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Growing in Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
August 22, 2021 7:00 pm

Grace

Growing in Grace / Doug Agnew

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August 22, 2021 7:00 pm

Join us for worship- For more information about Grace Church please visit www. graceharrisburg.org.

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If you have your Bibles with you, turn with me if you would to 2 Samuel chapter 19. We're going to start with verses 9 through 15.

King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar the priest. Bow with me as we go to our Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, I pray for Martin Ephard this morning as he is struggling to breathe. I ask Father that you have mercy on him and his wife Kim. Lord, you are our healer.

You're our great physician. We pray, Father, that you would do for Martin what the doctors have not been able to do. We pray, Lord, that you'll give him the ability to breathe again and that, Lord, his lungs will begin to function as they should. I pray, Heavenly Father, for Joe Gale's eye as it's healing. I pray, Heavenly Father, for Diane Joyner's mother and dad as they too are healing. I pray, Heavenly Father, for Dan's son who we mentioned this morning, deeply concerned about his salvation. Lord, there is not just one in our congregation who's dealing with that kind of hurt.

There are many. And I ask, Heavenly Father, that you have mercy on all of our covenant children. That, Lord, you would deal with the hearts of those who have not trusted you yet.

And, Lord, you would do in their hearts that work that only you can do. Father, for months we have been dealing with battles and wars and fights and skirmishes. We've been faced with horrible sins, adultery, murder, disloyalty, disobedience, betrayal to name a few.

But today we breathe the fresh air of grace. We see David being restored as king. We see a man who could have returned filled with bitterness and anger.

That's not what happened. David comes home as a loving shepherd. He restores, he forgives, he tests, and he rewards. He ministers grace to Israel. In no time in David's life was he more like Jesus than in this period of time. His enemies are silenced, his friends are blessed, and Israel gets a preview of the Messiah to come. Lord, help me to preach Christ in this Old Testament text. Open the scripture for us that Jesus will be exalted and that your people at Grace Church will be motivated to love Jesus more. We ask this prayer now in the precious and holy name of Jesus, for it is in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

You may be seated. Absalom is dead. 20,000 of his soldiers are dead. The rebellion is finished. The Civil War has ended. And now David's generals are bringing him back to Jerusalem that he might retake the throne. Wow.

You talk about an awkward situation. Over half the nation of Israel has been swept off their feet by the winsomeness of Absalom. The scripture says that Absalom stole the hearts of Israel away from David. Absalom convinced Israel that he would be a better king, a smarter king, a kinder king, a more compassionate king than David would. And many bought into that those lies of Absalom. And they decided it would be better for David to die and Absalom to come to the throne. But now Absalom is buried.

He's buried under a huge mound of rocks. And David is headed back to Jerusalem to retake the throne. How do you make that transition if you're David?

That's a tough thing to do. How can you rule over people who have rejected you, people who have betrayed you, people who say that they hate you and they even want you dead? What is David to do?

Well, there are a lot of people there in Israel that know exactly or think they know exactly what David ought to do. And they say, David, you need to seek vengeance. You need to get justice. You need to cancel these people out. You need to take their jobs away from them. You need to execute their leaders.

You need to do them in. Make examples of them, David. You make examples of them, then this crazy stuff won't happen again. And David says no to that. David says, no, that's not what we're gonna do.

This is not the time to seek revenge. This is the time that Israel needs healing. This is the time that Israel needs to see a king who will respond to them in genuine grace and in genuine mercy. You know, if you go through the Old and New Testament, you'll see often that the Messiah is referred to as the Son of David. David is a picture.

He is a type. He is a sign. He is a symbol of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who would come a thousand years after David died. David is a picture of Christ. Now, he's by no means a perfect picture of Christ, but who David was and what David did points us to Jesus.

2 Samuel chapter 19 is a portfolio of grace. I don't think there's any other place in the Bible where David pictures Jesus as beautifully as he does in 2 Samuel chapter 19. When David slew Goliath, he pointed us to Jesus the judge. When David wrote the Psalms, he pointed us to Jesus the prophet. When David prayed for Israel, he pointed us to Jesus the priest. When David became the king and went to the throne, he pointed us to Jesus the king. But when David forgave Israel, who had betrayed him and gave them grace, he pointed us to Jesus the Savior. Folks, don't ever study the life of David and not focus on Jesus.

Four points I want to share with you today. Number one is restoring grace. Look at verses 9 through 14. And all the people were arguing that all the tribes of Israel same. The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines. And now he has fled out of the land from Absalom.

