Joseph Prince - Take Heart, He Will Surely Show You Hesed Grace
Let's go right into the Word. John chapter 1, verse 17, one of my favorite, if not my favorite verse in the Bible. For the law, I have many, many, favorite verses, about you? All right, look at your neighbor beside you and say, "You know, I think we are in for an exciting feast for the next three hours". Your faith is not strong enough, only three, okay. "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ". So, the law was given through a servant. Grace and truth came, personally, through Jesus Christ. Grace and truth in Hebrew, hesed ve e'met.
Now, I'm gonna share with you the story of David and how hesed played a vital role in his life together with King Saul's family and Jonathan. And you're gonna see how this covenant works. So, we come to the story of Jonathan and David and what happened is after David killed Goliath, at the end of the battle, he was standing there before King Saul with the head of Goliath, it was very heavy because he was a nearly a ten-footer, all right? Jonathan, Saul's son from Saul's family looked at David and the Bible says, "God kneaded his heart", and this is what happened. He cut a covenant. He loved David as his own soul.
"And Jonathan took off the robe". This is how they did it those days, all right? "We'll take off our robe, which means my position is now your position. And gave it to David with his armor, even to his sword, and his bow, and his belt". You know, Jesus on the cross was completely naked. It's a picture of, you know, he took our nakedness and he took our shame, why? So that we can all be clothed. You are redeemed from shame, amen, it was paid for. He redeemed you from shame. Then what happened is that, you know, the celebration was so good, the people of Israel chased down the enemies and there was such a great celebration.
When Saul went back to his palace in Gibeah, the women starting singing and they had a latest hit, amen? Their best-selling song was "Saul had slain his thousands, David slayed 10,000". Then Saul's eyebrow went like this... So, Saul had this rising in his heart. What is that called? Jealousy. "Wow, they only gave me a thousand, gave David 10,000". That's the beginning of his animosity towards David. Now, David will come to Saul's presence when he was oppressed. An evil spirit came on Saul at times and oppressed him. It's a depression. By the way, in the Young's Bible it says, "A spirit of darkness, sadness, sadness, sadness will come on Saul", and then he will go crazy. He will start flowing spears at people and all that.
Today, they shoot at their furniture and their television, but in those days, you know, he will throw spears. And David will come and they will play his harp and all of a sudden, the evil spirit will just leave and he will feel happy again. But this time when jealousy came into his heart, something else happened. When David start playing, he had different reaction. He took the javelin, all right, he was jealous of David and he tried to kill David.
So, what happened is that there was a new moon coming up, a festival, and David was always eating with the king as well as being his armorbearer, you know, he was there invited to sit at the table, which he's normally doing, normally do. But now that this guy had gone crazy, you know, and he's bitter and all that towards, and jealous towards David and all that, and he's always having the javelin near him. So, David is trying to find an excuse not to attend that party. So, David told Jonathan, "Please, you know, let me know if the party you are there and your father". The party will last for a few days, three days. He says that, "before I attend, the first day, you gauge his mood, is he okay, all right? Let me know". And it's very sad.
You know, this whole thing, if you can I'll tell you right now, David represents God in this whole story. God is telling us this whole true story here that really happened, all right, in the Old Testament. He's telling us all this because there's a message for all of us. David represents God. Jonathan represents Jesus who came to be of the human, for man as a man from man's family, mankind. Saul represents all mankind. We've all sinned, correct, okay? So, Jesus came from the house of Saul, came as a man, you got it? Okay, so David here represents God and they both cut a covenant, like what I shared just now. Are you with me so far?
And then the Bible tells us he sat down there, and David wasn't there, and the father was holding the javelin and looking at David's empty seat. I'm looking at David when I point there. I'm looking at David's empty seat and he's holding his javelin and he look at his son, "Where's David"? So, his son try to explain and all that and out from Saul came this outburst. I thought it would be good for you to see this. "Then Saul's anger was aroused against Jonathan", his son, "and he said to him, 'You son of a perverse, rebellious woman!'" I don't know why he said that. "Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives". Son of Jesse is David, "Lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom".
Now, that is true, all right? He knows that David will become king, right, but he wanted to kill David. "Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die. And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, 'Why should he be killed? What has he done?'" You know, when I read this, it's very reminisce of this word, "Why, what has he done? What evil has he done"? Who said that? "Why, what has he done? What evil has he done"? Who said that? Pontius Pilate. Remember, he told the people, the leadership of Israel, "Why, what evil has he done? What evil has he done"?
