Last week we began a two part series about..."The Blood of Jesus!"
Thus far we have seen how the Blood of Christ...Did so much more than bring Salvation! It Also brought...Boldness instead of shame...Protection from Satan...
Oneness with the Father... Became Blood-Kin to GOD! Power to fight sin and work in the Spirit! We saw that "The Blood" of Jesus... Was not just for a One Time Moment of Salvation...But It is to be...Covered Under, Lived In, Empowered By, and Accepted Thru...Every moment of our lives!
Now... For the Second Study...We will look at a lesser known Story from the OT...Which at first...Will seem to be unrelated to our Topic! But as the Story progresses...We will see that it is one of the ...Most powerful stories in Scripture...About Grace, Salvation... And "The Blood!"
Let's jump in!
Most of you are aware of at least some of the story of David and Saul...
In Ancient Israel! But for those who are not very familiar...We will take a look at a few of the events between them...To set the stage for today's Lesson! Saul was the first King over Israel...Reigning for 40 years... (1 Samuel 10)
He became proud and self-serving...And disobeyed God's Commands! (1 Samuel 15) A very young man (12 to 16), named David...Who was a common shepherd over sheep...Had stepped forward to fight for Saul against a Fierce Warrior…Named Goliath... (No one else would fight! / 1 Samuel 17) After this victory... Saul had promoted him to lead his armies...And was very fond of David...And David served Saul passionately and loyally!
But because Saul had fallen from the Grace of God...David was anointed by Samuel to be the next King! (1 Samuel 10 & 16) Though David remained loving and obedient to Saul...Saul hated him from that moment...And purposed to kill him with obsession!
Saul promised his daughter, Merab, to David... (1 Samuel 18:17) If David would fight the Philistines for him...Hoping to have David killed in the process...And then, married his daughter off to another man for spite! Then Saul offered his second daughter, Michal, to David...Because she loved David dearly... (1 Samuel 18:24)
Once again... Only if David went on an almost suicidal mission...Against the Philistines for him...In hopes of having David killed! Wanting 100 Philistine warriors killed in battle...David was once again successful... Killing 200 warriors! Enraging Saul all the more! And this military success with God's Anointing...Made the people give praise to David even more...Causing Saul to completely turn on him... In jealous rage! Even though David was faithful and loving!
So Saul tried to kill David personally by hurling a spear at him...As David played the harp for him in his quarters! (1 Samuel 19:10) And finally...King Saul sent out his ARMY to pursue and kill David...Turning all of Israel against him! Making David live as a criminal fugitive...Running and hiding for his life for years!
During which time...David had to opportunities to take Saul's life personally...
Because of his military cunning...In the caves of Ein Gedi (while relieving self! / 1 Sam 24:6) And in the Hills of Hakilah (while sleeping) / 1 Samuel 26:9) But David honored Saul... And especially God...Both times!
Refusing to take the King's Life...Even though it would mean HE (David) would become King!
During this entire time...King Saul's own son, Jonathan...Saw how unfairly his father had treated David...And he loved David as a brother for his strength & loyalty...And had faith in God's Prophecy that David would become King! So he warned and protected David from King Saul...And in response... Jonathan's own father (Saul)... Tried to even kill HIM! (1 Sam 20:33) In Jonathan's faith that David would be King...And because of their bond closer than brothers...Jonathan made a Covenant Vow with David...Even when David was on the run and seemed hopeless!
HERE... Is where we will pick up the story!
In Jonathan's love for David...And faith that he would be King...Jonathan made a Covenant with David...A Covenant to serve David over his father...A Covenant to give his everything in allegiance...And protection to David... Even while Saul was still King... And David was still a criminal! And in return...That he (Jonathan)... And his offspring...Would be accepted by David in his Reign!
Listen to the depth and power of this Covenant!!
1 Samuel 18:3-4 (NKJV)
3 Then Jonathan and David made a COVENANT, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.
The word used for Covenant in Hebrew here is BERIYTH (ber-eeth')...A distinct word for a "cutting of flesh"...It was a pact made by cutting oneself..."A Blood Covenant!"
Notice the items which Jonathan gave to David in the Covenant...They were purposeful... And symbolic of his loyalty...His ROBE...Not just any robe... The Prince's Robe! Jonathan was offering his position of royalty & position! His ARMOR, SWORD, and BOW...Jonathan was offering all of his strength, service & sacrifice! His BELT...Seemingly the simplest of the objects given...But in reality, one of the most precious...The belt was a symbol of a warrior's…Faithfulness, affiliation, & belonging...Roman soldiers, and others... Would have their belts taken away for a time...As shame & punishment...To show they weren't worthy... Didn't deserve to belong... Were not affiliated! Jonathan was giving up his identity...
