It blows me away every time, to think that despite Saul’s unrelenting jealousy towards David and trying to kill him, David is able to forgive and keeps his vow to Jonathan made in 1 Sam 20:12–16. Perhaps it was experiencing the incredible kindness of God’s promises a couple chapters previous or that David had overcome every enemy as well as establishing a successful government. Or to just keep his vow. But he calls for Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, to be brought to him. Mephibosheth is a very intriguing character. Firstly, just try saying his name out-loud! Then think of the trauma of losing your father and grandfather in one day. Now consider that on the same day of such a personal tragedy, Mephibosheth (at the age of 5) and his nurse were fleeing from the enemy when he fell and became lame in both his feet. Mephibosheth must have been incredibly resilient to have overcome such grief and disability from such a young age. Add to this that David is now calling for Mephibosheth to appear before him. Mephibosheth was surely weighing up what the king could possibly want from him. Instead of being overcome by the possible fear of being viewed as a threat to David, Mephibosheth comes before the king and says, ‘Here is your servant!’ Such courage and humility must certainly have been the fruit of overcoming trials of the past. And the reward for his faith: ‘So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table.’ How awesome is the lovingkindness of our Lord!
It must have felt so good for David to extend the kindness of God to someone who could never have paid him back. And perhaps that is why David wanted to show kindness again in the next chapter. Only this time, David reached out to Hanun, whose father had shown David kindness. Hanun’s father had recently died so David sent some of his servants to Hanun, wanting to comfort him. Instead of accepting the message of comfort and being blessed, Hanun believed a false report about David. Hanun humiliated David’s servants so badly that David later sent all his army of mighty men and destroyed them. The outcome of a situation so often comes down to what we choose to believe. Both Mephibosheth and Hanun had to choose how they might respond to David. And so, we can also choose what we will believe. Will we have faith for death or for life? For cursing or for blessing?
Kindness is such a delicious fruit of the Spirit. Why not try some Acts of Random Kindness today?!