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The Kindness of God

Alan

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“The Kindness of God”

2 Samuel 9:1-13 David & Mephibosheth

The theme of this story is the kindness of God. In David’s life, we can see the kindness of God. Because David and God had an intimate relationship, David developed a kind heart.

Background

Before David became the King of Israel King Saul tried to kill David and prevent David from becoming King over Israel. King Saul was David’s enemy. For seven years, David fled from King Saul.

 

Except during times of  religious expediency, King Saul did not obey God. He rebelled against God, listened to the people, and had a stubborn heart.

 

God rejected King Saul and anointed David to be king over Israel. 1 Samuel & 11 and 23 says, “Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried all night.” and, Samuel told King Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."

 

King Saul is like many people. Most people, yea, even a lot of religious people, reject the will of God because they are rebellion against the Bible, stubborn, and will only listen to the world.

 

David, before he became King, had a close relationship with King Saul’s son, Jonathan. Jonathan was an individual who had a love for God, for the will of God, and for the man of God.

 

Verse 1-3, “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? 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. 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.”

 

King David loved God and God gave David peace and love in his heart. King David did not have hate nor have bitterness in his heart towards the house of Saul. King David put into practice the love and kindness of God. “Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” Psalm 25:6

 

King David is a good example for us how we should love our enemies and exhibit the love and kindness of God. In this passage twice, King David said that he wanted to show the kindness of God towards the house of Saul. Jonathan was King Saul’s son and a friend of David. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson.

 

Mephibosheth was lame. He could not walk nor could he earn money. He was very poor. Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul. Mephibosheth represents the Christian. Before we are saved, we are a child of the Devil and unworthy to enter into the presence of God and into heaven. And, only the love and mercy of God makes us worthy enough to enter heaven.

 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.) Ephesians 2:4 and 5

 

Love Produces Kindness

 

Verse 5 & 6, “Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. 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!”

 

Please note that even though David was the King he sought Mephibosheth. King David is a type of God. God loves us and He is seeking us. 1 John 4:9 & 10 says, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

 

God loves us!

 

The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10 God is seeking the salvation of man in order for man to escape the torment of hell and enter the joy of heaven.

 

Jesus loves us!

 

Verse 7 & 8, “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. And he bowed himself, and said, What is they servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”

 

The first words out of the mouth of King David was “Fear not.” King David relieved the heart of Mephibosheth. Is that not like the kindness of God? “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

 

Mephibosheth realized that he was not worthy to receive this honor and was humble. In this passage, Mephibosheth twice said that he is David’s servant and did not deserve his mercy.

 

Before we are saved, we are unworthy to enter into the presence of the King of Heaven. We deserve to go to hell. Like Mephibosheth, we need to have a grateful heart to the king of heaven and be God’s servant and follow Jesus.

 

Verse 13, “So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.”

 

King David gave commandments that his servants were to provide the physical necessities for Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth could not take care of himself so David took care of his needs.

The Lord Jesus is our king and one day we will sit at His table in heaven and eat. The Lord Jesus, as an added blessing to the salvation of our soul, will give us a new, glorified body, and will take care of the needs of our new body for eternity. Revelation 19:9, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

Conclusion

The story of King David and Mephibosheth is a wonderful story of the loving kindness and mercy of God. It shows us how God gave David love for his enemies’ grandchild. It shows us the humility of Mephibosheth and love and kindness of God in a practical manner. It shows us how God will take care of our spiritual, physical, and eternal needs.

 

Like King David, when we have a close relationship with God we can have the love and kindness of God in our hearts.

 

God loves us! He is Merciful and Gracious! Before we loved God He loved us! Because God loves us He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the cross and become the propitiation for our sins. This story shows us how God is seeking man for the eternal salvation of our soul so we can escape the torment of hell and enter into the joy of heaven.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

 



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Pastor Markle,

It is a blessing to my heart knowing that this devotion was a blessing to you.

Jim,

Glad to hear it was a blessing to your heart. The story of King David and Mephibosheth is a very touching story. Every time I read it it is a blessing to my heart and tells me of the kindness and love of God to all of us and the love and kindness that was a part of the life of David. The humbleness of Mephibosheth is a lesson to my heart.