But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore, why do you say nothing about bringing the king back? And King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar the priest. Say to the elders of Judah, why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house? When the word of all Israel has come to the king, you are my brothers, you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king? And say to Amasa, are you not my bone and my flesh?

God, do so to me and more also if you were not commander of my army from now on in place of Joab. And he swayed the heart of all the men of Judah as one man. So they sent word to the king, returned both you and all your servants. So the king came back to Jordan and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king to bring the king over to Jordan. When Israel and Judah received news that Absalom had died, it was an oh-no moment for Israel. They had put all their eggs in the wrong basket. They had turned away from David and went after him to kill him and they had tried to put Absalom on the throne. Now Absalom is dead and David is ready to retake the throne.

What are they going to do? They were scared to death that David was going to enact a vengeance, that he was going to seek justice, that he was going to do them in, that he would execute them. And they knew that they deserved it.

They knew that. Folks, what a picture that is of us before we came to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Before we came to Christ, what were we like? We were people who said, we don't want Jesus ruling and reigning over us.

No, we don't want that. We love our pleasure, our stuff, and our sin. And we believe our pleasure, our stuff, and our sin gives us great joy and great happiness. And then the Lord did a mighty work in our life and he woke us up spiritually and he showed us that pleasure and stuff and sin were just false idols. That they don't bring us joy, that they just bring us sadness and death.

That, my brothers and sisters, is a spiritual dilemma. We are guilty and we knew that we were guilty and everybody else knew that we were guilty. Most of all, God knew that we were guilty. What should that do to us when we get to that point? It should fill us with the fear of God.

It ought to make us shake in our boots. We don't deserve God's grace. We don't deserve God's mercy. We don't deserve a second chance. We don't deserve it. We deserve God's justice. We deserve hell.

But what happened? Jesus said, I love you anyway. He said, and I died for you. I suffered your hell for you. I took your punishment.

I bore your misery on the cross. Now you don't have to run from God. Now you can run to God. Amazing grace.

How sweet the sound. It saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found. Was blind but now I see. It was grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.

How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed. So what did David do? David sent Zadok, the high priest, along with another priest.

His name was Abiathar. He sent them to Judah. It's very interesting that he sent them to Judah first.

Why did they go to Judah first? Judah was David's tribe. That was his family. That was his kinfolk. That was his people. Of all the people in Israel, Judah should have been the one that stuck by him but they did not. They betrayed him. So Zadok and Abiathar go to the tribe of Judah and they say to the tribe of Judah, David wants to be your king and he wants your loyalty and he wants your love.

He wants your love. And to assure you of that love, he is going to take Amasa and he is going to raise him to be the commander over his whole army. He's going to remove Joab, who killed David's son Absalom, and he's going to replace him with Amasa.

Who is Amasa? Amasa had been the commander of Absalom's troops. He had been the one who was seeking after David to kill him. And now David is going to make him the commander of his army. I think this probably shocked Judah. They said, is David going to trust a traitor? David is going to trust a man who was trying to kill him?

Hmm. David could have ordered Amasa's execution. Could have put him to death for treason. Could have said, stone him, behead him, take his life, do him in.

He could have said that. Instead, he gives him the second most powerful position in all the land. When Jesus died for us, his death is called a propitiation. That word is a big theological word that means appeasing the wrath of God. Our sin was so vile, it was so wicked, it was so abhorrent to God that it separated us from God and it made us his enemies. Justice had to be served because God is a perfectly just God. Folks, the just answer for our sin was hell.

It was hell. When Jesus died on the cross, he suffered our hell for us. That was a substitutionary atonement.

But propitiation is included in this. The shed blood of Jesus satisfied the wrath of God against us. That is an amazing thing and created a reconciliation between a holy God and a sinful man. Let me read you what 2nd Corinthians 5 20 and 21 says. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin that in him we might become the righteousness of God. That's what David is doing for Judah. He is reconciling Judah to himself.

Let me ask you something. Who took the initiative here? Was it Judah? Oh no, it was David. Who took the initiative in your salvation?

Let me tell you who did. It was God. Folks, we didn't go seeking after God. God came seeking after us. Listen, you're not a child of God destined for heaven because you are wiser or because you're smarter or because you're more spiritual or because you were born in the right family.

If you are destined for heaven, if you are headed for heaven right now, let me tell you why. It's because God reached down from heaven. He reached down from heaven. He opened your spiritual eyes. He opened your spiritual ears. He opened your spiritual heart.

