Lameness and God’s Grace
One of the great chapters in the entire Old Testament is II Samuel 9. It's the story of Mephibosheth. His story is my story. His story is your story. His story is the story of us. II Samuel 9 is the John 3:16 of the Old Testament.
Mephibosheth is a cripple, "lame in both feet" (II Samuel 9:3). King David wished to show kindness to Mephibosheth "for Jonathan's sake" (II Samuel 9:7). Jonathan, Mephibosheth's father, had died at the hand of the Philistines. Mephibosheth's nurse tripped and fell while fleeing from the Philistines with the young prince in her arms. When the nurse fell, Mephibosheth's vertebrate broke, causing the son of Jonathan to be a cripple (see II Samuel 4:4).
So Mephibosheth is just like you and me. Due to a tragic fall, he no longer was the person he was born to be. Crippled and broken, he grew up hiding from others in the little city of Lodebar. His name changed to Mari-baal to possibly reflect his shame and loss of fame. Baal was the god of culture in Canaan, and somehow, the son of Jonathan found himself lost in Lodebar, following the gods of Canaan.
Yet King David, in sovereign grace for a cripple, "fetched" Mephibosheth from his dark place "for the sake of Jonathan."
King David is a type or picture of our heavenly Father who shows kindness to crippled sinners "for Jesus sake." Religion tells you God is kind to saints for their religious performances. Christianity tells you God is kind to cripples "for Christ's sake." God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ (II see Corinthians 5:19).
So the story of Mephibosheth is the story of grace.
David fetched Mephibosheth from Lodebar, "and he sat at King David's table like one of the king's sons" (II Samuel 9:11). So too, when God saves us by His grace in Jesus Christ, He fetches us in our dark, shameful places and brings us to His table and meets our every need by His grace, for our good and for His glory (Philippians 4:19).
Lame in Both Feet
"He was lame in both feet."
One would think Mephibosheth's story of grace would end like this: "And God healed Mephibosheth of his lameness and he sat at the table of the king as one of his sons." But that is rarely how God ends a story.
Mephibosheth's story begins with lameness, and Mephibosheth's story ends with lameness. But that is not the whole story. There are two Hebrew words in II Samuel 9, both translated as lameness. Without understanding the wordplay being utilized here we often fail to realize what the story is trying to convey.
The first word, which begins Mephibosheth's story is nakeh, which means stricken. It is used to describe lameness of both body and soul. It speaks of a broken spirit. In other words, while hiding in shame in Lodebar, Mephibosheth was a broken man, both on his feet and in his spirit, both physically and spiritually.
This describes Mephibosheth prior to experiencing the King's grace.
The second word translated lame in II Samuel 9 is the Hebrew word pisseach. It is ONLY used in Scripture to refer to physical lameness.
When we first meet Mephibosheth in II Samuel 9, he is a broken man in body and in spirit. At the end of II Samuel 9, after experiencing the king's grace, Mephibosheth is only broken in body. He remains lame under the king's roof, but he's learned "to be content regardless of his circumstances" (Philippians 4:12), because "he's learned who is by the grace of God" (I Corinthians 15:10).
God's grace may not cure your cancer, but God's grace will definitely cure your lack of contentment. God's grace may not heal your body, but God's grace will definitely heal your soul. You will sit at the King of Kings table, and have all your needs met, but sometimes what is not wanted may remain.
Grace changes the heart to teach us contentment in all things.
God Looks with Favor on Those with a Nakeh Spirit
The only other time the Bible uses the word nakeh is in Isaiah 66:2. Listen to what God says.
“But on this one will I look with favor:
On the one who is poor and contrite (nakeh) in spirit."
God is gracious and shows kindness "for Jesus' sake" to the one who is crippled in spirit and realizes nothing good is deserved from God because we "have fallen and can't get up." We are not as He created us to be. To boast and brag and demand that we MUST be accepted and loved in our sin is to not feel brokenness and contriteness over our sin. There is no Savior for anyone who feels they have no sin.
