David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
- 2 Samuel 9:1
This week’s passage comes after David has secured the kingship and settled into his palace. All of the hurdles and obstacles between him and his desired destiny have been swept away. The Lord did it. David just had to wait and be faithful.
Faithfulness to the Lord overflows into kindness toward others.
David goes looking for descendants from the previous dynasty. This activity would have been very normal in the ancient world, but unusual in its intent. Normally, the king would be on the lookout for contenders to his throne, others who might claim a right to rule. He would find them. Then he would remove them: exile or execution.
But David wants to show kindness. He had made a promise to Saul that he wouldn’t kill off all of Saul’s descendants, but that didn’t require him to show kindness to them. He could have ignored them and pretended they didn’t exist.
Dynastic succession would have been hard on Saul’s family. They went from wielding tremendous influence in the nation to none at all. Their lands would have been taken. Their herds scattered. They would have been destitute.
David’s kindness is just about warm feelings. He’s also willing to engage in intentional action and systemic restructuring in order to bring kindness to bear on anyone still left of the house of Saul.
In what ways does the Lord give you opportunities to demonstrate overflowing kindness in your day-to-day life? How might he invite you to be more intentional about showing kindness today?