He brought conviction of sin into your life and then drew you to himself through the shed blood of Jesus. Brothers and sisters, when you stand before God in heaven at heaven's gate and they say to you, why should you be ushered into heaven? You're not going to point back to your goodness into your wisdom.

You're not going to point to your accomplishments and your achievements. You're not going to say, well this is why I merited God's favor. You're going to say this, Jesus paid it all. Jesus paid it all. He took my sin and gave me His righteousness. He took my hell and suffered my hell and gave me His heaven.

Your salvation is a work of God from start to finish. David met with Judah. He met with them in a place called Gilgal.

That was important. Gilgal is a little place right there on the Jordan River, and when Joshua was getting ready to go in and take the Promised Land, first place he went was Gilgal. While he was there, he renewed the covenant of God with Israel.

Now, that's where they are now. And the word Gilgal means rolled away. Folks, God was saying to Israel, today I have rolled away your approach. So David is saying that he is forgiving them for their betrayal, and he is rolling away the barriers and the blockages that separated them during Absalom's mess. I want you to know this, when a lost person turns from his sin and trusts Jesus and Jesus alone for his salvation, then Jesus rolls away the judgment and replaces it with grace. Roger Ellsworth said the following, The truth is that we all from time to time become infatuated with some Absalom and recklessly pursue it without regard to God's will, even as Israel of old did. But God does not wash his hands of us. He would be justified in doing so, but he patiently bears with us, forgives us and restores us to fellowship with himself. Instead of ruling over his people with a rod of iron, Christ, like David, desires to rule in our hearts and so restores his sinful people by appeals of mercy and grace. So with Judah, there was restoring grace.

Second point is there is forgiving grace. Look at verse 16 through 23. And Shemaiah the son of Gerah the Benjamite from Bahoram, hurried to come down to the men of Judah to meet King David. And with him were a thousand men from Benjamin. And Ziba the servant of the house of Saul with his fifteen sons and twenty servants rushed down to the Jordan before the king.

And they crossed the four to bring over the king's household to do his pleasure. Shemaiah the son of Gerah fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan and said to the king, Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart, for your servant knows that I have sinned.

Therefore behold I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph, to come down to meet my lord the king. Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, Shall not Shemaiah be put to death for this because he cursed the Lord's anointed? But David said, What have I to do with you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me?

Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel? And the king said to Shemaiah, You shall not die.

And the king gave him his oath. You remember Shemaiah, the earnestly bath of the Old Testament? Do you remember when David and his men were fleeing from Absalom and Shemaiah was up on the hill that overlooked where David and his men were walking? Shemaiah starts cursing David, screaming at him, accusing him of things he didn't do, and telling him that he was threatening David's life.

Many starts throwing rocks at David. I'm telling you, this guy was like a five-year-old spoiled brat, and yet he was a commander. He had a thousand soldiers that were under his command.

But now Absalom is dead. David is headed back to Jerusalem to once again rule his king, and Shemaiah makes his way to David. He says, What in the world have I done?

And now what am I gonna do? He couldn't deny what he had done. David and all his men remember very vividly what this goofball had done. He had done all kinds of things against David. He had cursed him, he had accused him of trying to kill Saul, he had threatened his life, and then he's throwing rocks at David trying to bash him in the head. He couldn't deny that. There were thousands of witnesses there that saw him do just that. So he could have said, Well, what is this?

It's not a big deal. I didn't really do anything all that bad. Couldn't do that because he knew this was treason. So he decides to be honest, to be humble, and to be broken.

Or at least he wanted to appear to be honest, humble, and broken. So he goes before David, he bows down before him, and he says, I am guilty. I have sinned. I lied about you. I accused you of things that you didn't do. I threatened your life.

I threw rocks at you. I am guilty. He says, David, all I can do is beg for your mercy. All I can do is ask you to have grace on me. I am repentant.

I am broken. I'm just asking that you save my life. Spare my skin. David, please don't execute me. Now I know that he said all that, but I have serious doubt to whether he really meant it. I think he got caught, and he was just trying everything he could to save his skin.

Ralph David said this, There is no reason to hold that Shimei had undergone any massive change of heart. He had committed a tactical error called treason, and now he must save his skin if he can. He does not submit to David out of love, but out of policy. He recognizes the reality of power in politics and adapts himself accordingly. If this was his attitude, Shimei represents many today who come to church not out of a genuine devotion to Christ, but out of self-interest.

