The Kindness of the King

Krista Williams

Day: 40 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 9 

2 Samuel 9:3 (NIV) “The king asked, ‘Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?’ Ziba answered the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.’”

Have you ever asked the question, “Is there someone I could show the kindness of the Lord to today?” This is the question David asks.

David was well aware that the Lord was blessing, strengthening and establishing him as king, just as He had promised. (2 Samuel 7:16, 7:21; 2 Samuel 8:14-15) As a result, David wanted to make good on a promise of his own and extend the same kindness God was showing him to another – and not just anyone, but someone from the household of Saul. (1 Samuel 20:14-15) 

In those days, it was customary for a new king to execute anyone associated with the prior dynasty, especially potential heirs. But instead of seeking to kill them, David went against the customs of the day and sought to show kindness to anyone still alive in Saul’s family for Jonathan’s sake.

The Hebrew word for kindness is “chesed. It means “covenantal loyalty” or “loving kindness.” It can also be translated as “mercy” in the Old Testament. The basic idea is to show the steadfast love of the Lord to another by going above and beyond the normal perceived duty.

David was determined to show this type of extraordinary kindness to Saul’s family. (2 Samuel 9:1, 9:3, 9:7) So David sought out Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son (Saul’s grandson), and brought him to Jerusalem. When the two met, David immediately accepted, welcomed and reassured Mephibosheth.

David doesn’t just spare Mephibosheth’s life. He goes above and beyond his covenant with Jonathan and heaps surprising … unexpected … remarkable goodness on Mephibosheth. In 2 Samuel 9:7 we discover that David promises protection, provision and a privileged position to Mephibosheth. 

1)     Protection. David reassured Mephibosheth by saying, “Don’t be afraid … for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan” (2 Samuel 9:7a). David is reaffirming his promise and offering protection to Jonathan’s son.

2)     Provision. David promises to restore Mephibosheth by saying, “I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul” (2 Samuel 9:7b). So not only is David sparing his life, he is restoring Mephibosheth’s inheritance. David moves beyond protection and restores Mephibosheth. David’s extraordinary kindness ensures Mephibosheth is well taken care of and ensures the survival of Saul’s family line.

3)     Privileged Position. Then David says, “ … and you will always eat at my table” (2 Samuel 9:7c). To eat at the king’s table, like one of the king’s sons (2 Samuel 9:11), was a special and significant privilege. It meant Mephibosheth would enjoy intimacy and fellowship with the king always!

Showing kindness to others wasn’t just a one-time thing or a random act for David, it was a way of life. Looking back at David’s life we learn he believed strongly in showing the kindness of God to others.

What if kindness became a way of life for each of us? What if we began to look for, seek out and initiate opportunities to be kind?

What if we started today by inquiring of the Lord and asking Him … “Is there anyone I could show Your kindness to today, Lord?”

Prayer: Lord God, You are the source of all goodness, kindness and love. Fill me today with Your Holy Spirit and create supernatural responses of loving kindness in me. Make me more like David and help me be the type of person who repeatedly and intentionally makes the most of every opportunity to extend the kindness and grace of Christ to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

Kindness is the key theme of 2 Samuel 9. As we read in the New Testament, kindness is a fruit of... Read More

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