“And David said, ‘Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’ 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.’ And the king said, ‘Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?’ Ziba said to the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.’ The king said to him, ‘Where is he?’ And Ziba said to the king, ‘He is in the house of Machir, at Lo-debar.’ Then King David sent and brought him. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, ‘Mephibosheth!’ And he answered, ‘Behold, I am your servant.’ And David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.’ 2 Samuel 9:1-7
Mighty warrior, executive over a burgeoning staff, busy with a growing family, King David made a priority of looking for ways to show God’s kindness to the family of Saul, his former enemy. He thought about it, initiated, took time to inquire. He extended grace and his gift was ongoing, no ‘one-and-done.’ This was no happenstance coming across a relative of the former king and extending politeness, or handing out a socially-acceptable gift, but a conscious, deliberate seeking and giving out of significant blessing and good, “the kindness of God,” to another. In this gesture, we see the outworking of a king graced with God’s heart. (1 Samuel 13:14; 2 Samuel 23:8-39; 1 Chronicles 27; Acts 13:22)
This is how our God looks out for, and on, us. He is a God Who sees, and sees after, us. He initiates goodness toward us according to His lavish stores of love and mercy. It is His nature to bless, and not only in answer to our requests. As recipients of His rich kindnesses, will not we, in gratitude and with full hearts, look for ways to extend the same to others? (Genesis 16:13; Ephesians 4:32)
Who has God placed in our lives, in places of business, neighbors, extended family, who could taste a bit of Jesus if we were to reach out? Would we ask the Lord to help us think this way, and in His name offer a note, a cheery hello, help with a project, time for conversation, a tea, or a meal? When I want to indulge myself, would I indulge another instead? To whom will I extend the kindness of God today? When we intentionally give for Jesus’s sake, to receive nothing in return, their response does not matter, only that we have reflected and honored Him.
Bountiful Lord, make me keenly aware not only of others’ needs, that I might spend effort to fulfill them, but of ways to show Your kindness when no need is visible. Fill me with Your generosity of Spirit and kindness toward others, simply because they bear Your likeness.