WEEK 40, Day 3, Wednesday, 5 October 2022

https://esv.literalword.com/?q=2+samuel+9%3B+James+2

Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 5 October 2022:

Listen to the message by Dr. R.C. Sproul on David’s life and character revealed in 2 Samuel 9 and how David’s relationship with Mephibosheth relates to Jesus and our salvation: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/life-of-david/the-cripple-at-the-table

2 Samuel 9:8 — What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?

2 Samuel 9:13 – So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

“God entered into a covenant with David, promising to sustain His love for Jesse’s son and to raise up one of his descendants to reign forever (2 Sam. 7:1–17). Yet in the history of Israel, people other than the Lord also made covenants. Significantly, David made a covenant with Saul’s son Jonathan. Jonathan pledged his loyalty to David, and David swore not to cut off his steadfast love to Jonathan’s house (1 Sam. 18:1–5; 20:12–17).

Today’s passage describes how David kept his covenant commitment to Jonathan after Jonathan’s death. At the height of his power, when it would have been easy for him to ignore his promises to Jonathan, David instead went out of his way to keep the covenant. We read of David’s search for someone from the house of Saul to whom he could show “kindness” for Jonathan’s sake (2 Sam. 9:1, 3). The word translated “kindness” here is the Hebrew word hesed, which is difficult to convey in English with only one word. Hesed, as we saw in our look at the book of Ruth, is a weighty concept. It refers to enduring covenant love, the kind of love that seeks the good of the covenant partner and does not break its promises. The word appears three times in 2 Samuel 9—in verses 1, 3, and 7—and it expresses David’s wholehearted desire to honor his commitment to Jonathan.

Hesed, let us note, consists of more than a sentiment. It bears fruit in tangible action. When David showed hesed to Jonathan’s house through Mephibosheth, he did so by giving him all that belonged to his grandfather Saul and seating him at the king’s table (vv. 9–13). He demonstrated the kind of covenant love that John describes: “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). A declaration of covenant love is insufficient; it must be evidenced in action. When we enter into covenant with the Lord by trusting in Him and joining the church, we fulfill the covenant by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ in tangible ways: making them meals, praying for their children, supporting them during a job loss, and so forth. When we enter into the marriage covenant, we fulfill it by respecting our husbands, doing acts of love for our wives, putting our spouses’ needs before our own, and so forth.

Mephibosheth did not deserve David’s hesed. After all, he was part of the household of his enemy, Saul. But David loved him anyway. David’s greatest Son—the Lord Jesus Christ—did this in an even greater way, loving His enemies enough to die for them.

The deep and abiding covenant love that David showed to Mephibosheth is an example for us today. We are to love those who are not necessarily able to do anything for us—the orphan, the widow, and others who may be unable to repay our kindness. If we are not loving such individuals, particularly within the body of Christ, we are not being faithful to the Lord.” (R. C. Sproul)

The appropriate response to grace is humility.

James 2:1 — My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

Partiality is a sin because it involves viewing others from your selfish perspective rather than from God’s perspective. It is the first form of judging others wrongly.

James 2:10 – For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

Only by seeing lawlessness from God’s perspective can we get a true sense of how terrible sin is before a Holy God. Only by understanding how guilty we are and how hopeless our condition as sinners do we truly appreciate the Cross of Christ and the mercy that we have received. Only then are we inspired by grateful love to truly obey from the heart and to show grace and mercy to other hopeless sinners.

James 2:12, 13 — So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Many ‘Christians’ act like grace is freedom from the consequences of sin rather than acting like grace is the freedom not to sin. It is a much graver thing to be judged under the law of liberty rather than to be judged under the written law. What is left to be said of the person who accepts the sacrifice of the Son of God for their sins and then turns around and sins unremorsefully? The unsaved cannot help but sin and haven’t the power of the Spirit and of love, but the saved who live by faith also live by love which by default hates the sin that God hates. No one should be more horrified by sin than the Christian.

“For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” God will treat you the way you treat others. Do you rely on mercy from God for your transgressions while demanding justice be imposed on those who have offended you?

James 2:19, 20 — You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

Many who claim to be Christian don’t even have a demon-level of faith — they don’t even shudder. Believing in Jesus isn’t the same as having a saving faith in Jesus, humbly trusting, following, and loving Jesus. The Great Commission does not call us to go into the world and make “believers;” it calls us to make “disciples,” disciplined, followers of Christ who are motivated by love to obey Him – “Go therefore and make disciples… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Obedience is not the path to salvation but rather the evidence of salvation and the natural fruit of salvation. “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” (Proverbs 20:11) “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.” (1 John 2:3, 4)

  • Psalm 96:9 — Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
  • Psalm 99:1 — The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
  • Luke 6:46 — Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
  • Matthew 7:21 — “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
  • 1 John 2:6 — …whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
  • 1 John 3:24 — Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
  • 2 John 1:9 — Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
  • 1 John 5:3 — For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 5 October 2022: Today, pray for a perspective of the Gospel which will compel you in love and appreciation to obey God with joy, cleansing yourself from defilement and laying aside the weight of sin which has been weighing you down — “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2)

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