Then Saul cast a spear at him, even his son cannot cast a spear. He escaped, of course, but "By which Jonathan knew that it was determined by his father to kill David. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had treated him shamefully". Second day of the month is the day of the feast. They're supposed to celebrate, they're supposed to eat, but he refused to eat, all right? Because his father had treated his best friend, his covenant brother, shamefully. The Bible goes on to say that he went to the field the next morning and he brought his assistant, the young man, the young man knows nothing.
David was hiding, the Bible says, near a rock, near the forest, and he took his three arrows and he shot as far as he can all the three arrows and he shouted, "Go". And the young man thought he was referring to him, "Go, go, go, go hence, make haste, don't stop. Quickly". And the young man run faster to get the arrows. It was a message for David. I believe there were tears in Jonathan's eyes. This will be one of the last times besides one more time he met David. But the Bible says that after the young man came back, he told the young man, "Go back home first".
And then out of the rock David came out and he met David one more time and this is what Jonathan said. He 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". What did Jonathan say? "The Lord be between me and you and our descendants, our descendants". In other words, all the descendants are part of the covenant benefits. Jesus cut a covenant, we are all the descendants. We are all the seed, that's why we are Abraham's seed. We actually are different from the people of the world, have you realized that? Whether you like it, you don't like it, they will treat us different because we are different. We are covenant people, amen.
I want to tell you this, the sad part. I've been there, my pastors Lawrence have been there. It was on Mount Gilboa where the battle between Saul and the Philistines were fought and Saul died there, okay, and then his three sons also died plus Jonathan died and when the news came back to David that Jonathan had died and Saul had died, he wept for them both. And the news came back to the family of Saul. "King Saul is dead, King Saul is dead on Mount Gilboa". So, there was a panic going on. They all start rushing and grabbing. Jonathan had one son.
Let's look at the story, 2 Samuel 4:4, "Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old". The nurse took him and fled. Five years old and it happened as she made haste to flee. You know, Lawrence, I was thinking of that place, the slope that went down. That's where I thought he might have been fallen. The maid fell, he fell, his feet was crushed. "It happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth".
Now, Hebrew scholars tell us there are two ways to define his name, Mephibosheth. Bo sheth means shame. That's established. But mephi they say can either mean breathing out shame or exterminating shame, okay, breathing out shame. That's how mankind lives. They breathe out shame. The things they are saying, you know, about themselves, the things they are seeing in their life, they have settled for that kind of life. Till finally, David ascended the throne and one day he looked at his hand, at his wrist and he saw the incision where he and Jonathan made an incision and this is what David said. "Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness, hesed, for Jonathan's sake"? Is there anyone left of the house of Saul after he became king? Is there anyone left?
God is saying the cry goes out throughout the earth. "Is there anyone left for whom Jesus died that I can show my kindness, my glory, my goodness, my blessings too". Then came a servant of Saul. He used to be the ex-servant of Saul, okay? His name is Ziba. He's from the house of Saul. He came to David, don't forget it says, "Servant of Saul". You're about to find real quick servant and son. When they had called him to David, the king says, "Are you Ziba"? At your service. The king said, "Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God"?
I love this expression. Hesed in the original it says, "Hesed Elohim", the kindness of God. He says, "You worked for Saul before, right"? Say, "Yes". "Do you know if there's any other child, anyone else from the house of Saul that I can show hesed, grace of God to"? "And Ziba said to the king, 'There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet'. So the king says, 'Where is he?' And Ziba said to the king, 'he's in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.'" Lo means no, debar means, either debar is God's Word, word, when you say word it's debar like the Book of Deuteronomy, debarim, plural, words. Debar is what? No word for debar can mean no pasture. It describes the place of Lo Debar, no pasture.
Imagine the prince living in a place and as he was growing up, Mephibosheth heard, "You are supposed to be on the throne, not David. You are supposed to be a prince, not living like this, not eating like this, not living in this kind of environment. You are supposed in live in a palace", you know? And that's what people tell, that's what the devil is telling mankind. So, you might as well believe there's no God, might as well believe that God doesn't care. "Oh, you believe in God? Just believe he's far away, he doesn't care". And all the other thoughts that went into Mephibosheth's heart, right? So, go on. "Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir, from Lo Debar".
