2 Samuel 9, Part 2: When Nothing Else Could Help
In last week’s lesson, the story of Mephibosheth’s encounter with King David, was a picture of God’s Grace. This study led us to Ephesians 3:20, 21 which speaks of the immeasurable greatness of God who is able. Let’s pick up where we left off last week by looking into the truths in these two verses: “ Now to Him, Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Last week we looked at the first word- NOW. Paul has spent the first three chapters of this letter to Ephesus telling us what we possess which led us up to this crescendo of a promise contained in the above verses. Paul wants to get us to realize right NOW we can reach from earth to the third heaven to the very throne room of heaven. Right now in this present moment we can be whisked into the presence of the God Who is Able. Like Mephibosheth was brought to King David, our prayers bring us into His presence just as Ziba brought M into King David’s presence. It does not matter what seemingly impossible, troubling, crippling circumstances have brought you here. These troubles are not troublemakers- they are glory makers. We stand as finite creatures before the Infinite Almighty God, Who has poured out His love and blessings on us. It made John proclaim what manner of lavish love is this, that we might be called the children of God. Can you imagine the wonder of it all- standing before the Infinite Great I Am.
Then Paul implied Now we are to turn to Him. Do you realize what caused you to turn to Him? Your troubles, your trials, your helpless situation to which you could not find a solution, no matter how hard you tried. We were created for an abundant life. Look at creation and all God created for us. He placed eternity into our hearts. And ever since paradise was lost, man was born with a desire for paradise, and an abundant life which satisfies our desires. Jesus told us this in the clearest verse of contrast: “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10: 10)
Now turn your eyes from staring at your problem to look full in His Wonderful Face of the One Who is able. Meet your King, the King of Kings, for which nothing is impossible. Just in the last few days, my internet went down; my smart TV won’t work and my printer quit printing. I am so tired of the warp speed merry-go-round of this ever- changing technology, I could scream. Look at what it has done? Technology has given us things we did not know we needed and now cannot live without. I hear this complaint from people my age all the time. The world is changing too fast- and faster is not always better, is it? But there is One who is Unchanging and Unhurried. Who is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow and forever. He is the One called, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the unchanging Absolute Truth. This is truth which will set you free.
This is the Truth, the absolute, unchanging truth the King of Kings is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think. He is unstoppable, unlimited, all powerful- in fact He is power. Nothing is impossible for Him. I know what your question is- it’s the same one M asked each morning when his crippled useless feet hit the floor as he reached for his crutches. Why has this happened to me and why is God not doing anything? Of course we know God was doing something. And these stories were written so we might through patience and the encouragement of the Scripture have hope.
I do not know what your problem is- but I know whom I have believed and I am persuaded He can keep that which I have committed to Him. I also have asked Him, like you: why, why, why? There are no easy answers to the question of His timing or His actions. I do know in droughts tree roots grow deeper. And Paul is praying for you and me that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, that you and I may be more deeply rooted and grounded in His love. So one explanation is the wait is to achieve greater growth by deepening the roots of our faith.
*So let me be as clear as I possibly can: When God does not do something we ask Him to do, the way we want Him to do it, and when we want Him to do it- that IS GOD’S BUSINESS. In John 6, we have one of my favorite miracles, a teaching miracle. Jesus and the disciples find themselves in an out-of-the way location, where they had gone for some R&R. But a huge crowd found out and followed them there. Much to the disciples’ dismay, Jesus does not send them away and they end up by day’s end with hungry crowd and they are far from resources. Jesus feeds what is estimated to be 15-20,000 people with a little boy’s sack lunch of 5 barley loaves and 2 fish. Plus there was 12 baskets full left over. Exceedingly abundant! The next day the people want to know what they can do to work the works of God? In other words how can we live this type of life every day? What must we do? Listen to the answer: “This is the work of God that you believe in Him Whom He sent. “ (John 6:29)
God can choose to do what He wants to do when and how He wants to do it. That is HIS BUSINESS. He told us He is working all things together for good. He has told us He will never leave us. He has told us He will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly. So what is MY Business- OUR business is to believe in the One whom God has sent.
Let’s think about what we know about Paul who is telling us this truth. How did Paul learn this truth? He learned to trust God, for trust is a learned response, by being put in situations, trials, troubles and circumstances which he could do nothing about. In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul says he was in a situation where he feared for his life that he was going to die. Paul was scared to death. When delivered, he looked back and said this happened so we should not trust ourselves but trust God. Paul did not get the “thorn in his flesh” removed for Jesus said His grace was sufficient and His strength made perfect in weakness. The power of powerlessness.
