Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 9:1-13
I love this story of kindness! David was still young in his reign, and after establishing his place as king, he does the strangest thing. David asks if there is anyone left among the sons of Saul and Jonathan. We might assume that King David is looking to exact some revenge for all of the trouble King Saul had done to him. Saul had tried to kill David on more than one occasion, and David had spent much of the previous years on the run in the wilderness. Now that he was king, David could get his sweet revenge on whomever was left in King Saul’s family. David summons Ziba, who was a servant for King Saul and his family. Was there anyone left of the sons of Saul or Jonathan? Ziba says there is one son of Jonathan left: Mephibosheth.
The strange part of David’s request is why he is searching for someone in Saul’s family. It is not for revenge, but for kindness! King David says in verse three, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Even though King Saul has tormented David over the years, David never sought to do harm in return. David trusted God at all times to deal justly with him and King Saul. Now that God had established David as king, David desired to honor and show kindness to the family of his predecessor.
Only someone who has experienced the kindness of God can show true kindness to someone else. A life that has been impacted by the love and kindness of God is able to love and show kindness at a level this world can not understand. Jesus taught that we ought to love our enemies, but the world doesn’t understand this. Christians live in a world where revenge is expected of someone who has been wronged. We cheer for the one who takes justice into their own hands, and for those who right the wrongs done to them. Our television and movie entertainment shows are filled with these themes because we love watching it. Revenge and justice is more appealing to us than kindness and forgiveness. Thanks be to God that He is ways are not our ways! To be a follower of Jesus means you seek kindness and mercy alongside of justice, and you do not desire revenge or harm to come to others. Our trust is our Savior who has been so kind to us, and so we seek to imitate His kindness to the world.
Call to Action: Are you quick to anger, or quick to kindness? Do you prefer acts of revenge, or acts of peace-making? The people of God are called to be salt to the earth, which means we seek to preserve it and care for it. We do this by showing kindness to all people, whether we think they deserve it or not. We do not seek revenge, but like David, we trust God to be kind to us and fight our battles for us. Is there someone you can reach out to and show kindness to? There is always someone in need of the kindness of God. Do not hold back from love. We have been shown so much kindness from God. Just as we have received the kindness of God, now we must show it to others.