The Art Of Showing Kindness
THE ART OF SHOWING KINDNESS
II SAMUEL 9:1-13
1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? 2 And 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. 3 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. 4 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. 5 Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. 6 Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! 7 And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. 8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
9 Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. 10 Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master’s son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master’s son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons. 12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.
Mephibosheth had a handicap. But did you ever think that almost all of us have one kind of handicap or another? Some have physical handicaps that everybody can see; others have hidden handicaps known only to them and God. Some carry family burdens; others have mental or emotional needs that keep them from living life at its best. Nobody is perfect and nobody is free from burdens of one kind or another.
How are we going to deal with our handicaps? Are we going to resent them and become angry with God? Are we going to spend the rest of our days huddled in a corner, making ourselves and everybody around us miserable? We can do this if we wish, but it certainly will not solve the problem it will only make it worse.
The happiest people are not those who seem to have no problems in life. The happiest people are those who have used their handicaps to climb higher, who by faith in the Lord have turned their mountains into molehills.
God can use a broken vessel, just so long as it is clean and surrendered. Paul wrote, “When I am weak, then am I strong.” A person does not have to have a perfect body in order to be useful to God. God will never disqualify a man because of a handicap.
God’s covenant and promise to David let him know that God had called him to establish and confirm Israel’s place in the Promised Land. This encouraged him to step out in faith and win new and greater victories for the Lord. Soon the Philistines were subdued and their territory greatly reduced. Then David went on to gain control over Moab, Ammon, Syria, and Edom. In fact, when this series of military campaigns was over, David’s authority extended from the Euphrates River to the borders of Egypt. This included the major portion of the land originally promised to Abraham.
All this power and fame did not cause David to glorify himself, however. Instead, his heart turned back to the days when as a young man he was forced to flee from the court of King Saul. He remembered how Jonathan, Saul’s son, befriended him and stood by him even at the risk of his own life. David could not forget how this crown prince made a covenant of love and loyalty with him even though it meant that he was giving up his own right to the throne to David as God’s choice.
I. THE REASON FOR KINDNESS
A. An Obligation to Others
1. One of the marks of David’s greatness is that he did not forget the help he received not the promises he made in his earlier years.
2. No one gave David greater help in the beginning than Jonathan
B. Because Jonathan Had Been Kind and Encouraging to David, David Now Wanted to Show Kindness to Others
1. Jonathan was dead, but his influence still lived in David
2. Mephibosheth was to be blessed because of Jonathan.
II. THE RECORD OF KINDNESS
A. An Outcast Honored
1. Roles reversed
2. David saw Mephibosheth fall on his face and sensed his fear
3. David assured him that he had no need to fear
4. There are many causes of fear
5. Believers sometimes fear, but God delivers them from all fears when they trust in Him
B. A Promise Kept
1. David instructed Ziba to take care of Saul’s lands for Mephibosheth and bring him the fruits
2. The Bible promises privileges to us as well
3. As Christians we need not to live in bondage
III. THE RESOURCES OF KINDNESS
A. Divine Concern
B. This record of David’s kindness is recorded to stir us to go out and show the same kindness and faithful love of God to others
C. We do not have the resources within ourselves to show others the kindness of God, but Jesus does.
We see that the greatest characteristic of God’s love and kindness is His faithfulness. Human love and kindness waxes and wanes like the phases of the moon. But God is not like that in the giving of His gifts. He make available to us the resource of earth and heaven and gives to us His own righteousness that we might bear fruit as we walk in His steps. God’s faithfulness to us enables us to show real kindness, the kindness of God to other.