NEHCC Sermon - 5-4-08 - Kindness
NORTHEAST HOUSTON COMMUNITY CHURCH
Sermon – Kindness
Scripture – 2 Sam 9
2 Sam 9
9 Now David said, "Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" 2 And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" He said, "At your service!" 3 Then the king said, "Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?" And Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet." 4 So the king said to him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said to the king, "Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar." 5 Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar. 6 Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, "Mephibosheth?" And he answered, "Here is your servant!" 7 So David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually." 8 Then he bowed himself, and said, "What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?" 9 And the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "I have given to your master's son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. 10 You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master's son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master's son shall eat bread at my table always." Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, "According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do." "As for Mephibosheth," said the king, "he shall eat at my table* like one of the king's sons." 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Micha. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king's table. And he was lame in both his feet. NKJV_
V1 Now David said, "Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?"
We are now many years into David’s reign as king. I estimate he was over half-way through the forty years he reigned. The man Mephibosheth was five years old when David became king and now Mephibosheth has a child of his own. Based on this information I think at least twenty years has passed since David became king.
Mephibosheth was living quietly in the house of Machir, in Lo Debar. Machir was a kind man to take in the lame grandson of Saul and provide a place for him to live. Machir is mentioned again in the scriptures, associated with an act of kindness he later showed to David and no doubt this later act showed to David was a result of David’s act of kindness shown to Mephibosheth.
I firmly believe that if you are a person that shows kindness you will also receive kindness in return. The more you show kindness the more it becomes a part of your character.
There are two lessons we can learn from David today and these fall into the category of things that we should do.
The first is that David finally remembered his vow to Jonathan.
1 Sam 20:14-18 14 And you shall not only show me the kindness of the Lord while I still live, that I may not die; 15 but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the Lord has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth." 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "Let the Lord require it at the hand of David's enemies." 17 Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. NKJV
Your word is your vow. David gave his word to Jonathan a long time ago. It is now around thirty years later and he is fulfilling it. When we give our word it does not go away over time. It is still out there.
Have we ever given our word, made a promise and the time has passed and we say to ourselves well it is too late now. If you want other people to value your word you must value it even if you forget it. If we get into the habit of making promises, giving our word or making a vow to our fellow man and we continue to not fulfill them, we will find ourselves doing the same thing to God. Any promises made pertaining to the things of God, like to the church, to the pastor, and yes, even to God, He will hold us accountable.
We have made too many promises to God and have likewise forgotten them, but it is not too late to fulfill them. God does not forget the promises we have made to Him.
Deut 23:21-23 21 "When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. 22 But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sin to you. NKJV
Eccl 5:4-5 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed — 5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. NKJV
David is very late and perhaps he did not know of an opportunity to keep his covenant. To his credit, he eventually asked if there was anyone left of the house of Saul that he could show kindness to for the sake of Saul.
Do you consider yourself a kind person? Is your kindness limited to just a few people close to you? What is kindness and can you define it? I see more and more of a lack of simple kindness that I wonder what we are coming too. I am pleased to say that kind act are not completely gone, but they seem to be diminishing.
Definition - Kindness - : affectionate, loving, COMPASSIONATE 2 a: of a sympathetic or helpful nature b: of a forbearing nature : gentle c: arising from or characterized by sympathy or forbearance <a kind act>
How can we demonstrate kindness?
1. Don’t be unkind
2. Use kind words
3. Listen – listening shows empathy and empathy shows concern.
4. Helping others – holding door, heavy loads, assistance
I see the idea of sympathy or sympathetic mentioned in the definition.
Definition - Sympathy - 3 a: the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another
David had sympathy and compassion on Mephibosheth. He could share his feelings knowing that he was of a royal family but was in seclusion for the reigning king may have him killed as was the custom of that day. David, who was anointed king also had to hide for fear of his life from the king.
He had compassion for Mephibosheth.
Definition - Compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it
He related to his fears and desired to alleviate them.
We can learn from David to be kind, sympathetic and compassionate toward others, especially to those of the faith, our brothers and sisters.
These traits all stem from kindness and kindness stems from love. It was the love that David and Jonathan had that, 30 years later, benefited Jonathan’s, son a man that he did not even know.
I can remember as a child how it felt to be favorably received by other adults who were friends of my mother or father and their favor and kindness fell upon me.
I find that it takes more effort to be mean than it does to be kind. Kindness feels better. Kindness will make a positive difference in someone’s life
I understand that it may not always be easy to be kind to some people but I remind myself that while this world was an enemy to God he demonstrated out of loving kindness, sympathy and compassion toward us that Christ died for us.
Rom 5:8 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. NKJV
I want to be like Christ and I know Christ is like God and I know that God is the embodiment of the greatest love ever, therefore that is why God is love.
1 John 4:8 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. NKJV
The Bible tell me that love is kind.
1 Cor 13:4 4 Love suffers long and is kind; NKJV
As children of such a loving God we must be kind to one another as the bible tells us.
Eph 4:32 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. NKJV
Kindness begins with love and comes from the heart. To love as God loves we must have a heart for God.
You do not have to “love” the person but it is our love for God that transcends in to an act of kindness for others.
David was a man after God’s own heart. That means that David was a man that sought the heart of God. He sought to do the things in his life that were pleasing to God and god loved him for it.
Let us strive to be men and women after God’s own heart. We are too quickly to give up and say “I can never measure up.” With that attitude we will always measure down and fall short.
When I read and study about characters like Moses, Joshua, David, Elisha, Elijah and others I am inspired to ask God to give me a heart like theirs.
We can be a person after God’s own heart, but we have to turn away from those things that get in the way.
We can start by being kind to one another in love.
1 John 4:7-16
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. NKJV