Welcome to our third study about KINDNESS. This week we’ll be looking at King David who, out of love for his dear friend Jonathan, extended kindness to Jonathan’s crippled son. Woven into this story is also the salvation message.
“So David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake’ ” (2 Samuel 9:7 NKJV).
Click HERE to read 2 Samuel 9
Here’s the story…
After King Saul and his son Jonathan were killed on the battlefield, David reigned as king over all of Israel. Although Saul was David’s enemy, Jonathan and David were the closest and dearest of friends.
Years after David had been reigning as king, he called for Ziba, a servant from Saul’s house, to ask if there were any relatives of Saul who were still alive. David’s motive wasn’t to murder anyone–which would have secured David’s title to the throne. Instead, his noble motive was to show God’s kindness for Jonathan’s sake.
Ziba informed the king that Jonathan’s crippled son named Mephibosheth lived in Lo Debar. (For the backstory on how he became crippled, click HERE.)
An unexpected gift of kindness…
So, David sent for Mephibosheth who, fearing he might be killed, prostrated himself at the king’s feet. But David assured him that he only intended to show him kindness for his father’s sake. David restored to him all of Saul’s land and instructed Ziba and his fifteen sons to be Mephibosheth’s servants.
“And the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, ‘I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. You, therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat.”2 Samuel 9:9-10a NKJV
David’s last instruction amazed everyone. Not only was Jonathan’s son reinstated with his family’s wealth (that now legally belonged to David), but also Mephibosheth ate every meal at the king’s table for the rest of his life.
How is this story of David and Mephibosheth reflected in the salvation story?
We are all like Mephibosheth– outcasts born into sin, living outside the kingdom of God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”Romans 3:23 NKJV
Out of David’s love for Jonathan, he sought to bless any of Jonathan’s relatives left in the land. Jesus, our Good Shepherd, goes to look for us out of His lovingkindness and brings us to Himself.
“…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”Luke 19:10 NKJV
David legally restored King Saul’s lands and servants back to Saul’s grandson. God makes us joint-heirs with His Son through salvation at the cross.
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”Romans 8:16-17a NKJV
King David invited Mephibosheth to dine at his table for the rest of his life. God invites us to eat at His table with Christ for eternity and forever live in His presence.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;Psalm 23:5-6 NKJV
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
How has the kindness of God changed your life?
Dear Lord, we praise You for seeking us out, inviting us to live in Your kingdom and to eat with You at your table. Thank you for Your precious gift of salvation through Jesus’s blood, shed for us at the cross. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.