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God's kindness reflected by his servant David

October 11, 2022

Daily Scripture

2 Samuel 4:4, 9:1-13

2 Samuel 4

4 Now Saul’s son Jonathan had a boy whose feet were crippled. He was only 5 years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and so his nurse snatched him up and fled. But as she hurried to get away, he fell and was injured. His name was Mephibosheth.

2 Samuel 9

1 David asked, “Is there anyone from Saul’s family still alive that I could show faithful love for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 There was a servant from Saul’s household named Ziba, and he was summoned before David.
“Are you Ziba?” the king asked him.
“At your service!” he answered.
3 The king asked, “Is there anyone left from Saul’s family that I could show God’s kindness to?”
“Yes,” Ziba said to the king, “one of Jonathan’s sons, whose feet are crippled.”
4 “Where is he?” the king asked.
“He is at the house of Ammiel’s son Machir at Lo-debar,” Ziba told the king.
5 So King David had him brought from the house of Ammiel’s son Machir at Lo-debar. 6 Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson, came to David, and he fell to the ground, bowing low out of respect.
“Mephibosheth?” David said.
“Yes,” he replied. “I am at your service!”
7 “Don’t be afraid,” David told him, “because I will certainly show you faithful love for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the fields of your grandfather Saul, and you will eat at my table always.”

13 Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table. He was crippled in both feet.


Daily Reflection & Prayer

Israel’s King David was close friends with Jonathan, son of King Saul. Jonathan said, “The two of us made a solemn pledge in the LORD’s name when we said, ‘The LORD is witness between us and between our descendants forever’” (1 Samuel 20:42). Those were not just nice words. David, secure as king (after a struggle with Saul’s “house”—cf. 2 Samuel 3:1), asked, “Is there anyone from Saul’s family still alive that I could show faithful love for Jonathan’s sake?” In fact, there was.

  • A new ruler or boss (then or now) often aims to get rid of anyone who was loyal to a former leader. Mephibosheth, King Saul’s grandson, with limited mobility due to a childhood accident, likely lived in hiding. David used the Hebrew word hesed (that key word that expressed God’s deep covenant love and kindness) three times for what he wanted to show Jonathan’s remaining son. What does seeing how David kept his promise to Jonathan tell you about the value he attached to kindness?
  • Don’t you wonder what went through Mephibosheth’s mind when he got the news that King David had summoned him to appear? Many preachers have observed that David’s act in extending hesed to Jonathan’s son is an early image of what God gave all of us in Jesus. What feelings does the prospect of facing God after your earthly life ends trigger in you? God offers divine kindness to all of us; only you can choose to refuse it. Please don’t!

Ruler of the cosmos, I see a dim reflection of you in the loving kindness your servant David showed. Teach me how to trust your hesed toward me, and to extend it to others as David did. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim serves as one of the pastors of Connection and Care at Resurrection Leawood. An avid believer that growing in faith pairs well with fellowship and food, she is always ready for recommendations on local restaurants and coffee shops.

As a middle schooler, I was all about following the rules. My parents taught me that rules were there to protect people. Limits and boundaries give us space to freely create and be while preventing us from hurting others. That sounded reasonable, so I prided myself on following the rules, like when my youth group pastor told us that Jesus called us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” I made it my mission to love everyone in our youth group, whether they liked it or not. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to “love” people who had yet to discover deodorant, or who pulled out your scrunchy, ruining your perfect hairstyle in class.

I was sure that I could succeed in following this rule until, one day, someone new came to church. She was an outsider and different from the kids I grew up with, resulting in her being teased. I remember calling out a group of boys making fun of her, only to be accused of instigating the name-calling. I was following the rules. I didn’t make fun of this girl! I felt embarrassed and shocked, and that hurt turned to anger.

I want to say that, like King David extended hesed (kindness) in our passage, I did the same for this teen girl, but I did not. I think that is why this story stands out to me. David went out of his way to find someone in Saul’s household to show hesed. I don’t think anyone would blame David if he did not, considering the number of times Saul tried to kill David!

Looking back on my teenage self, I realize I missed out on an opportunity to extend hesed to that girl in our youth group. We would later grow up and reconcile, but I wonder how our lives would have been different if I had humbly swallowed my need to be right and chosen kindness. What might be keeping you from choosing kindness? Who might you extend kindness to? I pray that God opens our hearts, so we take every opportunity to BE kind.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.