Over the last few months, we’ve witnessed a lot of bad behaviour associated with the coronavirus pandemic. However, there have also been thousands of acts of kindness and generosity. People have been sewing facemasks for family and friends, delivering food hampers to those in lockdown, and ‘visiting’ people through the wonders of technology.
One of the amazing things about kindness is that it has a ripple effect, such that one kind act often leads to others.
King Saul’s son Jonathan had shown kindness by warning David of Saul’s plot to kill him. On their final morning together, the two friends vow their allegiance to each other. ‘Do not ever cut off your kindness from my family’, Jonathan asks, and David readily agrees (1 Samuel 20: 14-17).
After Saul and Jonathan die, King David makes good on his promise. As we see in today’s passage, David starts making enquiries. ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’ (v. 1).
Saul’s steward Ziba tells him that Jonathan’s lame son Mephibosheth is still alive. David brings him to Jerusalem from Lo-Debar, and showers him with kindness. He restores to him all of the land that belonged to his grandfather Saul, and commissions Ziba and his family and servants to farm the land so that Mephibosheth will always be provided for. And if that isn’t enough, David treats him like one of his own sons by vowing that Mephibosheth will always eat at his table.
It may seem like David was being overly extravagant in the blessings he bestowed on Mephibosheth, but it was really the Lord’s kindness he was sharing (v. 3).
A lot of people are doing it tough during the pandemic. You might be one of them. However, as we reach out with little acts of kindness, we can help reflect God’s love to a hurting world.
Dear Lord, thank you for the extravagant kindness you have shown to us in sending your Son. Help us to be like lights, reflecting your kindness to those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Q1 Read 1 Samuel 20. What can we learn about kindness from this passage?
Q2 David was intentional in expressing kindness. Is there a simple act you could do this week to show kindness to someone?