who killed her husband in cold blood.
12. grace goes looking for people in need, and often they demonstrate that need by very hostile behavior.
13. know anyone like that?
III. Grace Meet Needs
1. there were few people needier that Mephibosheth.
2. seriously handicapped, couldn’t work in an agrarian society, connected by birth to a family in utter ruin.
3. now living far from Jerusalem in the home of someone who felt sorry for him.
4. Mephibosheth describes his condition rather graphically in v8, “dead dog”
5. David flies into action!
6. Everything that belonged to Saul now belongs to Mephibosheth. (long term)
7. (I wondered who was dispossessed, have concluded it was probably Ziba.)
8. Mephibosheth will now own it, and Ziba and his family will be tenant farmers.
Il) David made Mephibosheth a small businessman, like the World Bank giving poor people $20 loans to start tiny businesses.
PP picture of Elsa del Carmen Mercado Nicoya, and story of her success
9. in addition, M. will now eat every day at David’s royal table. (short term)
10. a true “rags to riches story.”