What we need to understand is that acts of kindness, graciousness, and generosity to others need to be a priority for us and there is a beautiful picture of this in 2 Samuel 9. Here in this chapter we have another one of my favorite stories in the entire bible so let us take some time and look at David and an act of kindness, generosity, and graciousness that he performed.
2nd Samuel 9:1 – Then David said, "Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?"
This goes back to a promise that was made between David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20:14,15 " 14 And may you treat me with the faithful love of the LORD as long as I live. But if I die, 15 treat my family with this faithful love, even when the LORD destroys all your enemies. David is following through on this promise that he had made with that Jonathan and now is searching to find out if there is any family of Jonathan left. God has been kind to David over the years and now he wants to pass the kindness on. I want you to notice that David was proactive in his kindness. Too often we wait till someone is hurting to do something nice for them. David just did something kind for the sake of being kind. David makes the choice to be kind or better yet gracious. David is going to be showing a great amount of grace to Jonathan’s family.
The question to ask is this: What can I do for other people? David was intentional in his kindness here, are you intentional in yours? What acts of kindness can I do for others? This is a question that we should be asking. Too many times we ask what is in it for me. I am reminded of the scene in the movie Field of Dreams, when Terrance Mann is asked to go out into the corn field with the baseball players. Ray Kinsella who took his land to build the field gets frustrated about this because he wanted to go and see what was out there and he says: I did it all. I listened to the voices, I did what they told me, and not once did I ask what’s in it for me. Shoeless Joe Jackson the lead baseball player responds: What are you saying, Ray? Ray then stops then says: I’m saying? What’s in it for me? You see the heart of the matter was he was trying to get something out of it. How often is this us, we make things look so good and do work saying it is not about us but then we get caught saying the same thing as Ray – what is in it for me.
Instead of asking what can I get out of this we need to have David’s perspective attitude and ask what can I do for others. When was the last time you did something for someone else and did not expect something in return? When was the last time you did something for someone that they just did not expect? That is what we are seeing from David here and that is what we should be doing.
Let us move forward: 2 Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" And he said, "I am your servant." 3 The king said, "Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?" And Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet."
David searched out and found one servant of Saul’s who remained. David called him to him and asked who remained from Saul’s family of whom he could show the kindness of God too. The answer David got from Ziba is there is one left and it is one of Jonathan’s sons, the one who was crippled. Let us look back to 2 Samuel 4:4 to read about how he became crippled. Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. So we see that the nurse was in a hurry to get him out of the house. The reason was she heard that Saul and Jonathan were both dead and now they would want to kill all the descendants and Mephibosheth was one to be killed. In her hurry the boy fell and became lame. How he fell is unknown but he did and became crippled as a result.
The name Mephibosheth means, “shame”. He is a young man whose father and grandfather were killed when he was 5 which means he would be about 25 at this point when David is looking for him. As we have just seen he is crippled. He is in the economy of that time absolutely worthless because of his being crippled. He was an heir to the throne but it is not possible that he could never lead troops into battle. He could not even be a servant of anyone because of his disability. He later himself says he is worthless. He had such a promising future as a child but now he is just considered a worthless human being because of being crippled.
Do you ever feel spiritually crippled? Do you struggle with feeling worthless? Know and remind yourself of this fact next time you struggle with such feelings: if you have place your faith and trust in Christ then you are a child of the King. You are a son or a daughter of God and that is where your worth comes from. Never think of yourself as worthless because you are God’s child. You are a worthwhile child of the King.
What is the coolest thing you ever surprised somebody with who just did not expect it?