2 Samuel 9:3 – 3 The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.”
Titus 3:4-8 – “4 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.”
What About Us?
Let’s take a look at the following scriptures:
Ephesians 4:32 – “32 Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” [Here is a list of something not to do: – v31 -“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.”]
Romans 12:10 – “9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
God wants us to be kind. We can think of many creative ways to do so. For example, we could pay for the drink of the person behind us in the drive through line, visiting people in the hospital, calling someone to let them know you care, be creative and make being kind fun. However, we may still have to do some hard things like helping someone move or cleaning up their home etc.
How Can We Define Kindness
The definition of, KINDNESS n. [from kind, the adjective.], from the Webster’s 1828 English Dictionary:
1. Good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants or alleviating their distresses; benignity of nature. Kindness ever accompanies love.
There is no man whose kindness we may not sometime want, or by whose malice we may not sometime suffer.
2. Act of good will; beneficence; any act of benevolence which promotes the happiness or welfare of others. Charity, hospitality, attentions to the wants of others, etc., are deemed acts of kindness, or kindnesses. Acts 28.
Kindness involves us paying attention to those around us so we can sense what they are feeling and see what they need so we can cheerfully [no strings attached] take care of them.
Where were we:
Last week, we took a look at how King David was able to rise above offenses that came his way – by praising God, seeking God for advice, learning about and relying on God’s loving kindness in his life and just plain waiting on the Lord to take care of things for him.
This week, I would like to conclude our series on “Bad Blood” by showing that David was a man who A) kept his promises and B) had a heart to show the Kindness of God, which he had received, to others.
How David Kept His Promises:
He is wondering if anyone from Saul’s family is alive so that he can demonstrate the kindness of God to them (2 Samuel 9:1, 3) and keep his covenant with Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:12-15) to demonstrate kindness to his future family.
The Fact that David is wondering about a descendant of Saul and Jonathan shows that he kept the promise that he made to Saul to not kill off all of his family (a custom of that day) when he became king. (1 Samuel 24:20-22).
David Learns That There is a Descendant:
By keeping his promises, he discovers that there is indeed a descendant of Saul and Jonathan that he can demonstrate kindness to. The descendant is Mephibosheth and he just happens to be Jonathan’s son. Jonathan was David’s best friend for life.
Facts About Mephibosheth:
David receives this confirmation through Ziba, a former servant of Saul. Ziba thought it was important to mention that Mephibosheth is crippled (2 Samuel 9:3); (he became crippled at the age of 5 when a nurse was trying to take him into hiding so he wouldn’t be killed with the rest of Saul’s family (2 Samuel 4:4). He also became an orphan that day having lost both his grandfather and father during the battle of Jezreel (1 Samuel 31:7). Ziba also tells David that Mephibosheth is living in Lo-debar a place that means “no pasture” or “hopeless” in a home owned by a man called Makir which means “sold”. To add insult to injury his name means “shameful.” All in all Ziba presents Mephibosheth in a very useless way
None of these facts matter – David has already decided to grant God’s kindness to whomever is found. Now that he knows there is a descendant – he sends to him immediately. (2 Samuel 9:3-5).
Switch of Characters.
In 2 Samuel 9:6, we read that Mephibosheth is brought before the king.
Why Would Mephibosheth Be Afraid?
Here are a few reasons that I can think of —
- I am Saul’s grandson – our family is dwindling quickly in the status department, in fact, my uncle (Saul’s son), Ishbosheth, was made king by Abner and reigned for only 2 years before two of his trusted men killed him, they weren’t so trustful.
- The custom of that day was for the new king to kill everyone from the old king’s family to eliminate the possibility of any future opposition or rebellion.
- He knew that his grandfather had not been very kind towards David so why would David be kind to him.
- He was lame, so even if the king would want to show kindness, why would he, to someone who could not serve him in any way?
What a surprise for him!
In v7, David says, “Don’t be afraid?” Why? “I have asked you to come so that I can be kind to you because of my vow to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the land that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you may live here with me in the palace!”
Mephibosheth humbles himself before the king and accepts his offer (v8).
What a wonderful ending to this journey which began with Taylor Swift’s song – “Bad Blood.” I still don’t know if Catastrophe and Arsyn have been able to resolve their situation. Or maybe like David, Catastrophe will have to accept that there will be no future reconciliation with Arsyn. However, what we do know, is that we can all be like David and not let someone else’s hatred or other bad behavior towards us dictate who we will become or how we will conduct our lives. We can be very thankful that Jesus came and shed His “good blood” so we can arise even above our own “bad blood.”
Let’s accept God’s help and know – that “a hater is gonna hate, hate, hate”. But we can “shake it off, shake it off.” (‘Shake it Off’ Taylor Swift).
How do you, “shake it off”, deal with the bad behavior of others directed towards you? Let us know in the comment box below.