There are business connections to be made in the North Acts, or perhaps parents or a spouse who can be mollified by attending worship. Remember Abishai? When Shimei was cussing David, cursing him, when he was accusing David, when he was threatening David's lies, when he was throwing rocks at David, Abishai wanted David's generals right beside him.

And Abishai said, David, I can't deal with this. Let me go get him. I want to go up there right now. I will chop his head off. I will feed his carcass to the buzzards.

By this time next week, he'll be a weak old ghost. Let me go! And David says, no, no. Shimei's being used of God in my life like heavenly sandpaper. He is scraping off things in my life that don't look like God. He said, he's like my thorn in the flesh. Remember Paul talking about his thorn in the flesh in 2nd Corinthians 12? Thorn in the flesh, he said, was a messenger of Satan sent to buffet him. Prayed about it three times, begging God to take it out of his life, and God says, no. He said, Paul, understand this, my grace is sufficient for you.

I'm leaving it in your life because it's being used in your life as much as you hate it to make you more like Jesus. Folks, this is what Shimei's dealing with here. I mean, what David's dealing with about Shimei. He said, Shimei is a horrible man that he is being used as my thorn in the flesh to make me more like God. And after that, Abishai just kind of backed off.

He says, I understand. But now we're in a few days later, and Absalom has died. Now they're back in Jerusalem, and Abishai is looking right in the eye of Shimei again. Look what it says in verse 21. Abishai says, shall not Shimei be put to death for this? Because he cursed the Lord's anointed. David just kind of shakes his head, and he says, look, look Abishai, Shimei is no threat to us.

He's asked for forgiveness, and I'm gonna give it. He turns around to Shimei and he says, you will not die. What did we say David was? We said David was a type, a picture, a symbol, a sign of Jesus Christ who would come a thousand years after David had died. How did Shimei look at David at this point?

I don't think he looked at him as an enemy any longer. I think he looked at him as a Savior. A thousand years after David died, there was a Pharisee who was traveling from Jerusalem to Damascus. His name was Saul of Tarsus. As he was traveling, he was going for the purpose of getting permission slips to kill Christians. And on the way, all of a sudden, Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord in all of his glory, appeared before Saul.

The glory blinded Saul. He fell down in the ground weeping and looking up to Jesus, calling him Lord. And right there on that road, he was converted to Christ. Not because he was seeking forgiveness, not because he was out looking for Jesus, because he wasn't. He was converted because Christ came to him with a merciful call to salvation. Later Paul said it this way, Christ Jesus came in the world to save sinners of whom I am chief. David spared Shimei's life not because of his integrity, not because of his sincerity, but because of David's grace, pardoning and forgiving grace.

Alright, my point three is attesting grace. Look at verse 24 through 30. And Mephibosheth, the son of Saul, came down to meet the king.

He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes. From the day the king departed till the day came back in safety. When he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth? He answered, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said to him, I will saddle a donkey for myself that I may ride on it and go with your king. For your servant is lame. He has slandered your servant to my lord the king, but my lord the king is like the angel of God to do therefore what seems good to you. For all my father's house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I then to cry to the king? And the king said to him, Why speak any more of your affairs?

I have decided you and Ziba shall divide the land. Mephibosheth said to the king, Let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home." You remember Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son? Five years old, Jonathan has just died in battle.

Mephibosheth is being carried by his servant. The servant falls on him, breaks both of his legs. He's laying for the rest of his life, almost total immobility. Well, his people start talking to him about David, and now David is king and you were an heir to the throne. David's gonna be after you to kill you. And so he runs down to a place called Lodibar.

Lodibar is the wilderness. He gets down there and several years he's there. He just grows in his hatred toward David, wants David dead. David finally hears that there is a son of Jonathan still living. David sends his troops to go get him.

Those troops get him and they bring him back. Mephibosheth thinks that that's done in order that they might execute him, but David surprises him. David brings him in, he walks over to him, he hugs his neck, and he says, Mephibosheth, don't be afraid. You are now part of my family. You will live in my palace in a special room.

You will eat at our table with the family. Jonathan was my covenant brother, my best friend. I loved him, and because of that I'm adopting you as my son. Mephibosheth was so excited, he was absolutely overjoyed. But now Absalom has done some horrible things, and later when Absalom rebelled against David, they had to pack up and they had to leave and they had to go very quickly. And as they were leaving, Mephibosheth is trying to get up on his horse and he's lame and he can't do it.

