10(2Sam 09,01-13) Living in LoDebar
Many people live in a state of loneliness. People who are by themselves, out of the mainstream of society with no social activity or friendships outside themselves. There are a great many others who live right in the middle of life’s hustle & bustle that find them alone, dislocated & misunderstood. Both physically & psychologically people are and will be alone! From the orphan to the mega-star surrounded by thousands; from the homeless to the struggling single mother, people are alone and forgotten!
Lo Debar was such a place. The very meaning is “not having” or “no pasture.” It was a town of forgotten people including Mephibosheth, son of David’s best friend Jonathan who was the son of King Saul. In Lo Debar we would find the lost, unskilled, uneducated outcasts from society. Those whom people would scorn, those that we would pass by and pay no attention, those who would be just another statistic on a government report. We live in Lo Debar, we know somebody in Lo Debar. We walk around, drive around, & ignore Lo Debar!
I. Inhabitants of Lo Debar are not there of their own fault!
Mephibosheth was not in Lo Debar because of something he had done wrong. We are told that he was crippled in both feet. II Samuel 4 tells us that Mephibosheth was under the care of a nurse while his father Jonathan was in battle & when the word came that Jonathan & Saul were killed, the nurse grabbed Mephibosheth to run, but dropped him thus injuring both of his feet for life. He was only about five years old when this happened & then had to spend his days being cared for by someone else, or living off of the handouts of a few in a detestable, forgotten place called Lo Debar.
But it wasn’t his fault his father died, it wasn’t his fault the nurse dropped him; it wasn’t his fault that there was no doctor who could repair his situation; it was not his fault!
It is not your fault you were molested as a child; it is not your fault that you were raped; abused-verbally or physically; it is not your fault you had no father, no mother; it is not your fault that you had to raise yourself, raise your parents instead of them raising you.
It is not your fault no one ever gave you guidance, provided you with a good education; inspired you; poured life into you; built up some confidence in you, it is not your fault! It is not your fault they closed the business down, or cut back. It is not your fault that you have lived and now live in a Lo Debar!!!
We are always quick to assume that people who are in situations worse than our own have had to do something wrong to get that way! Please! What is needed is help, brotherly kindness…
It’s like that person who asks you how are you doing, & when you start to tell them about your troubles, they tune you out and walk away! They aren’t concerned about how you feel, or what your going through, because most people just don’t care!!! But I head Jesus say…
Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
I wish I had somebody who knows that you can cast all your cares upon Jesus because he cares for you! Somebody who knows that Jesus is able to pick you up from where you are and set you high upon a solid rock! I wish I had somebody in this place that knows: that if you, trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Lo Debar doesn’t inhabit just the poor. It is not always a physical place, because there are many people who are disenfranchised right in the center of middle & upper class USA.
More than we might think, people are messed up on the inside & looking like everything is alright on the surface & the one sitting next to you just might fit that mold!
II. Have you asked your neighbor, “Are you alright today?”
Because you see: somebody might have been abused as a child, or molested. Somebody might be: battling homosexuality, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, adultery, acute depression, something that has affected the mind, something that causes them to not sleep at night, something that has crippled them from being who God intended them to be, something that keeps them miserable, unhappy, frustrated, always moody, full of anger, jealousy, something that has them living in a psychological prison that seems to have no way of escape!
They can’t talk to you about it, because they are ashamed, embarrassed & worried that you might not understand & talk about them. The church is supposed to be the hospital where people come to get fixed up, not beat up!!!
Have you ever realized that you probably sat next to somebody that got beat up before they came to church, somebody that is afraid of their own child when they go home, somebody that can’t get over being abused as a child. “not the people I sit with, I know them.” You know what you want to know. But don’t you know that the church is full of people from Lo Debar! I heard Paul say …
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. (It is because) of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God -- and righteousness and sanctification and redemption -- 31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD."
People are afraid to come up out of Lo Debar & afraid to ask for some help. People are worried that they will get put down, talked about, & insulted! Fear, more than anything else, keeps us down!
III. King David says, don’t be afraid!
You see in those days it was customary & necessary that when one king was overthrown his entire family was killed off to keep from a future uprising occurring. Now, Mephibosheth had been hiding out for who knows how long and he was discovered & thought it was time to die. But to his dismay, he was being offered a place at the kings table, a new home, new land, & a new life.
Mephibosheth’s reply to the king’s offer was just like most people. I am nothing, come from nothing, at least that is what they have been telling me all my life. I will never amount to nothing, I’m crippled, can’t work, can’t even take care of myself let alone somebody else. Nobody has ever cared about me, most people don’t even know i exist….. Why do you want to do anything for somebody like me, a dead dog!!!
But, what we need to know today is that the King, King Jesus, wants to bring everybody up out of Lo Debar and have us eating as his table! He wants to heal the broken, lift up the down trodden, set free the addict, give hope to the hopeless, give joy to the joyless, give life to the lifeless, elevate the depressed, build up the one with no confidence, open doors for the jobless.
He wants everybody to come up out of whatever is holding them down & walk in the newness of life that can only come through him! So He says, Come!
Come with all your dysfunctions, disabilities, inadequacies, heartaches, burdens & pains and I will bear them all!
Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Don’t you know that there is a balm in Gilead that can sooth your hurting soul! Fights pain better than Tylenol; his name is Jesus!! Jesus!! The king of kings, the lord of lords!
§ He wants to restore to you the years that the locust have eaten!
§ He will enable you to go into the enemy’s camp & take back what is stolen from you!
§ He has made a way for you if you’re willing to accept what Christ has already done for you!
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Jesus proclaimed: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the lord’s favor.”
Jesus’ ministry was about bringing people out of Lo Debar! Healing, setting free, giving sight, opening doors, lifting up, regardless of any stipulation that society would consider hopeless and helpless, Jesus said come unto me!