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Brethren,

God bless you all. Hope you enjoy the photo on Psalm 25:6.

Psalm 25v6 Pink Dragonfly.jpg

The photo is not copyrighted and you may use for your own enjoyment, share it with others, or use it as a computer screen. :)

Alan

 

 

Edited by Alan

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There are always unbelievers who attack the God of the Old Testament, and accusing Him of being some sort of tyrant. What they fail to realize is that the God of the OT is the SAME God of the NT. God's righteous indignation was poured out on those who hated God and despise His ways. Furthermore, we find that the more sin abounded, God's Grace also flourished (cf. Rom. 5:20) -- especially in the Incarnation of the Son of God.

God less!

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Daniel,

Thank you for bringing out Romans 5:20, "Moreover, the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Romans 5:20 was a welcomed addition to this devotion on the kindness of God.

Alan

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    • "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts" (Proverbs 21:2 KJV). The Bible is written to God's people. The message is primarily directed to the believer, but from time-to-time, God points to the unbeliever and says, "This is for you." Verse 2 seems to be one of those verses, though it can certainly also be applied to a disobedient believer, whether Old Testament saint or New Testament Blood-washed believer. Ask almost any man and he will tell you that he is a decent fellow. Often when asked if they know they are going to heaven they will answer, "Of course!" When pushed for the reason they are sure, they respond with, "Well, I'm a good person. I go to church, I donate to charity, I follow the golden rule in my life." The basis of their belief is that being good is the only requirement for gaining God's presence. This verse takes that man's belief and shreds it to pieces. He thinks he is good in his own eyes, because he has only himself to compare with. God's Word sets up Jesus Christ as the One to Whom we are to judge our own life against, and when we do that, we must admit that we fall far, far short of His perfection. The Lord ponders our heart . . . He can see it just as it is, and He can see us just as we are. The truth is, though, that even a man knows his own heart and knows that if the truth were known--he would be ashamed of what folks would see. The Old Testament Law can only reveal the justice and judgment of God. God gave us the whole Bible to find His grace and love as well. God's greatest expression of love is found at a hill that looked very much like a human skull where Jesus Christ died a cruel death to exchange the vileness of our own heart for the beauty of a new creature in Him. Come to the cross, and let God give you a new heart! "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26 KJV). Lord, let us love the lost in the same way that you loved us. Amen.
    • "The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him" (Proverbs 20:7 KJV). Nowhere is this more vividly illustrated than in the lives of Jonathan Edwards and Max Jukes. This anecdote is taken from "America is Too Young to Die by Leonard Ravenhill, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany Fellowship, 1979, p. 112) Max Jukes, [an] atheist, lived a godless life. He married an ungodly [woman], and from this union there were 310 who died as paupers, 150 were criminals, 7 were murderers, 100 were drunkards, and more than half of the women were prostitutes. His 540 descendants cost the State one and a quarter million dollars [before inflation]. Then there is a record of a great man of God, Jonathan Edwards. He lived at the same time as Max Jukes, but he married a godly [woman]. An investigation was made of 1,394 known descendants of Jonathan Edwards, of which 13 became college presidents, 65 college professors, 3 United States Senators, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, 75 army and navy officers, 100 preachers and missionaries, 60 authors of prominence, one Vice-President of the United States, 80 public officials in other capacities, 295 college graduates, among whom were governors of states and ministers to foreign countries. Jonathan Edwards' descendants did not cost the state a penny. Today, in the name of tolerance and multiculturalism, we are told that God must be kept out of public view. It is even wrong to say, "God bless America" or "Merry Christmas," according to these "politically correct" demagogues. Instead of the blessings that came to Jonathan Edwards' progeny, we see a growing multitude like the descendants of Max Jukes! "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). Lord, let us live our lives not for today, but for the generations that shall follow us, should You tarry Your return. Perhaps, by Your grace, it might be said a couple of hundred years from now that the reason a family is godly and serving Jesus is because of the life of their great, great grandfather. Give us, O Lord, a godly heritage and progeny! Amen!
