/ Brotherly Love / Andrew Kerr

Will you remember to be kind?

From a human point of view it would have been understandable if David had felt that there were more pressing matters to attend to - he had to run a kingdom and propagate true religion.

David could have been tempted to take a rain-check on an oath sworn with Mephibosheth's father Jonathan, recorded in 1 Samuel 20:42 for:

"The LORD shall be between me and you and between my offspring and your offspring for ever."

The young man's grandfather Saul had been a persecutor of David. The boy crippled in both feet, of 2 Samuel 4.4, was not banging on his door. The son of his best friend was out of sight and out of mind. For all David knew the poor wheelchair victim was well catered for by the Benjamite tribe and clans. He had covenanted affection to Jonathan but there was no outstanding monetary or statutory obligation.

Yet, despite all these discouragements to doing a great kindness, David goes out of his way to go above and beyond the call of duty. First, the king he makes an inquiry concerning survivors in Saul's house, 2 Samuel 9:1. Second, a servant named Ziba is summoned on account of his Saulide connections, 9:2. Third, this man is examined to find out what he knows about possible philanthropic targets, 9:3, to whom God's kindness might be displayed:

"Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the loving-kindness of God."

Fourth, the answer comes back from Ziba about a relative of Jonathan who is resident with Machir in the town of Lo-Debar. Fifth, a summons is issued, and at length Mephibosheth hobbles in. Sixth, much to the delight of this disabled lad, a royal grant is given concerning restoration of property and a seat at the palace table, in 2 Samuel 9.7-8.

What a marvelous gift - what incredible generosity! The anointed of the LORD (the Messiah and Old Testament Christ), the ruler of the Kingdom of God, displays covenanted kindness to this forgotten lad, who for the rest of his days on earth will be treated to the daily royal feast. David shows faithfulness, kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, endeavor and sovereign grace in causing this gift to rest upon Mephibosheth.

What is the response to this remarkably generous gift? Gratitude and worship and humbling of this saint. I'll let Mephibosheth put it in his own words, in 2 Samuel 9:8.

"And he paid homage and said 'What is your servant that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I.'"

Is there someone to whom you are able to do good? Is there a promise long-forgotten that you now need to make good? Is there some poor needy soul that you need to search out and find in order to lavish love and kindness on their life? Is it in your power to be a source of blessing on some poor person for whom life if hard? What trouble can you go to in order to discover is there possibly a child to whom you can be kind?

Is someone sick, lonely, bereft, unemployed, swindled, injured or depressed? Is anyone undergoing long-term physical therapy, speech therapy or short-term gruelling chemotherapy? Whatever lengths the summons of kindness calls you to go, you do want to go there as quickly as you can and help that downtrodden impoverished man!

Have you not even more reason than David did to help? Not only were you a cripple and the progeny of an enemy: you, yourself, were a rebel to God's state, not only lame but blind and deaf and dead in your trespasses and guilt. Yet by sovereign grace the Son of David gave you life, and a place at the banquet feast in glory which is prepared, by his death, for all once hell-bound, handicapped, saints. This was only possible by His covenanted love, by which he prepared a place in heaven for us by the ransom-price of blood of the very Son of God...

David is right! It is just what he displayed! Set before all Israel, that all his subjects and brothers might understand exactly what is involved in "The Kindness of Our Almighty, Good, Sovereign, Kind, Most-Glorious, God!"

****So, in light of Christ's Cross, will you please remember to be kind?