David Shows Kindness
For a while there was peace in Israel. During this time, David built a palace for himself. One day he said to the prophet Nathan, “It doesn’t seem right that I live in a beautiful house built of cedar, and the Ark of God is in a tent.” The prophet replied, “God will be pleased if you build a permanent Temple for Him.” But that night God spoke to Nathan and gave him a different message to pass on to David: “You are not the one who will build a house for me to live in. I took you from the pasture and made you the ruler over my people. I have been with you everywhere you have gone and given you victory over all your enemies. I will establish you as one of the greatest men to ever live on the earth, and your family will become a royal dynasty forever. When your days are over, I will raise up one of your sons to be the next king, and he will build a house for me.” Nathan reported every word to the king. David was happy and very humbled by God’s plan. He said, “Do as you have promised, but do it so that Your name will be great forever—not mine. Then people will say ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’” God still had a lot more fighting for David to do. From that day, David began establishing the boundaries God had intended for Israel. He invaded the Philistines and reclaimed the lands they had taken. He then turned to the Moabites and Edomites and made them his subjects. Then he marched north, defeating nation after nation. He dedicated any wealth that the Israelites accumulated to the Lord. God gave David victory wherever he went, and David reigned over Israel doing what was just and right for all his people. Soon his name was feared and honored all over the world. One day David asked his servants, “Are any members of Saul’s family still alive? I want to show them the same kindness that Jonathan showed to me.” David’s men found Ziba, who had been a steward of Saul’s. They brought him to the king. He told David about Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, who was still alive. He had been five years old the day Saul and Jonathan had been killed. Ziba told David, “When his nurse got word that Saul was dead, she picked up the boy and tried to escape with him. Somehow, in her panic, she dropped him and both his feet were broken. He has been lame ever since.” David sent for Mephibosheth. When he came before the king, he bowed to the ground and said, “I am your servant.” David responded, “Don’t be afraid! I want to show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will give you back all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” Mephibosheth was overwhelmed. “Who am I that you would notice me?” he asked humbly. The king called Ziba back in and instructed him, “You and your sons are to work the lands that I have just given back to Mephibosheth. You are now his servants.” So Mephibosheth lived near the palace and became like one of David’s sons.
Is there someone you need to show kindness to today? Maybe someone who helped you through a tough time in the past? Or someone who is currently struggling through a difficult situation? Just as David passed Jonathan’s unwavering kindness on to Mephibosheth, we need to pass God’s amazing kindness on to others!!