    • "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape" (Proverbs 19:5 KJV). "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish" (Proverbs 19:9 KJV). Often, in Scripture, when the word "witness" is used it is speaking of a spiritual, or godly, testimony. Of course, that includes lying to others, or bearing a false witness. In this instance I believe it is pointing to the false shepherd assuming to speak for the Lord, giving directions to the people, when he was not sent by God. And I doubt there is anything more loathsome to the Lord than a lying shepherd . . . "My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace" (Jeremiah 50:6 KJV). Someone presuming to speak for the Lord and telling lies to the people is forewarned that not only will he not escape [God's righteous judgment] but he shall perish [spend an eternity in hell]. I do not unjustly judge, for if a man preaches another gospel other than the one that Paul delivered of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a salvation of grace and not works - that man is accursed - and cannot possibly be saved himself for that would mean that he knew the true gospel and would teach it. Lord, help us to always carefully handle Your Word so that we do not allow error to creep in. We know we are saved, but in some areas of the Word we are prone to wonder into error. Help us, dear Lord, to rightly divide the Word of truth which has been delivered to us and preserved unto all generations. Amen.
    • Daniel, Thank you  for your comments. So often we let the affairs of this life hinder our walk with the Lord. As your comments were a blessing to me I am sure they are a blessing to the other brethren. Alan
    • "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24 KJV). What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
      What a privilege to carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
      O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
      All because we do not carry Ev'rything to God in prayer! Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
      We should never be discouraged-Take it to the Lord in prayer.
      Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?
      Jesus knows our every weakness-Take it to the Lord in prayer. Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
      Precious Savior, still our refuge-Take it to the Lord in prayer.
      Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
      In His arms He'll take and shield thee-Thou wilt find a solace there. -Joseph Scriven, written 1855 Joseph Scriven knew heartache and devastation first hand. As a young man his hopes and dreams vanished on the day before his wedding when he watched in horror as the lifeless body of his beloved was pulled from the water where she had drowned. Sorrow overwhelmed him, yet in the months and years that followed, Scriven turned repeatedly to the only Friend who would never leave him. Although he battled loneliness and depression for the rest of his life, he never let go of the hand of his Savior. Scriven knew that Jesus cared and that He was acquainted with loneliness and sorrow. This man knew that he could take his grief to Jesus and find strength and peace that no one else could give. Years later Scriven took what he had learned through his pain and put it into the words of a poem that we now sing as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus." Lord, I have had friends in the past that have led me far from Your purpose and will for my life, but I thank You that You have become my personal friend and have led me into all riches and honour and grace through You. You gave all You had in order to give me all that I have, and I thank You. Amen.
    • "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding" (Proverbs 17:28 KJV). I guess we've all heard the quote, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but certainly derived from Proverbs, that is: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." Ecclesiastes add to the thought: “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words” (Ecclesiastes 5:3 KJV). We can almost feel Job’s exasperation when he said, “Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace! And it would be your wisdom” (Job_13:5 KJB). The wise man would do well to heed the Apostle Paul, he had an answer for just about everything thanks to the indwelling Spirit of God that he listened to every moment, "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man" (Colossians 4:6 KJV). How many words will the Devil yet try to steal and change. Today, we must carefully consider our context when we use a word like “gay.” It is sickening and disgusting to take what once meant happy to where it now mean a person that is incredibly sad, and without hope. Even the word “salt” is now “salty,” which means profanity—the total opposite of Paul’s usage. Put it down, if our Saviour owns a word, the Devil will try to steal it: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13 KJV). Another old saying is that to keep a bird from flying, sprinkle a little salt on his tail. I have not proven this, so I don't know if it is true or not . . . but you can bet that the way to keep the tongue from running off is to use a little "spiritual" salt on it. A man that possesses the “mind of Christ,” should never be guilty of wicked, stupid speech. We represent the Lord Jesus Christ as ambassadors of heaven. This makes us dignitaries, and that ought to make us sober, grave, temperate in all things. God has no use for court jesters. Lord, You know we are prone to speak our own opinion and that gets us into trouble, as You did for Job, please do for us . . . "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred" (Job 6:24). Amen.