And Ziba, his own servant, will not help him. And he leaves him there on the ground and all the people of David leave and Mephibosheth is left behind. And then Ziba goes to David and said, Mephibosheth hates you.

He's a traitor. He is lined up with Absalom, and it's just a horrible thing. David can't hardly believe it. So after Absalom's death, David comes back. One of the first people he wants to see is Mephibosheth. He goes to him and Mephibosheth is so depressed. His hair's dirty, his clothes are filthy, his beard is just all matted, and he hadn't changed clothes since David left.

He is totally depressed. And David says, Mephibosheth, why did you not come with me? And Mephibosheth tells him about Ziba's lying deception. And he said, Ziba wanted me to look like a traitor so that Ziba could get the land that you have given to me.

David is shocked. He doesn't know who to believe. Should he believe Ziba? Should he believe Mephibosheth? He says, okay, this is what I'll do. I'll just split the land in half.

Half to Ziba, half to Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth says this, no, let him take it all. Just give it all to him! He says, I'm not concerned about the land. He said, I'm just concerned that you are my king and that you're my adopted dad. He said, let him take it all. Let him take it all. Hmm, I love that. Would to God that every Christian I know had that attitude.

Take the whole world, just give me Jesus. Ziba had been helpful to David, helping him get supplies and this kind of thing, so David pretty much trusted him. So what did, who should David trust here?

Mephibosheth or Ziba? And then all of a sudden Mephibosheth just said this, David, all I want is you. And David knew that Mephibosheth was real.

Let me ask you something, brothers and sisters. Is your Christianity real? Is your salvation certain? Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you belong to him and he belongs to you? Then is this true in your life? That you've come to the point in your life where Jesus is your treasure, and you can say, take the whole world, just give me Jesus.

My fourth point is rewarding grace. Look at verse 31 through 34. Barzillai the Gilead, Gileadite, had come down from Mirjelim and he went on with the king to the Jordan to escort him over the Jordan. Barzillai was a very aged man, 80 years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanim, for he was a very wealthy man. And the king said to Barzillai, come over with me and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.

But Barzillai said to the king, how many years have I to still live that I should go up with a king to Jerusalem? I tell you, this story blesses my socks off. It knocks the biscuits off my table.

It rings my bell that gives me the warm fuzzies. Here's this old man, I mean he's an old man here, and he loves God and he loves David and he just wants to do what's right before the Lord. He's also a wealthy old man, but he's not a stingy old geezer. He's a man who sees people that have needs and he reaches out and he meets those needs as soon as he can. When David went into exile, he took supplies to David and his men. He took food to David and his men.

Every time he sees a need, he sacrificially gives. You know what? We got some Barzillai's right here in our church.

We got people who do that very same thing. You know who you are. If I see you in the hall and I call you Barzillai, then understand that's a compliment. A real compliment. David wanted to bless Barzillai, so he said, I tell you what I want you to do. He said, I want you to come with me back to Jerusalem and I will reward you there materially. And Barzillai said, I appreciate that. But he said, you don't have to do that. He said, I've got all that I need. Take that reward that you were going to give to me and give it to someone else.

That's what you need to do. And look at the question that he asked and just be blessed by this. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? Wow!

Do you hear that? No entitlements, no selfishness. He just says, I don't deserve a reward. I've just done what the Lord led me to do. That's the attitude we ought to have. Here was a man who understood that he was saved by grace through faith plus nothing. And brothers and sisters, that's the way it is for any true Christian. We are saved by grace through faith plus nothing. What about rewards?

Well, they're coming. God rewards us for faithfulness, for obedience, and for generosity. Listen to how Jesus addressed this in Matthew chapter 25, verses 35 through 40, and I'll close with this. For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger or welcome you or naked and clothe you?

And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the king will answer them, truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it unto me. Amazing grace how sweet the sound saved a wretch like me.

Let's pray. Father, what a glorious passage we had before us today. Sometimes your word challenges us, sometimes it convicts us, sometimes it comforts us, but this passage captivates us. David is pouring out grace. This is not something he can do on his own, this is something the Holy Spirit of God is doing through him. The natural man wants to kill his enemies, David wanted to love them. The natural man seeks revenge, but David offers forgiveness. In this passage David is not just a picture of a king, he's a picture of the Savior. Lord, thank you for the picture in the life of David, but thank you more for the reality in the person of Jesus Christ. We praise you, Jesus, for your abundant, astounding, and amazing grace. May we be wowed by it, for it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-14 01:52:38 / 2023-09-14 02:05:48 / 13

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