Who or what is defining abundance and what the abundant life looks like? Jesus was always the happiest, most joyful, at peace person in the room. Yet He knew what lay ahead and the only things He owned were the robe on His back and a pair of sandals. Do you see our problem, for it is my problem also, we put our eyes on what our culture says is the abundant life. Jesus said in Matthew 6: “For after all these things the pagans run after. For your Heavenly Father KNOWS YOU HAVE NEED ALL THESE THINGS.” But we are cautioned not to lay up treasures on earth but in heaven. For where our treasure is our hearts will be also. He tells us clearly what the priority should be and the reward which will follow: “But seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6: 33)
There was a famine in the land of Israel in the time of the Judges. And a man, his wife and two sons when to the country of Moab where there was bread. The man from Bethlehem was named Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and two sons. They would dwell there 10 years. The ten years turned into a crisis for Naomi as her husband and both of her sons died. She was a widow with two daughter-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth, Moabite women. We know Ruth stayed with here mother-in-law and went back to Bethlehem, even though Naomi tried to talk her out of it. In Bethlehem, Ruth immediately went to work gleaning the leftovers from the fields. This is a law given by God through Moses to take care of the poor. For God knows what we need before we ask Him. Before Ruth went out that first morning, she prayed to God she would find favor in the eyes of the owner of the field. There is so much in this little book of Ruth. It is not only a great love story, but story of God’s providence and an Old Testament picture of our Kinsman Redeemer who is able to do what is needed to care for us.
So it was not by coincidence Ruth picks the field to glean just as Boaz, who is a kinsman of Naomi, just as Boaz enters the same field and notices Ruth. Perhaps she is a pretty. Perhaps she is a hard worker or just the fact that she is as stranger causes Boaz, son of Salmon and Rahab to inquire about her. And with this first look, Boaz’s heart is beginning to fall in love. This is the union which will eventually produce Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, through whom Jesus will come. Do you see how God is watching over us? His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. The law of gleaning was given years and years before Ruth walked out that morning, prayed up and believing God was able to provide for her and Naomi. From collecting the scraps to marrying the owner of the field- I would call that exceedingly abundant.
Do you believe you possess all the things Paul has written in this letter so far? Jesus first miracle was He changed the water into wine at the wedding. Knowing and believing all these promises and all these possessions changes everything.
When we believe with all our heart, mind, will and emotions our King, the King of Kings can do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think, IT CHANGES EVERYTHING.
It changes the way we live and the way we die.
It changes the way we pray and the way we praise.
It changes our whole outlook of life. Mephibosheth was still cripple, but he was sitting at the table of the King and being treated as one of his own sons. He knew without a doubt, King David was capable of meeting all his needs.
What are you asking your King to do for you? Do you know what you already have? He had forgiven you of ALL your sins. He has blessed you with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in heaven. He heals you of ALL YOUR DISEASES. He invites ALL WHO ARE WEARY to come to Him. He tells us: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED.”
We are told not to worry about anything but pray about everything.
We are told by the One called Wonderful Counselor not to lay up treasures on earth where moth and rush corrupt and thieves break into steal. But lay up treasure for yourselves in heaven where neither moth or rust corrupt and thieves do not break into to steal. In fact you can enjoy them forever. There will be no dumps or junkyards in heaven, for everything God makes and does last forever. There will be no garage sales or Goodwill where we dispose of things we do not need anymore.
He cautioned us where our treasure was, our hearts would be also. And you cannot serve two masters, for you will despise one of them and cling to the other.
We do not need to go through life – wishing and hoping. We are told to ask, seek and knock. God allows us to have needs so we will come to Him and connect our life to His life and find the abundant life. Finding life’s purpose in a personal relationship with Jesus. Discovering the truth which sets you free.
It is interesting the first disciple’s decision to follow Jesus came as a result of an empty boat. Remember- their boat was empty that morning Jesus came by and ask if they could allow him to teach from the boat to the people on shore. They had fished all night and caught nothing. They were putting up their nets and getting ready to go home. After Jesus finished teaching He asked Peter to push out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.” You know what happened- they caught such a great catch their net was breaking and they called for the others to come out and help them. Even then Peter showed us something about himself and ourselves- Peter thought he knew better than the Lord. It was not a good time to go fishing. Peter knew the lake like the back of his hand. In other words Peter knew more about fishing than the Lord. Nevertheless, something about Jesus, caught his attention and he pushed out. Notice Peter let down a net, not nets, for he thought this was a useless exercise and the sooner they got through with this the sooner they could go home. But he was just beginning to learn, as we all do, God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think.
It is interesting where Paul takes us after these first three chapters in the last three chapters. He immediately tells us to starting ‘walking the walk we are worthy of the calling to which we were called.’ Walk in unity. Walk in love. Walk wisely. Paul then tells us to be FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. This is our source of power. God is not only all powerful- He is power.
Are you coming using ¾’s of your strength and asking God to top off the tank? How foolish Paul would say to the Galatians, having begun in the Spirit trying to finish in the flesh. Come empty of self and get all of God. The volume you bring will be directly related to volume you receive.
Empty yourself of doubts in His ability and let Him fill you with His power which is available right now if you will turn to Him. Mephibosheth’s life and view of life was transformed.
My life boat sinking and far from the peaceful shore. It was filled with sin. I was sinking to rise no more. But the Master of the Sea heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me now safe am I.
All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling. In His blessed presence live every His praises sing. Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs. Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.
Love lifted, love lifted me. WHEN NOTHING ELSE COULD HELP- Love lifted me.
Helpless and hopeless I was until that day He heard my despairing cry and from the waters lifted me now safe am I.