Orphan Sunday


Orphan Sunday

Opening Remarks:

Friends, today you have heard from three different speakers. You have heard from families that are engaged in the foster care program of Alabama and two other families who have adopted children from far of places.  We also have families who have adopted domestically right here worshipping with us.  Sadly, it is hard to provide time for each family to share their story. We have done our best this morning to educate you and to encourage you.  

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I believe that Jesus loves children.  I know this because Scripture tells me so.  In every Gospel, Matthew through John, we see that Jesus pay special and close attention to little children. In Matthew, Jesus promises the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to children. In Luke, Jesus lays his hands on infants and blesses them. In Mark, he rebukes the disciples for hindering children from being in His presence. in John, Jesus tells His followers that if you receive Him (Jesus) as Lord then you have the right to be children of God.

Constantly and constantly, Jesus brings His love, His mercy and His grace to children. Over and over again we see Jesus looking at children in their eyes, playing His hands on them, and giving them His attention. 

Brothers and sisters, if you walk out of here this morning and only receive one message, receive this one, Jesus loves children.

Jesus Loves Children!

Background:
One of the most beautiful examples of adoption is found in the account of King David’s grace extended to Mephibosheth, the disabled son of Jonathan. Here we see a strong and powerful king stoop down to reach out to someone who is everything he is not. He does it because of covenant mercy.

In this account in 2 Samuel, we see King David takes the initiative to search out relatives of Jonathan. He is under no obligation. He is pondering his love for Jonathan and remembering his covenant. He seeks out a descendant of Jonathan merely because he wants to show him favour. David had promised both Saul and Jonathan that he wouldn’t destroy their descendants, as was the custom of kings to put away rivals to the throne.

Let’s read this unique account of David modeling a heart for the orphan and see what we can learn from David’s example. 

Scripture:

2 Samuel 9:1-13 ESV
And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?” 2 Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” 3 And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” 4 The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 6 And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” 7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” 8 And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”

9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson. 10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master's grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master's grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David's[a] table, like one of the king's sons. 12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba's house became Mephibosheth's servants. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king's table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

3 Lessons From David Concerning The Orphan

I. David’s Heart vs. 1
2 Samuel 9:1 ESV
And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?”

Point:
David is considered to be a man after God’s own heart.  That is quite a compliment don’t you think? Have you ever prayed to have the heart of God? What does that even look like, to have the heart of God?  Well, from Scripture I gather that having a heart after God is having a heart that is concerned with the well being of children. 

From cover to cover, we see the Lord showing unmerited favor to children. We see this in the examples of His people and Jesus’ followers.  We see this powerfully displayed in the life of David. David had made a promise to his best friend Jonathan that when he became King that he would look after his family. Jonathan and his father Saul died in battle.  Mephibosheth’s nurse fled from the scene and dropped him.  Mephibosheth never recovered from the fall and grew up deformed and poverty stricken.  Remember it was the common practice for the reigning King to put to death anyone that might have rightful claims to the Kingdom.  

David was different though.  David took pity on Mephibosheth.  He had a heart for this young man. Notice that Mephibosheth had nothing to offer the King. There was no service that he could provide.  He could not fight. He had no education. He could not run a portion of the Kingdom for David. If anything, when Meph. received the call to come to the King, he probably thought that David was bringing him forward for the ax.  

Point:
You see friends, David had a heart for the orphan.  He had God’s heart. God has a heart for the orphan, the fatherless, the destitute and the hungry. When I read this story, I have to ask myself, do I have the same heart, the heart of God beating inside my chest? Do I care enough about the fatherless child with no one or nothing? 

Perhaps our prayer this morning is that our hearts begin to beat in rhythm with David. Perhaps our prayer should be that our hearts be concerned for the down and out. 

Matthew 18:5 ESV
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me…”

3 Lessons From David Concerning The Orphan

I. David’s Heart vs. 1
II. David’s Helper vs. 2
2 Samuel 9:2 ESV
2 Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” 

Point:
We all know David. Maybe you have heard of Meph? Chances are you have never heard of Ziba, the servant of David.  They were apparently not very close since David had to actually ask him to identify himself. We discover early on in the story that David had a heart for Meph. Yet David could not deploy his blessings without help. He employed the help of Ziba to turn this odd adoption into reality. 

A. Ziba Was Available 
Notice that Ziba was available. He was a willing participant in this journey of David. He was standing by. 

B. Ziba Was Informed 
Notice that Ziba was informed. He knew exactly the answer to the question that David was asking. Ziba, where is Meph? Ziba was ready to answer.  He knew the problem and he had the answer. 

C. Ziba Was Obedient 
Notice that it was not Ziba who adopted Meph. Nope, that’s was David’s call.  However, Ziba’s call was to help David achieve God’s calling in his life.  

Friends, this hits very close to home with my family.  You have already heard Angela speak this morning about our own adoption. Jett belongs to you as much as he belongs to us. You prayed for us. You sponsored us. You encouraged us all along the way.  To me, you look like a bunch of Ziba’s. You really do.  Without you, Jett would not be here today.  

The point I’m making is pretty clear. We should all have the heart of David.  We should all care and be willing to connect with the fatherless child, the foster child, the hurting kid.  However, our roles will look different in this process.  Some of you can be David’s.  The others can be Zibas.  Funny, the Davidson’s have been both.  Today, I want to be someone Ziba.  I want to pray for the foster family.  I want to support the family praying about adoption.  I want to financially give to the family that needs help bringing a child into their home that otherwise would be lost in the masses. 

John 14:18 ESV
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

3 Lessons From David Concerning The Orphan

I. David’s Heart vs. 1
II. David’s Helper vs. 2

III. David’s Healing vs. 9-10
2 Samuel 9:9-10 ESV
9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson. 10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master's grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master's grandson shall always eat at my table.”

Point: 
David invites Meph. into his home. Grants to him an inheritance that he did not earn. Provides for him what he never asked for.  Literally, David saves Meph. a dead dog.  Do you see the symbolism in this story friends?  Brothers and sisters, Meph’s adoption story is our story.  We were all dead in our transgressions.  God purchased us through the blood of His son.  In doing so, we received a family. We received a Father. We received and inheritance. Because of what God did for us, we are not eating at the Kings table, we are children of God. What a profound image and illustration of grace. Just as David rescued Meph, God rescued us. 

We are all adopted in one way or another. 

David brought healing to Meph. He restored him. That’s the message today.  I want you to be Ziba.  I want you to be informed.  I want you to see whats happening right here on the Eastern Shore.  Perhaps some of you will  be called like David.  You might be called to foster, or to adopt.  Some of you will be a Ziba.  You will pray.  You will volunteer.  You will sponsor families.  You will take part in Foster Parent Night out. You will serve in the Giving Market.  You will help at Women’s Care Medical Center. Perhaps you will be obedient to the call of God.  

Maybe you came in here today thinking this was just another Sunday but now God is working.  Don’t push that feeling away.  Embrace it.  God wants to take you on a journey.  Trust me, its exciting. 

Romans 8:12-16 ESV
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…


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