Royal Outcast / 08. Royal Outcast Wk8: The King Returns

08. Royal Outcast Wk8: The King Returns

Speaker: Joel Virgo

Originally recorded on 3rd June 2018. Visit www.weareemmanuel.com for more content.

Key reading: 2 Samuel 19:9-43

It’s good to be reminded that seasons of uncertainty and adversity and disappointment etc. are not intended to last. It can feel very much as if they do but they do not. If you are a child of God, you can live with a genuine security and confidence that God is in control of your seasons and though He will bring us through the wilderness, He will not leave us there indefinitely- He brings us out of it. Similar to stories where it seems like the king has turned up again, there are times in church life where God shows up and does something fresh and new. There will be a time where He does show up and changes everything completely but meanwhile, we have tasters of this in church life, for example. Jesus instructed us to pray for this very thing when he told his disciples to pray- your kingdom come (Matthew 6:9-13). The kingdom of Jesus is a kingdom of surprising grace and forgiveness. It goes against our intuition and what we would expect. This talk looks at what it is like when Jesus shows up in our lives, though looking at the lense of King Davids story.

1. The Poison of Shame- 2 Samuel 19:9-10. In this story, there is a whole community of people who are together in the awkward acknowledgement that they got it wrong in following Absalom who was trying to usurp David’s position as king. They felt the failure of this after his defeat and David’s return as King. We often think there is power in shame to get us out of the gutter when we realise our shortcomings and we concentrate on them and imagine that by trying to work the shame that we will solve the problem. However, that is generally a counterproductive measure as it doesn’t achieve anything.

2. The Dignity of Forgiveness- 2 Samuel 19: 11-13. David is surprising everyone by going to the people who should be most ashamed- his own tribe Judah and Amasa who was the commander of Absalom’s army. He goes to these people first and calls them his brothers and even puts Amasa in charge of his own army. He chooses to overwhelm them with honour, despite what they obviously do and do not deserve. This surely speaks about the Lord Jesus. In the moment of returning from his despicable abandonment by is disciples- his betrayal and denial from those who claims to follow them. He says to Mary after the resurrection on Easter Sunday he says to one of his disciples ‘my father and your father’ in the gospel of John, making the point that Jesus is able to invite us into this relationship with the Father because of what he went through on the cross. When you become a Christian, you are joined to Christ.

3. The Wisdom of Forgiveness- 2 Samuel 19:14-15. Forgiveness is smart- it’s not just right, it is wise and good for society. However, very often the intuition we have is to hold back showing grace and mercy to people. Perhaps we do that thinking we will achieve more by being unforgiving. However, love covers a multitude of sins. By showing surprising forgiveness to people you can change a whole situation. David is calling the nation his own flesh and blood. No one expected that. It was a phenomenal move. If we learn to exercise this act of forgiveness we may find that we turn whole communities, just like how David turned the whole community in this story.


4. The Resolve of Forgiveness- 2 Samuel 19: 24-30. As Christians, unforgiveness is not an option. Jesus commands us to forgive. Sometimes we may think we are forgiving as we live in a very tolerant society. Forgiveness is a robust thing. We do think that we know about forgiveness because we live in a very tolerant society. We like to imagine that we are good at forgiving because we tolerate things. However, tolerance and forgiveness are very different. Just by often self-righteously parading our non-judgmentalism is not forgiving people- that is cheap. Forgiveness is not cheap. Jesus knows what forgiveness costs. He knows that it hurts. He knows all about it and he has resolved to do it. This is challenging but also encouraging because it means that the person who has said to you ‘I forgive you’- He has sworn an oath and is not changing His mind. You need God to step in and fight for you against the enemy who accuses you and God declares that you are forgiven.

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