Summary: To be a successful Christian we must allow the Grace of God to run its course in our inner life. When that happens then we can become an effective believer in our outer life- in how we represent the Lord to others.
Grabbed By Grace
Can you recall an event in your life that clearly demonstrated the incredible life changing Grace of God?
Do you remember this story?
*30 year old prisoner had committed murder in a robbery
*Sentenced to die – alone, no friends, no family that ever visited
*His mother had moved to town but she didn’t visit him because he
was so angry at her
*He didn’t know she was in town-
*Here’s the story behind the story
**She had been married several times – her last marriage was to an abusive man who controlled her and her son with intimidation & violence. Every time the boy would misbehave the step father would go into a rage & if the kid couldn’t run out of the trailer house fast enough- he would get beat with a thick black belt on his bare back – but only after the man & the boys mom would whisper in hushed tones in the corner of the room. Then, with his mother watching quietly, the beating would start – one lash after another until it got to about a dozen –then the boy would run outside hating both the step father & his mother. **What the young boy & now prisoner never knew, is that his Mom would always talk her crazed husband into reserving half of the swings of that belt for her…but only after her son would run outside & be far enough away to never hear what was going on.
*When he was eventually told this story while on death row, it changed his perspective about those beatings & why his Mom seemed to just stand there and allow it and never say anything. It changed his heart…he forgave his Mom & got things straightened out with God.
Now I must tell you that this was a story on television.
**You say-“Aw, man it was just a TV show”… Yeah, but it was based on a true story.
How many times have we not understand something ugly in our life & have blamed others, & have become bitter & isolate ourselves from those who love us & even sometimes from God…friends I tell you, if it wasn’t for the Grace of God in our lives, we would all be the most miserable creatures on earth.
Beginning in this chapter, we are given an amazing picture of how God’s Grace can Grab someone and rescue them from a life of misery.
*King David lived about a thousand years before Christ.
*He was successful, secure, and satisfied with what God had done for him.
Ch. 8 tells us that David and his army had just defeated and subdued the Philistines, the Moabites, and the Syrians.
*His name was well known all over the Middle East.
One day David was thinking about his friend Jonathan…
Jon, the son of King Saul, had been David’s closest friend in spite of the fact that Jon’s father was trying to kill David.
According to the culture of the day Saul’s son should have been the next in line to be King. He was the rightful heir, next-in-line successor of his father, Saul. But God had a different plan…and Jonathan accepted the fact that God had chosen David to be the next King of Israel.
In the world of that day it was also common that whenever a new family came to the throne of a nation, the first act of state would be to exterminate all members of the family of the previous regime so that there would be no contest for the throne. Because of that tradition, Jonathan asked David to be gracious to his family and to not kill any heirs. David fully agreed to that request. And as we’ll see, David never completely got over the loss of his friend. 9:2-3a
Before we leave this verse, I need to point out a key word. It is that word "kindness". It occurs three times in this chapter - verses 1, 3, and 7. It is the Hebrew word CHESED and it is used about 240 times in the Old Testament. It is variously translated with words like "kindness, mercy, favor, goodness, devotion, and grace." (W.E. Vine)
So, Saul’s servant Ziba answers David. Read v. 3b-4
Mephibosheth-that’s a mouthful isn’t it? I would imagine that his friends had a nickname for him-perhaps they called him ‘Bo’.
About 30 years before this event, there was a battle on Mt. Gilboa. In that battle against the Philistines, King Saul’s 3 sons were killed which included Bo’s father, Jonathan. When Saul realized what happened, he killed himself by falling on his sword rather than allowing the enemy to capture and torture him. At least that’s how Saul’s supporters would have reported it - fact is, Saul’s spiritual bankruptcy led to his despondency, defeat and demise.