I love this, you gotta stop here and said, he's sent and brought. You know, God didn't say, "You come to where I am". He came to where we were, amen? He went to find. God send his Son, amen? Like David went to his brothers in the field with bread and cheese and all that, God sent Jesus. Now, watch this, don't forget the picture of God, David is a picture of God, right? Who is Jonathan? Jesus, he died already. Now, when you use typology and all that, please don't from now on read your Bible. Everything Jonathan does means Jesus. Everything David does is God. Of course not, committing adultery and all that, David did and murder and all that.
So, you must know, you must know, all right, where is a type, where is a type? The story is a type to illustrate something because the Bible is so rich, it's multifaceted, multilevel, you know, interpretation. So, there's a story there and the number one interpretation is always Jesus. He's in all the Scriptures, amen? So, the Bible says Mephibosheth was found, the son of Jonathan. So, they brought Mephibosheth to David's palace and when he was there, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David says, "Mephibosheth". And he answered. He must have some... his father's looks still. Here is your servant. David said to him, "Do not fear. I will surely show you kindness".
In the Hebrew, it is a double. I will surely, that's why he put the word "surely". "I will show you kindness for Jonathan, your father's sake. Hesed, I will show you grace for Jonathan your father's sake". Hey, look up here, God is saying to you, "I will surely show you grace in your situation. Right now you think that you're all by yourself, you think that oh, I'm advancing in age. I'll be left all alone". God is saying, "I will surely show you grace for Jesus's sake", amen. You say that, "I do not know, the doctors says there are medications like that and three in one will not make it and all that".
Hey, forget about that. God says, "I will surely show you hesed, I will show you grace for Jesus's sake, amen, amen? I don't have enough. I will surely show you, show you, not anyone else, show you they may get to know, but it's not for them. Surely show you, hesed, for Jesus's sake, amen? And will restore to you, restoration". Even you have lost when God shows you hesed, grace, kindness, all that's lost will come back. "And restore to you all the land of Saul, your grandfather and you shall eat bread at my table continually". Don't we take communion, huh? The Bible of the Lord, hey, come on. "You will eat at the king's table with all my sons. You will eat at my table continually". "Then he bowed himself, and said, 'What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?'"
Dead dog is Hebrewism for garbage, okay? Why would you, he's breathing out, what? Shame. Remember his name? Mephibosheth, bo sheth means shame, okay? Drop down. "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.'" Listen, this is important. I underlined that, first let me read this. "You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him". To the servant, Saul's servant, he says, "You will work the land for him". For Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth, "I have given".
You know the difference? To the child of grace, God says, "You don't work, you receive. I have given". To the servant God says, "You work and you work for him". Now, look up here, when David spoke to Jonathan, when God speaks to the child of grace, no word of command, just grace. "Do not be afraid, I will surely show you. I will restore to you. I have given". Only grace, no command, no laws. To the servant, those who have the religion of the servant, those who have a spirit of the servant, this is how they live. No grace, no word of grace spoken, only command. "You till the land, you work, you do this, you and your sons", right?
Do you know the difference now, servant and son? You are a son, you're not a servant. I like the way it ends. It says here, drop down all the way. "So, Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem for he ate continually at the king's table". And then the Holy Spirit put this there, "And he was lame in both his feet".
Now, look up here, people. Look up here. Why did God says, "He was lame in both his feet"? Some people say, all right, you cannot be lame... and by the way, he realized that there's a rumor, right? You cannot be lame, not just your jokes, you cannot be lame in your walk with God, you cannot be lame and come to God's presence. But you know something? He was lame when he came to God's presence. He didn't have a perfect walk. Continually, the Holy Spirit is reminding us, your work, your walk will never be perfect but you can eat continually. And you know what happens when you eat at a table? Your feet is hidden. So, God is saying to you, "Hey, you know something? Don't look at your lame feet, look at the table at all the goodness of God spread out for you". Are you with me so far?
There came a time later on, David will flee from Jerusalem because of Absalom. The Bible tells us there you see the heart of Mephibosheth. He never shaved his beard, that's why Mephi-bosheth. He never shaved his beard until David came back. His heart was longing for David. You see, he's the real character. His heart was longing for David, whereas Ziba showed his real color. He didn't have a heart for the king. He coveted Saul's land. So, you know what? When we look at this, we can't tell the result, the fruit, the works, right? Time will tell but the child of grace had a heart for the king, but the servant who says, "All that you command me I will do", had a heart for the land, the land of the king, not the king. When love touches your heart, you love the divine lover and you are loved. Now come, eat, and be strong, amen? He loves you. He will surely show you kindness. Give praise to God, Hallelujah.