Unusual Kindness

Friday October 9, 2020

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 9:1-8

 ““Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” 

2 Samuel 9:7

Reflection: After being installed as king over Israel, David looks for relatives of his predecessor Saul to whom he can show God’s kindness. He hears from one of Saul’s former servants that there is a man named Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson and Jonathan’s son, who is still alive. David summons Mephibosheth to him. And in an act of kindness and mercy, King David restores all of Saul’s land to him. He also appoints servants for Mephibosheth, and gives him a place at the King’s table to eat.

This sounds like a kind thing to do, but it is a very unusual thing, also. From a political perspective, it would have been within David’s best interests to eliminate anyone that had ties to the house of Saul to prevent any uprisings or claims to throne from loyalists of Saul. In fact, this was a customary practice of new regimes unrelated to the predecessor, and the people would have understood if David followed suit.

But David was a man after God’s own heart, who sought to follow his Heavenly King instead of the earthly ones. And because David has been shown kindness by God even though he did not deserve it, David wants to show the kindness of God to Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth, who at the beginning of our text is in hiding, fearing for his life, answers David as his servant. But David does not accept Mephibosheth as a servant. He accepts Mephibosheth as family, as one who will eat at the table of the King, not just for a day or a month, or occasionally, but as our text says, “continually”, meaning forever.

This type of kindness is not only unusual in David’s day, it is unusual in our day, too! But this unusual kindness is the perfect picture of the kindness God has given to us in Jesus. We, being born into the family of sin, were enemies of God. And God, who had defeated sin and death on the Cross, could have punished us as those who were not only born into sin, but were also sinners against Him. Yet, God chose to show His kindness to us so that we would not have to live in hiding or fear, but that we might accept His invitation to eat at the King’s table forever. And how does God give us this invitation? Through His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

How do we respond to such kindness? Mephibosheth’s response to God’s kindness through David is the apt response of a repentant heart: “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?” Who are we, mere finite creations, that the Creator should look upon us dead in our sin? As Ephesians 2 reminds us, it was while we were dead in our sins and trespasses, that God, because of His great love for us, made us alive with Christ (by grace we have been saved).

Have you accepted God’s invitation to the table? If not, Christ waits for you today. Come out of hiding, come out of your fear and met the King of our salvation. And if you have accepted God’s invitation, commune with the King continually, for this is His kindness to us. Unusual kindness? Yes. But this is just the usual for God. And it only gets better.

Prayer: Almighty God, our Lord and King, who are we that You would even think of us? Who are we to receive such kindness that has no end? We are truly indebted to You, Lord God, and there is nothing we can do to repay You. But we humbly accept your invitation in Jesus and we desire to live our lives joyfully in communion with You. Thank You for saving us. Thank You for loving us. Thank You for this new life with You in Christ Jesus. In Your Holy Name I pray, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Biblestudytools.com: Mark 4:1-20; 2 Samuel 9-10; Daniel 5

 

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