Kindness Goes A Long Way

One of my favorite passages in the bible is the story of Mephibosheth. David’s best friend, Jonathan was the father of Mephibosheth. The former King of Israel, Saul, was the father of Jonathan. I don’t want to get too deep into genealogy, but Mephibosheth’s family heritage is important.

One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants…The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.” Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”…So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home.His name was Mephibosheth; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.”Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”

2 Samuel 9:1-7

Now, at first glance this story doesn’t get much press. One might say, “Gee, that David was a class act. That was a really nice thing for him to do.” You got to dig a little deeper into the story and examine the significance of David’s gesture in those times.

It was a big deal that David went out of his way to show kindness to the grandson of man that tried (on more than one occasion) to kill him. He moved past the bitterness of the past and took on a beautiful attribute of God by showing kindness to a stranger. He could’ve just given Mephibosheth a gift or sent one of his servants to take care of Mephibosheth, but David brought him in to his presence to fully show God’s kindness.

God wants us to show kindness to strangers. He wants us to get beyond us and intentionally set out to lavish others with kindness. Do you do that throughout your week? When is the last time you flashed a toothy smile at someone you didn’t know? When is the last time you paid for someone’s lunch or complimented someone? Our heavenly Father was and is continually kind to us. He wants us to imitate Him in this regard.

The kicker in this story is how Mephibosheth changed. When David ushered Mephibosheth into his presence and told him how he wanted to take care of him Mephibosheth’s condition, calling, and conviction changed. King David in many ways is like a prototype of Jesus, what he did for Mephibosheth is a lot like what Jesus does to us when we are ushered into His presence.

Condition
Mephibosheth was disabled; crippled in both feet. He didn’t have access to a lot of things. His grandfather and father had both died in battle so he was alone. All of that changed in David’s presence. He sat and feasted at the King’s table. At that table it didn’t matter who was crippled and who could walk. Everyone sat at the King’s table and delighted in the King as his royal guest.
In the same way, without Jesus our crippled condition is on display for the world to see.

“The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited…

Matthew 22:2-3

Jesus overlooks our condition and invites us to fellowship with Him. He wants us to come and eat at His table where our condition does not hinder us being with Him.

 

Calling

David called Mephibosheth into his presence. He sent Ziba to find Mephibosheth and bring him before his throne. Similarly, Jesus calls us to know Him. He is inclusive. He is the savior of the world! Not North America, or Africa, or Europe.

On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.

John 7:37-38

Jesus calls out to everyone. He died for everyone. When Mephibosheth answered David’s call he became one of the King’s guest. When we answer Jesus’ call, repent and believe in the gospel we are adopted into the royal family of God.

 

Conviction

Pastor preached an amazing message on conviction last Sunday. He said that a life lived with conviction always wins. Mephibosheth was convinced of David’s kindness.

From that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table, like one of the king’s own sons.

2 Samuel 9:11

Day after day, Mephibosheth was ushered into the royal palace. He ate and enjoyed the conversation of the king and his family. The bible says that he was like one of David’s own sons. He became convinced of the kindness of David. We must be convinced of the grace of God. We must live with conviction that He is good and loves us. When you abide in that truth you start realize who you are. You become convinced of His love and grace. That conviction eclipses insecurity and enables you to be a bold witness to the love of Jesus.

Kindness goes a long way in changing people’s lives. God wants us to show his kindness to an unkind world. As we are doing that, I would hope that we find truth in the story of Mephibosheth. I hope we would realize what changes in our lives as we sit at the table of our heavenly King. I pray that we would be confident in the love of Jesus. I pray that our disabilities would not hinder us from partaking in the glorious presence of God. Let us be sure of our calling from our King and live utterly convinced of His kindness.

I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.

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