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Grace in Lo-Debar

David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’” (2 Samuel 9:1)

That word “kindness” is one of those important Hebrew words, hesed – sometimes translated as loving kindness. We might think of the synonym grace.

After the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, David ascended Israel’s throne. We find him inquiring about anyone still alive from his friend Jonathan’s family to whom he can show grace. Why? Because he had made a promise to protect Jonathan’s family (see 1 Sam. 20:13-17).

By way of context, it was customary in the middle eastern world at this time, when one dynasty took over, to make sure the new regime solidified its reign by killing everyone in the previous dynasty. You don’t want someone showing up laying claim to the throne or starting a revolt!

At the time of David’s promise to Jonathan, it was obvious to everyone that David was on the rise and would soon be king. What Jonathan was asking for was a big deal. David had the “right” to wipe out Saul’s family. Jonathan was asking for grace…for mercy.  David agreed without hesitation.

“Is there anyone left I can show kindness to like I said I would?” David didn’t ask if there was anyone qualified to receive his kindness…anyone deserving mercy…anyone worthy. Simply…is there anyone?

“…Ziba [a former servant of Saul] answered the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet…He is…in Lo Debar.’” (2 Samuel 9:3-4) He’s a nobody. You probably don’t want him…

David didn’t care. That’s the way grace is. Grace isn’t picky. Grace isn’t earned. You don’t have to be “worthy” to receive grace, don’t have to be a perfect specimen or smart or good looking…grace is totally one-sided and unearned.

And aren’t we grateful! Don’t miss Sunday’s message, “Grace in Lo-Debar.”

See you there!


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