Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God”…JESUS
While driving anxiously to get to prayer service, I began to do a diligent review over how the Lord’s hand has been all over my life, and also many others that I have been affiliated with down through the years. Through these reflections I realize how unworthy we all are! Hence these reflections propel me to render this week’s Golden Nugget that hopefully will enhance your assurance that “God Has Not Forgotten You!” I would like to provoke thought by highlighting the favor bestowed upon two devout men in the word of God; King David, and Jonathon’s son Mephibosheth.
The following scriptures will establish my premise to provoke further gospel provocation:
1Sam. 16:11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look at. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
2 Sam. 9:3-5 And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on hisfeet. 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. Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar
It is remarkable to note that when Samuel was directed by the Lord to go to the house of Jesse to anoint Israel’s next king that Jesse did not consider David at all! David was a ruddy youth in the solitude of the wilderness, with the sheep, and did not come into mind when all of Jesse’s offspring were being reviewed to be anointed for King. But notice that the eye of the Lord had rested upon this despised youth, the one who was to stand in the line through which, according to the flesh, Christ should come, to occupy the throne of David, and rule over the house of Israel for ever. My brothers and sisters this is proof that according to 1Cor. 1:27-29 “God seeth not as man seeth,” for He “hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world, to confound things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen — yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in His presence.”
For in 1Sam. 16:11 it states “And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look at. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” “There remaineth yet the youngest.” Surely he could not be the elect one, thought Jesse. Man cannot understand the ways of God. The very instrument which God is about to make use of is overlooked or despised by man. “Arise, anoint him: for this is he,” is God’s perfect reply to the thoughts of Jesse and Samuel.
I personally am very happy to note David’s occupation. “Behold, he keepeth the sheep.” This was afterwards referred to by the Lord, when He said to David, “I took thee from the sheep-cote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel.” My fellow pastoral colleagues, nothing can more sweetly illustrate God’s thoughts of the kingly office than the work of a shepherd. For it must be noted that when the office is not executed in the spirit of a shepherd, it fails! King David fully entered into this, as seen in the touching words, when God executed judgement on Israel because of a foolish act that was performed by David record in 1 Ch. 21:17 “And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.”
The people were the Lord’s sheep, and he, as the Lord’s shepherd, kept them on the mountains of Israel, just as he had kept his father’s sheep in the retirement of Bethlehem. He did not alter his character when he came from the sheep-cote to the throne, and exchanged the staff for the scepter. No; he was the shepherd still, and he felt himself responsible to protect the Lord’s flock from the lions and bears which ever prowled around the fold. Act. 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. GOLDEN NUGGET!
The prophetic allusion to the true David is touching and beautiful. Ezek. 34:22-24 “Therefore will I save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My servant David; He shall feed them, and He shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.” If you notice Our Lord in the Gospel of John chapter 10 presents Himself as the faithful and good Shepherd who loves and cares for His sheep; and in John chapter 6 He speaks to the character of a good Shepherd.
“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Jesus presents Himself as one responsible …voluntarily so, no doubt , to the Father, to keep every member of the loved and valued flock through all the vicissitudes of this life, and present them in resurrection-glory, at the last day.
Such it is with our Shepherd Jesus Christ who has not forgotten Us, who has provided for us in this present time and eternity, by placing us in his ever-living, ever-loving, all-powerful care whose love cannot quench; whose power no enemy can countervail; who holds in His hand the keys of death and hell, and who has established His claim to the guardianship of His flock, by laying down His life for it. This is why the Saints of God can say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” How can we want while Jesus feeds us? Impossible. Our foolish hearts may often desire to feed in toxic pastures, and our Shepherd always proves His gracious care by denying us such environments; hence it is certain, that those whom Jesus feeds shall never lack any good thing.
The Psalms 23 proves that he has not forgotten Us, as it assures Us that we can delight in our Shepherds care. We also find, in John chapter 10, that the Son is presented as the good Shepherd. Lastly, in Acts chapter 20 and 1 Peter chapter 5, we find the Holy Spirit acting in that blessed capacity, by raising up and gifting for the work of the subordinate shepherds. It is always edifying to note this, for all His ways are all perfect; because Jesus is the Chief Shepherd!
I want you to notice the contrast between the circumstances in which Samuel found David, and those in which he found Saul. Remember that Saul was in pursuit of his father’s asses, when he came in contact with Samuel. I will not take time to interpret this point, I am just merely referring to it. I believe it is expressive to Saul’s character, in the way of evil, just as David’s occupation, in the sheep-cote, was expressive of his future career, as the shepherd of Israel. When we see David tending his father’s sheep in the wilderness, he is overlooked, or thought little of in the circle of his brethren, when we see Saul in search of his father’s asses, we are led to look for something corresponding in his character and habits afterwards.
Please notice my brothers and sisters that David’s affectionate and tender solicitude for the Lord’s flock and non selfishness may all be traced to circumstances in which he is introduced in the word of God; and, on the other hand, Saul’s ambitious, self-seeking spirit may be traced in the object of his pursuit when he came in contact with Samuel.
It was God’s mercy and grace that made David to be ruler over His people, because he manifested non selfish traits in his character that propelled him to be anointed for the work of the Lord “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” Hence, then my brothers and sisters that David was chose as the Lord’s anointed choice. Because of this special anointing it caused him to be a wanderer and rejected by men. The word of God validates that while he endured the difficult seasons to be king over all Israel, that “God had not forgotten him.”
