“David: God’s Ambassador of Love!”
2 Samuel 9
October 8, 2017
by Pastor Jerry Ingalls
TESTIMONY: Ken Durham
There is nothing more important in life than the relationships we build; the love we give; the hospitality we share with one another. This is the very reason that God made us and saved us; to be His ambassadors of love. To be transformed people by God’s love to transform people through God’s love. This is the heart of First Baptist Church’s mission, vision, and #forHenry grassroots efforts!
Have you been transformed by the love and compassion of Jesus Christ?
Are you taking the love and compassion of Jesus Christ out of this building to transform our communities?
God knows and I see how much our nation needs ambassadors of Jesus Christ to live out this purpose! Mother Teresa once told an American couple, “I have seen the starving. But in your country, I have seen an even greater hunger. That is the hunger to be loved. No place in all of my travels have I seen such loneliness as I have seen in the poverty of affluence in America.”
We live in the most technologically-advanced and materialistically-affluent society in world history. Americans have so much to be proud of, but our hearts are corrupted by these advancements and the affluence of our accomplishments.
We have become like King Saul: prideful, self-sufficient, and twisted in the purposes of our existence. Like Israel under King Saul’s leadership, our country is in a dangerous place, and that is not the commentary of either “conservative talk radio” or “liberal media”; this is a biblical reality that calls the church to humility and repentance. That is why studying King David is so important. Because King David was God’s answer to turn His people back to Him. And today, we of the household of King David are still the answer to turn people back to God. We are the ambassadors of Jesus Christ!
As we turn our attention from the hard heart of King Saul and how he led Israel into a time of judgement, we shall now turn our eyes to King David and how he led Israel into a time of God’s blessings and great growth.
God uses humble people to be His ambassadors. God chooses to use people who have responded to His love in humble repentance to powerfully influence and compassionately care for their communities! God takes ordinary people who have been extraordinarily transformed and calls them to be His representatives. God’s ambassadors influence people with the love of God by being compassionate and caring. When a person is chosen by God, they are blessed to be a blessing! And our communities experience that blessing through our humility and compassion! We are called God’s ambassadors for a reason! We are the hands and feet of God’s compassion!
King David gives us the key to how to be God’s ambassador to our communities. Listen to King David’s heart from Psalm 51:16-17, “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” David teaches us in word and deed that God uses humble people!
Does it surprise you that David, a lowly shepherd, was elevated to be such a powerful influencer? David not only influenced the nations of his time under his kingship of Israel, but to this day, next to Jesus and His apostles, there are very few people who are so highly regarded as King David.
We are going to examine one brief story from King David’s life this morning and draw out the implications from this story for our calling to be ambassadors to our communities.
Please turn with me to Second Samuel as we now look at the story of Mephibosheth. This is a story that illuminates David’s calling as an ambassador of God’s love. This is a story that shows how David believed he was blessed to be a blessing. This is a story that demonstrates love in action toward a man that other kings would have considered a threat and at worst would have killed or at best left to die in his crippled state and poverty.
Let me give you the context of our story:
- Saul and his son Jonathan die in combat. Mephibosheth is the only member of Saul’s family who survives the transfer of power from Saul’s family to David. But right after Saul and Jonathan are killed, Mephibosheth was hastily taken away and dropped at the age of 5 which caused him to become “crippled in his feet” (2 Samuel 4:4). He was an outcasted cripple!
- By the time of this story, David is the one king of all of Israel and God has established a covenant with King David (2 Samuel 7:8-17). But, God restricts David in one very specific way: David’s legacy would not be found in a building! David was not allowed to build the Temple; his son would do that work. David’s legacy would be found in the matters of the heart: LOVE, FAITH, HOPE, GIVING! But Mephibosheth would have been considered an enemy to David’s kingdom.
- So, David focuses his efforts on building up and expanding the influence of God’s people. The Bible says, “And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went. So David reigned over all Israel, And David administered justice and equity to all his people” (2 Samuel 8:14, 15).
Enter the story of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9. This story is the illustration of who David has become as the king in contrast to who Saul was as a king! This story is exactly where it is in the Bible on purpose to make the point of what matters to God; David’s legacy of humility for us today. Whereas Saul tried to kill David repeatedly, David not only did not try to kill Saul, but he lavished love on Saul’s only living relative—Mephibosheth: an enemy of the kingdom and an outcasted cripple.
Read 2 Samuel 9.
When David should have killed Mephibosheth to prevent a political or military rival rising up against him, King David showed compassion and love by blessing him with abundant life. When David should have horded his resources to build a building because that is what he wanted to do (that’s what most people want), King David showed humility and didn’t do what he wanted or what was expected of him by people. He did what God called him to do. He gave his resources away to a man the world said was his enemy. David invested in the next generations. David took Mephibosheth into his home and treated him like an adopted and beloved son.
Why? Because David is an ambassador of God’s gospel! David knew he was blessed to bless others. 2 Samuel 9:7 records David’s motives, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan…” David says to Mephibosheth, “You shall eat at my table always” (v. 7).
Can you imagine what this must have been like for Mephibosheth when he heard those words, “Come dine with me”? A crippled outcast who came to the King deserving death, is invited to sit at the King’s Table…
“Come dine with me” (Brandon Atwood & Kevin Stonerock playing “Carbon Ribs”) (located at 1:12:40)
What David does for Mephibosheth may seem like a minor chapter in David’s story, but I believe this is one of the crowning moments of David’s life. This one action of love and compassion is of the richest examples of our Christian theology: It is a foretaste of Heaven on earth. This is a picture of Jesus Christ inviting us to the table to eat with him even though what he should do is kill us as an enemy of His Kingdom or at least leave us to live as outcasted cripples in our spiritual poverty. The Mephibosheth story is the Beatitudes coming alive 1,000 years before they were preached.
The Mephibosheth story is God’s grace that is the invitation of the Resurrected Jesus Christ who says from Heaven, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Jesus Christ invites us to Himself to know love!
Jesus Christ gave all of who He was, so that we could dine with Him and be with Him for eternity. Jesus Christ taught us love. The scandal of love that is seen in King David’s love for Mephibosheth is the foreshadowing of God’s saving love through Jesus Christ. It is undeserved grace!
King David inviting Mephibosheth to his table to dine is not only our invitation, but also our exhortation. King David’s story invites us to share the love that first loved us!
We are chosen to be His ambassadors of love. How do we transform our communities with this same love? Please watch this video…
True love is a love of giving, not receiving! True love is not fish love where you say you love someone or something because of what you can get from it. True love is giving because when you give a part of you it is now in the person you have given to. You love that which you invest yourself into. If you only invest in yourself, you will only love yourself. We must give to love; just as God gave us His Son to love us, cripples and rebels. How can God love us? Because God sees His Son in us! He has given to us His Son and put in us His Spirit; therefore, He loves us!
To transform our communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are to love our communities with the same love that King David loved Mephibosheth. We are to love our spouses, children & grandchildren, parents & grandparents, neighbors, coworkers and fellow students, family and church members, teammates and people in the communities we live, work, and play. We are ambassadors of His LOVE—a LOVE that GIVES!
This is the very reason that God made us and saved us. Just as King David was God’s answer to turn Israel back to Him; today, the Church—us, you and me—we are the answer to turn our communities back to God. We are ambassadors of Jesus Christ! We are the hope of the nations, starting here in East-Central Indiana!
This is who you are church and this is why God has saved you; live out your purpose: Be a transformed person by God’s love to transform people through God’s love. Be an ambassador of LOVE!