The Kindness of God1
The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”
- 2 Samuel 9:3
The son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, had a brutal fifth year of life. In that one year his father died, he became a refugee, and received a crippling injury. In an era when ability and connections were essential for survival, he would have struggled. He couldn’t talk too openly about his parentage or he might bring down the wrath of the Philistines (or the new king). He couldn’t walk, which would have made work difficult.
What is Mephibosheth doing in David’s story?
He’s in this story because David wants to show kindness. More particularly, David wants to show someone the kindness of God.
When you think about God, do you think of him as kind?
Many of us were raised or habituated to think of God as demanding. He has his rules and expectations. He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good … so be good so he doesn’t take away your Christmas presents!
Others of us don’t expect much of God. We consider him to be mostly absent. He spun the universe into motion, but (in this way of thinking) has now moved on to other projects. His level of engagement doesn’t rise high enough to be considered “kind.” At best, we’d call his activity “benevolent neglect.”
But that’s not David’s God. David’s God is active and engaged and present in a way that aligns with his character. Generosity flows from the depth of his being. He’s filled to the brim with joy. And he is so, so, so kind.
Take a few moments today to reflect on how you’ve experience God’s kindness. Thank him and ask him to open your eyes to his kindness in the future.