Jonathan gave his power, authority, strength, allegiance and his whole position of belonging in royalty… As Sacrifice!! He gave everything!
1 Samuel 20:13-17 (NKJV)
13 ...But if it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will report it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And the LORD be with you as He has been with my father. 14 And you shall not only show me the kindness of the LORD while I still live, that I may not die; 15 but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the LORD has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth." 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "Let the LORD require it at the hand of David's enemies." 17 Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
1 Samuel 20:41-42 (NKJV)
41 As soon as the lad had gone, David arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the LORD, saying, 'May the LORD be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.' " So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
David and Jonathan made a Covenant...That joined them in identity, brotherly love, and unity as one... And all their descendants after them!
David never raises a rebellion... Never tries to take the Kingdom! He is good to Saul... And trusts God. Later... Saul and his son Jonathan...Are BOTH killed in battle with the Philistines! Even AFTERWARDS... David STILL was NOT recognized as King by Saul's bloodline! David became King over Judah for seven years...Before being accepted as King over all Israel...
Abner... Saul's Military Commander...Raised up Saul's son in defiance, Ishbosheth... As King...Everywhere but in Judah! David had to fight a long bloody war against Saul's son...To claim the rest of Israel...Because even when the evil was defeated…And a New King was Risen…The descendants continued to deny him the Throne!
There was another descendant of Saul still alive...Jonathan's son... Saul's grandson... Mephibosheth! Mephibosheth was only 5yrs old when David had become King...At the news David was crowned...Mephibosheth's nurse grabbed him up and ran for their lives...Knowing that a new king...Would kill all of the family of the previous enemy kingdom! Especially one who had been so evil to David!
She fell with Mephibosheth in her haste...And due to a back or leg injuries... He became horribly crippled! (1 Sam 4:4)
But David... Now firmly established and unopposed...Did NOT do... As commonsense and tradition would dictate...He did not want to kill any remaining descendants of Saul! For ONE REASON... He honored the BLOOD COVENANT made with Jonathan! Even though David had been treated horribly by Saul's family! His love for Jonathan... And his respect of the Covenant...
Caused him to take a different direction entirely... GRACE!
2 Samuel 9:1-5 (NKJV)
1 Now David said, "Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" 2 And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" And he said, "At your service!" 3 Then the king said, "Is there not still someone 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 lame in his feet." 4 So the king said to him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said to the king, "Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar." 5 Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar.
David wanted the last remaining descendant of Jonathan and Saul found...So he could show him "KINDNESS" for Jonathan's SAKE! The word for KINDNESS here is awesome...In Hebrew it is CHECED (kheh'-sed)...Meaning "a show of GODLY Mercy, Favor and Goodness!" It is a CHOICE to show undeserved love and care! Almost the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word "Agape!"
Mephibosheth had been hiding out in a lowly place called "Lo Debar"...Meaning "Pastureless... Empty... Desolate!" Mephibosheth, now probably a young man in his twenties...Had grown up thinking David was his enemy...Had become lame and useless... As he ran from David...Was living in a desolate place... In fear and hiding... Poor and crippled! Now... He was being called before the King...Whom his own bloodline had hated, condemned and fought! Obviously he thought it was "reckoning time!"...Obviously he thought the King...Was coming to kill the evil seed of his opposition! Mephibosheth was helpless to get away! And it may have been true...But for... "THE BLOOD COVENANT!"
The meeting between Mephibosheth and King David is deeply moving...And is God's Beautiful Representation of the Salvation of Christ...Almost 1000yrs before Jesus would be Born in Bethlehem! FIRST... Notice Mephibosheth's reaction!
2 Samuel 9:6 (NKJV)
6 Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, "Mephibosheth?" And he answered, "Here is your servant!"
Mephibosheth had a choice to make at this point...As do we... With Jesus Christ the King! He could choose to believe all the lies he had been told since childhood... That David is evil… Self- serving…That Mephibosheth is hated, unwanted... Needs to hide and run from the King! He could unjustly hate David... As his grandfather had done...In IGNORANCE of who David really was! He could bitterly reject anything this King had to offer...And go to his grave in poverty, brokenness, anger & ignorance! Or he could give himself in humble surrender to the King...In search of unmerited mercy and grace...
Mephibosheth chose wisely!! And offering himself as a servant...To the one who had just cause to end his life! Now he lay on his face before the King...And the next words spoken would decide his fate forever...How must he have felt at this moment?