    • "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6 KJV). Is not Jesus Himself called Mercy, and that mercy promised? Doesn’t He say that He is truth? Those attributes have met together at the Cross, where we first saw the light, and the burden of our sin fell away. It was there that He became “our righteousness.” And that rises or falls on “thus saith the Lord!” God has given us His Word! Titus tells us that our God "cannot lie," so we can depend on whatever He tells us, but sadly, many Christians claim to have faith in a Bible that doesn’t exist. They say they believe the “original autographs” were without error, but they don’t have them. We need a Bible we can trust that we can actually hold in our hands. We have such a Bible! Because it is such a Bible, we can appreciate what Titus adds to the believer's hope (which is assured faith, not wishful thinking). "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:4-5 KJV). And, because we have confidence in such a book, we can know that we are saved and have an unique relationship with the Father, we are filled with a deep and abiding fear of His holiness, so that we would not dream of offending Him . . . though we do. I have given God a million reasons not to love me. None of them changed His mind. If we do not have a perfect Bible, how can we claim to have a perfect salvation? How can we trust that our iniquities have been purged? How can we truly claim to know that we have a home in heaven? An imperfect Bible speaks to me of an imperfect God, Who can do nothing more than make imperfect promises. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (II Timothy 2:19 KJV). Lord, help us to love you even more than we do now. Let that love grow daily, and let our love teach us to avoid those things which offend you. We choose to keep these words in our Lord's prayer, "Lead us not into temptation!" Despite what the religious "leader" says.  Amen!
    • As we go through the life of Joseph in these devotions, I would like to express to all of you that God was with Joseph in all of the extreme trials that he went through. Joseph, as with all of God's saints, and the favoured nation of Israel, are led through the trials of life in order to know God,  His will, and experience the work of God through our lives for our good and the good of others; Romans 8:28 As we can see in the life of Joseph, and his love for God, and his trust in God, God has been with Joseph and God will work out all things for his good.The Chinese have a saying, a proverb, that may be a blessing to you as it has been to me. 「天理昭彰」Translated into English, it says that, "The law of heaven always prevails." The will of God will be performed in the life of Joseph as, "... the LORD was with Joseph." May God richly bless all of you  
    • "A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies" (Proverbs 14:25 KJV). Nowhere does this seem to be truer than in the realm of "religion." A faithful preacher speaking the truth is not very popular in this world, yet those that consider him their undershepherd are blessed and strengthened by his sermons. They know that when they listen to Him they are going to hear the Word of God in such a way that it applies to them personally and results in them becoming fully equipped to live the life that pleases the Lord. Unfortunately, the multitudes prefer to hear messages that tell them how wonderful they are and how sins are simply mistakes but that God loves them anyway and accepts them just the way they are. They prefer the lies that make them feel good and doesn't convict them of sin and hell, while the Bible-believer prefers the truth that makes them feel bad but points them to the Cross, the Blood, and the Saviour. After being convinced by the false witness that there is nothing to fear from God, that He is a loving grandfatherly-type being that loves all and accepts all, the lost continue to bear their sin under the false notion that God will excuse them, while the Word of God as a faithful witness says that they are “condemned already” and that they are “without Christ,” “without hope,” and “without God in the world.” The megachurches are filled with those that are wish to feel good in this world, but eternity is a long time to ponder their willful act of letting themselves be deceived, for they are without excuse. The lying and false preacher is only reinforcing what they themselves want to believe for the invisible things from the beginning of the world are clearly seen, but rejected. The believer clings to the cross where the Blood of Christ cleanses them from all sin and unrighteousness and makes it possible for them to serve the living and true God, as they await the day when their faith will become sight in the very presence of their Saviour. Paul strengthened many by his epistles, and still does in the written word, yet he had those that hated him and his message. At one point he asked, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16 KJV). Ever will it be true, that, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:5-6 KJV). Lord, help us to be honest and tell our friends what they need to hear, and not only what they want to hear. Give us stars for our crown as we share your precious gospel with our lost loved ones and friends. But above all, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 KJV). Amen!
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