Please understand when the Lord takes you up the rough side of the mountain it humbles you and you dare not forget those who showed you kindness on your journey. Such was the case with David and his friendship with Jonathon , Saul’s son. Jonathon had a son name Mephibosheth whose name means “out of mouth proceeds reproach” Psa. 57:3 “He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.“ The word gives some evidence of Mephibosheth condition in 2 Sam 4:3 “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. 2 Sam. 9:3-5 ” And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on hisfeet. 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. Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.
Please understand not only was Mephilosheth considered a reproach, but he dwelt in an environment that did not signify life! For Lodebar meant a place not to pasture…basically a dessert, a parched land. No lame person was to come within the Kings court!
But notice the Grace of God bestowed unto this person, when David had taken his seat on the throne, he ask the questions, “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God unto him?” “The house of Saul!” “The kindness of God!” What words! Saul had been his most implacable enemy; yet, being now on the throne, the brilliancy of his position, and the fullness of divine grace, enabled him to forget about the evil acts that was rendered toward him in the past, and manifest the kindness and love of God.
Now it is evident how the kindness of God is marked by this special characteristic, exercised toward His enemies. Rom. 5:10 states “If, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son,” etc. Such was the kindness which David desired to show to a member of the house of Saul. “Now, when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence…. And David said unto him, Fear not, for I will surely show thee kindness . . . and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look on such a dead dog as I am?” Here, then, is a lovely specimen of the kindness of God, and here, too, we are presented with the ground of Mephibosheth’s devotedness to David. Though having no more claim upon him than an enemy, or a dead dog, yet is he taken up in grace, and set down at the Kings table, a table of sweet communion! Glory……
My brothers and sisters please notice when God grants you favor that you don’t deserve there will always be someone in your life that will try to block your blessing, please note that Mephibosheth had a faithless servant, who, to promote his own ends, misrepresented him to the king. The opening verses of chapter 16 furnishes us with an account of his servant Ziba’s acts. He shows kindness to David, and blackens the character of Mephibosheth, in order to get possession of his lands. He takes advantage of his master’s crippleness in his feet to deceive and malign him. What a deceitful picture!
The truth, however, came to light, and the wronged one was fully vindicated. On David’s return, when all the trouble was over, and Absalom perished from the scene, “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 he came again in peace.” Such is the Spirit’s testimony to this faithful man. While David was away, Mephibosheth was a mourner: a true picture of what the saints ought to be doing now as we pray and travail before the throne of God during the period of our Master’s absence. The question is not at all what a Saint may, or may not do. No; an affectionate heart will seek the true things of Jesus while it awaits for His return. If we have be risen with Christ, then we should perpetually seek those things which are above.” Ask the spiritual man, why does he strive to abstain from things which the flesh most definitely enjoys? His answer is, to get closer to Jesus while I await for His return. This should be highest motive for us all!
We, like Mephibosheth, have experienced the kindness of God, oh such precious kindness! We have been taken up from the depths of our ruin, and set among the princes of God’s people. Should we not, therefore, love our Lord and Savior? should we not desire to see His face? should we not regulate our present conduct by constant reference to Him? If we could only be more grateful like Mephibosheth! But often it appears that we are disposed to minister to our odious nature (The Old Man) than to walk in the total fulfillment of the New Man in this present life!; which will render us riches, honor, comfort, refinement, and elegancies in Jesus Christ!
Saints, if Ziba’s account of Mephibosheth had been true, how could the latter have replied to David when he said, “Wherefore wentest thou not with me, Mephibosheth?” But he was able to answer, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me; for thy servant said, I will saddle me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the king; because thy servant is lame. And he hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king; but my lord the king is an angel of God; do, therefore, what is good in thine eyes. 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?” Here we see the integrity that was in Mephibosheth’s heart. Why? because, unaffected devoutness will manifest itself. GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters the contrast between Ziba and Mephibosheth is evident. The former was seeking for the inheritance; the latter only desired to be near the king. Therefore, when David said, “Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land,” Mephibosheth at once proved the direction in which his thoughts and desires were flowing; “Yea,” said he, “let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house.” His heart was engaged in King David, not about the “matters.” How could he stand on a footing with Ziba? How could he divide the land with such a deceitful person? Impossible! The king had returned; this was enough for him. To be near to him was far better far than all the inheritance of the house of Saul. “Let him take all.” To be near to the king was enough fulfillment for Mephibosheth, than to be around a slander.
It is the same with all those who love the glorious name of our God Jesus Christ. The prospect of Christ overwhelming love helps deaden the excessive affections for the things of this world. That’s why we know that there is only one grand remedy for all this evil, and that is the return and appearing of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Brothers and Sisters, Mephibosheth felt that he owed everything to David; that he had been saved from ruin, and raised to dignity. Hence, when David’s place was occupied by a usurper, Mephibosheth’s whole appearance and manner proved that he had no sympathy with the existing state of things; he was estranged from it all, and only desired the return of him whose kindness had made him all he was. His interests, his destinies, his hopes, were all bound up with King David, and nothing but his return could make him happy.
How I pray we have the same attitude toward Jesus, being cognizant of the fact that at one time we were estranged ones beyond reproach, in a land with no pasture, a dry place, a dessert where Satan ruled Us. The time is coming when our beloved King shall come back for Us, when the usurper shall be hurled from his throne, and every enemy crushed beneath the footstool of our glorious JESUS. I know that many times when we are going through various things we ask “How long, O Lord?” because sometimes the way seems long, rough, and painful; the night dark and depressing; but my word to you is this, “Be patient, brethren.” “He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man drawback, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Continue to remember that “God Has Not Forgotten You!” because his favor and hand is upon YOU. Have a “JESUS DAY“