2 Samuel 9:7 (NKJV)
7 So David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake..."
David calms Mephibosheth's fears...And makes it clear WHY he is showing unmerited mercy...Because of the name and blood of Jonathan! Because of the Covenant Jonathan had made...When he became blood-kin to David... And bought the salvation of all...Who would carry Jonathan's blood from that point forward!
Mephibosheth was now covered under that BLOOD...And was part of David's family as well! All Mephibosheth had to do was ACCEPT the incredible gift offered! Now listen to ALL that this "Blood Covenant" did for Mephibosheth!
2 Samuel 9:7-8 (NKJV)
"...and (I) will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually." 8 Then he bowed himself, and said, "What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?"
Mephibosheth was astonished at this seemingly crazy offer! Knowing his family had cheated David, slandered David, ruined his life for years, stolen his wife, and tried to kill him! Knowing the very blood in his veins...Made him a rightful enemy who was guilty before David!
Knowing he was broken and useless...And could not even take care of himself...
Much less... Offer anything of value to serving the King! King David gave Mephibosheth...All of the inheritance of land...That Mephibosheth had lost when his father fell! Royal provisions for all of his days on earth...And acceptance, intimacy and a position of royalty...At the very Table of the King Himself! In one moment... Mephibosheth went from...Hiding in fear... Living in need... Existing as a rejected, outcast... Lower than a nobody...To a loved, rich, accepted, honored son of the King!
2 Samuel 9:9-11, 13 (NKJV)
9 And the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "I have given to your master's son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. 10 You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master's son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master's son shall eat bread at my table always..." 11 Then Ziba said to the king, "According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do." "As for Mephibosheth," said the king, "he shall eat at my table like one of the king's sons..." 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king's table. And he was lame in both his feet.
The King even took care of everything Mephibosheth…Could not do for himself...
Because Mephibosheth knew he could not do anything to feed himself...Or make himself more worthy...He could only watch in thanks... As the King did it all!
So Mephibosheth CONTINUALLY ate and lived...As a blood-born son of the King... ALL HIS DAYS! All because the King had…Summoned him, carried him, forgave him, convinced him, accepted him, and provided everything for him!! While he simply accepted the love…ALL BECAUSE OF JONATHAN!
God Used His Incredible Word... To Illustrate in REAL LIFE...His Plan... His Love... His Grace... His Gift! Saul was the fallen Satan who turned the Kingdom from God...In jealousy and bitterness! And brought corruption to the bloodline that followed him! Made them believe lies about God...Caused them to be broken and useless...As they ran and hid from Him! Jonathan was the one who became the Covenant…Of Safety and Blessing! The Savior! Who like Christ... Shared the Blood of the guilty bloodline...So that HE could stand in their place...
And yet... Also carried the Blood of the King...Making them ONE AGAIN! Making them ROYAL and ACCEPTED again! Sealing a BLOOD COVENANT for eternity!
Matthew 26:27-28 (ESV)
27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Giving up His Position, His Strength, His Affiliation...To become a Servant... Sacrificing all that was his!! And save all who would simply accept His Gift...
Through His Name...That HE ALONE BOUGHT for them!
Mephibosheth is YOU and I...Just like him... Many people doubt God's Goodness and Love...We believe the lies and RUN! So many people see Him as angry, vengeful and distant...As Mephibosheth was led to see King David!
John 3:17 (NKJV)
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 15:13 (NKJV)
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
So many people hide from him... Avoid Him...Even hate what they THINK He stands for! Having no idea how much they are loved! No idea how far He would go to save them...No idea how much He Wants to bless them...No idea how much He Wants them to intimately be with Him! No idea that He would give up ALL HE HAD…To make them ONE with the Family again!
So many people... Think they have gone too far...Think they MUST DO something...Give up something...To make things right... To EARN their position!
We have to realize... Like Mephibosheth...We can never go too far away...
To be Redeemed by the Very Blood of God Himself! Because God is looking at the Covenant... Not US! We have to realize there is nothing we can do to earn our position! Because we are tainted... Our very blood is an enemy of God! And we are as guilty, broken and helpless as Mephibosheth!
But we also have to realize...That even when we are not even able to come to Him…In our shame, guilt and brokenness...He Will Send for US... And He Will literally CARRY US TO HIS TABLE!
All we have to do is say, YES!!!And give HIM Glory, Thanks and Returned Love...For ALL HE has Bought for us! Know He is Good and Kind...Stop running from Him...And let HIM Carry you to His Table.
Then let HIM Take care of the rest! Just say, "YES!"
Isaiah 46:4 (HCSB)
I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will bear and save you.
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