Monday, November 20, 2006



Last week I was standing in the foyer of James Murray’s funerals awaiting the grieving family’s arrival. There, the strains of the beautiful hymn, When I survey, nearly melted me to tears before the waiting workers. Think about these words.
“When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died, “
I seem to see before the eyes of my heart the very dying form of One who suffered there for me.
The Prince Of Glory. Lord. Creator. Second person of the Trinity! God incarnate.
Sometimes I have wondered, “How Could God ever forgive those men that nailed His Son to the cross?”
The Lord Jesus prayed for them “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
His prayer was answered, we read in Acts 6 where many of the jewish priests became obedient to the faith Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
How could God forgive those men who nailed His Son to the cross?
How could God forgive men for whose sins His Son was nailed to the cross?
See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown.
How could God forgive me?
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died,
My riches gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.
The cross speaks of God’s grace. This communion table with bread and grape juice speaks of God’s grace. Tonight, as we read a story in 2 Samuel 13, we read of Grace, and we are reminded of the cross.2 Sam. 9:11-13 So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table just like one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. All those living in Ziba’s house were Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 However, Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem because he always ate at the king’s table. He was lame in both feet.

1. The Condition Which Grace Meets.
Mephibosheth had been an unfortunate sort of man. He had been the child of Jonathon. He wa the grand son of King Saul, the first king of Israel. Saul, who hated David. Saul, who dreaded that David would one day become King of Israel.
When Mephibosheth’s nurse learned that King saul and his son Jonathon had been killed in battle, the nurse hurried Mephibosheth away, fearful that he and she would be killed in retaliatory attacks by David’s men.
2 Samuel 4:4 And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
He was Away Mephibosheth’s nurse hurried him away.
The nurse and Mephibosheth Were both Afraid of David.
With long indoctrination from the nurse, Mephibosheth. Had learned that he had best keep his distance from King David. Who knew when David might remember the pain and hurt Saul had caused David? When might David take the opportunity to get even for the terrible injustices that Saul and his family had wrought against David?
And how best would it be to eradicate from the Kingdom of Israel of David, any who may be tempted to rise up in rebellion. It was best for Mephibosheth. To keep away, to stay afraid.
I guess in Mephibosheth.’s mind many strange fearful anxieties would have arisen when ever he thought of David or the Israelite army or the government. Those fears would soon breed into antagonism. How satan loves to breed antagonism in the human heart.
Antagonism and resentment can so breed in the human heart as to consume all joys and all loves.
Prince Eugene of Savoy was related to most of the royal houses in Europe. But because he was a hunchback. King Louis of France would not have him at his court. So Eugene went over to the Hapsburgs in Austria, became commander of the army, and led them in their defeat of the Turks, and later, the French!

Is this not the very condition in which God’s Amazing grace found us?
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see.
Twas grace that taught my heart to fear.
It was right that we should fear God because of our sins. It was our sins that were so grievous to God.
We were away from God. We were Afraid of God. We were Antagonistic towards God!
And how the devil blinded us to the fact of God’s great love and purpose towards us in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And grace my fears relieved.. how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.”
Romans 5:8 says. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 2 Cor 4:4 says But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2. The Salvation Which Grace Ministers.
"thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. "
It was a mark of acceptance for Me­phibosheth to be there,
Romans 5:9 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
It was also a mark of assurance. If anyone wanted to unseat David, the logical approach was to pro­mote Mephibosheth as the rightful king. His grandfather was king. David did not descend from a kingly line. His father was a farmer. His grandfather was a farmer. It would be easy to argue that the grandson of Saul had a better claim to the throne than David. If ever there was opportunity to start a revolution, that opportunity lay in the living person of Mephibosheth. When David summoned him, Mephibo­sheth feared for his life. It was a mark of assurance that he sat every day at the king's table.
But this was all so very long ago. What does it have to do with us? Just this: we, too, sit at the King's table. He is not like David, king over some tiny vest-pocket principality in a far corner of the world. He is King over the whole earth. He is the King of Kings. He has invited us to sit at his table.
We come only by invitation: his invita­tion. Like Mephibosheth we find it a place of acceptance. We, too, are crippled. We are spiritually crippled. We do not walk as we were meant to walk. People may look at us and think, "You have no place at the King's table." But he has invited us all the same.
We do not come because we are pure. We come because we want to be pure. We do not come because we are innocent. We come because we want to be innocent. It is a measure of our acceptance that in spite of our spiritual awkwardness and our great limitations, he invites us still. In that ac­ceptance, there is the blessed assurance that Jesus is ours.
There is also a sense of abasement here.
And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. 8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.
The desert. Barrenness. Frustration and fear.
That other king's table was a table of abundance.
In Vienna, Austria, you can visit the royal apartments in the Hofburg Palace. Particularly interesting is the dining room. The table is set as it would be for a royal banquet. You have never seen so many knives, forks, and spoons at one table set­ting in your life. It would take a set of directions to know which fork to pick up first. But for some of the guests of the emperor Franz Joseph, that was not a problem. They always served the emperor first. He was a very fast eater. When he quit eating, everyone else had to quit eat­ing. It would have been rude to have con­tinued. Because the table was so long and because he ate so fast, there were many people who came to have dinner and never got to eat anything at all. By the time they were served, he was finished. They used to say in Vienna that if you had an invitation to dine with the king, you should eat before you go. Nothing like that happened at King David's table.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

3. The Response Which Grace Merits.
2 Sam 19:24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace.
2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Sam 19:28 For all of my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king: yet didst thou set thy servant among them that did eat at thine own table. What right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king? 29 And the king said unto him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land. 30 And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house.
Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Were the whole realm of nature mine That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing so Divine demands my soul my life my all.
This is a table for remembering. Me­phibosheth was not invited because he was the grandson of King Saul. He was invited because he was the son of Jonathan, David's friend. To David, friendship meant more than royalty. Jonathan had never worn a crown, but it was because of Jonathan that Mephibosheth was at the king's table.

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