David’s Kindness

Key Verse: “David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
—II Samuel 9:1

Selected Scripture:
II Samuel 9:1-13

KINDNESS AND COMPASSION are synonyms. They embody thoughts of love, care and the desire to help. Additionally, they include a willingness to assist and help those who are suffering in some way. As we look at the word compassion in Scripture, it is often used to describe the good that God manifests towards mankind in various ways. Here is one such example: “Thou, O lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”—Ps. 86:15

Following the death of Saul and his son Jonathan, King David manifested kindness and compassion, a godlike quality worthy of emulation by all who reverence our Heavenly Father. In our Key Verse, David inquired respecting any of the remaining members of Saul’s family. He especially desired to render kindness to any of Jonathan’s posterity despite the fact that Saul had repeatedly sought to prevent him from occupying the throne of Israel.

“There was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet. And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar. Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.”—II Sam. 9:2-5

Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s lame son, then appeared before the king and prostrated himself in fear. However, David made good on an earlier promise to Jonathan that he would show kindness to his posterity by allowing his son Mephibosheth to eat at the king’s table, among other acts of compassion.—vss. 6-13

David’s example as a member of the house of servants in this narrative contains lessons for spirit begotten followers of Christ who are members of the house of sons. One such admonition we should take to heart is: “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”—Luke 6:35,36

The ultimate example of doing good to all was Christ Jesus. He is prophetically described as follows: “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: … He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. … Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”—Isa. 53:4,5,10

May our lives more and more reflect an appreciation of Christ’s magnificent sacrifice as well as his great love for us. May we also be enabled to derive strength and encouragement, and be obedient to divine principles. By such an attitude, we will also demonstrate our own willingness to daily follow the Master more closely. “Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”—Eph. 5:2