But God looks on the broken in spirit with favor.
That's why we who sit at the King's table are still lame.
We have nothing of which we can boast but Him.
JESUS LOVES YOU AND ME,
THAT MAKES US FAMILY,
AS WE MEET MAY WE FIND,
JOY AND HEALTH AND PEACE OF MIND,
MAY GOD BE WITH US, HIS LOVE SURROND US,
HIS STRENGTH SUSTAIN US AS WE’RE
A LIVING CHURCH IS ONE THAT: REMEMBERS THE PAST, LIVES IN THE PRESENT, AND WORKS FOR THE FUTURE.
Dates for serving in the House of Compassion Soup Kitchen in 2017.
Please note we did not serve in
February, but have two nights in March.
VBS: Sunday July 16-July20 with program on July 21, 2017
VBS Director- Dani Junker is willing to direct.
Mission Trip: July 23-July 30
IYM: July 26-July 29, 2017
IYM Church Camp
June 2-4 Young Adult camp
June 9-11 Little Fry (K-2)
June 11-16 Middle/High school
June 18-22 Elementary Camp
AWAKEN is the theme for the year. More to come later
Christmas Children Program- Looking for a Director now.
LIBRARY LEDGE – Let Us Pray
We have many books on prayer including two new books Why Church Matters by Joshua Harris & Operation World by Jason Mandryk. Other books in our library are Come Pray by Mary Glenn Hadley, A Passion for Prayer by Tom Elliff, & 3 by Stormie Omartian: The Power of Praying Together, The Power of a Praying Nation, The Prayer that Changes Everything among many others. Revival includes prayer. Blessed reading
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people (Philemon 1, NIV).
BLFC Middle/High School Report
March 5, 2017
Blizzard Blast-6 regular attendees brought an additional 6 guest for a total of 12 representing BLFC youth. A great time was had by all.
Youth Group will be hosting Friendly Feud on March 29th there will be pork loin and sides with lots of deserts followed by a spirited version of Family Feud. We are asking our church family to fill out the questions in their mailbox and return them to Chris and Josie by 3/15/17 so we can get the games ready. We would like each member of the household to complete the form so we have a good variety. If you need more copies let us know. The kids are super excited about the game and it has been a great opportunity to have some fun while learning. We will have two sessions of the game so we will need at least 4 teams total. At least people 5 per team. There may be some prizes, guaranteed laughs.
Lake Traverse South Dakota 7/23/17-7/28/17
We made the second deposit last month. We have 12 registered spaces and will be having an information meeting soon. We are very excited about this trip as well. If you would like more information ask Chris.
Dates to remember!!
· March 26th: Youth and Young Adult Revival Meeting at Mesquakie Friends from 3-6. Caleb and Johnny from camp will be leading worship along with rapper Quese.
· April 6-7: Pastor Short Course . Speaker will be Michael and Maria Westbrook. They are the leaders of Greater Life Community Center in Newark, N.J.
· April 29: USFW Spring Fling. At Lynnville Friends. Cost $10
· May 21: Tentative Grand ReOpening Celebration for Davenport Friends: New Beginnings
· Camp Dates
o June 2-4: Young Adult Camp
o June 9-11: Little Fry Camp(k-2)
o June 11-16: Middle/High School Camp(7-12)
o June 18-22: Elementary Camp(3-6
· June 25-July 1: Kaleo Academy! High School students attend with a mentor. Website Early registration by March 1st.
· July 12-16, 2017: Friends United Meeting Triennial in Wichita, Kansas: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1877598
· July 26-29, 2017: Our annual Yearly Meeting Sessions will take place in Oskaloosa. In the early planning stages, we are considering "Thrive" as the 2017 theme. It would be great to see participation from all of our meetings, leadership, and pastors. If at all possible, keep these dates open on your calendars and encourage others you associate with to do so, as well.