Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Kindness of God

“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.” (2 Samuel 9:3)

        This beautiful chapter has served as a basis for many sermons on the Grace of God. The mighty King David, fresh from battle victories, had time now to reflect upon God’s goodness to him and the promise he had made to Jonathan to show kindness to his family forever (1 Sam.20:14-15). So David, a man of his word, inquires whether there are any left of the household of Saul that he might show the promised kindness to, not for Saul’s sake, but for Jonathan’s (v.1). As it turned out, there was one left—a man named Mephibosheth, who, verse three says, was “lame on his feet.” Reading on through the chapter, you will see that not only was all the man’s land restored and others commissioned to take care of it and him for the rest of his life, but in a great show of kindness, David decreed that Mephibosheth would eat at the king’s table for as long as he lived. You see now why it is so often cited as a picture of God’s great mercy and grace to you and me—we who were “crippled by the Fall.”

        For me, the words in the passage that stand out are these: “…that I may shew the kindness of God unto him.” The kindness that David showed to Mephibosheth was not his own, but God’s. You see, there is a limit to our kindness, and it can be prejudicially doled out. But we read in Joel 2:13 and Jonah 4:2 that our God is “of great kindness.” There is no lack here, and neither is there any partiality. All may become its recipient, through Jesus Christ (Eph.2:7). So when our kindness peters out, we can tap into His.

        I followed a car once with a bumper sticker that said, “My Religion is Kindness.” Well, my “religion” is to worship the God who is Kindness. He has seen fit to bestow this great kindness to me; and I, like Mephibosheth, will dine at his His table for all eternity. In the words of the old spiritual:

         I’m gonna sit at His welcome table;

         I’m gonna sit at His welcome table one of these days—


         I’m gonna sit at His welcome table,

         Sit at His welcome table one of these days.

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