Have you ever had a chance to be kind to someone who needed help?
God wants us to be kind to people even if they won’t be kind back to us. God wants us to give to people even if they can never pay us back. God wants us to take care of people especially if they can’t take care of themselves.
Do you know why?
Because it shows that we understand that we too need someone to take care of us. And it shows that we are trusting God to love us and take care of us, even though we can’t ever pay him back for all the ways he loves us and cares for us.
There’s a story from the life of King David that shows how God treats us and how we should treat others. Before becoming king, David had spent a long time battling against his enemy King Saul. Saul made David’s life miserable. But David still loved King Saul and refused to hurt him, even when Saul was trying to harm David. On top of that, David and Saul’s son, Jonathan, became best friends.
One terrible day both Saul and Jonathan died in a battle against Israel’s enemies. Now David will be the new king of Israel. And then David did something truly wonderful. David asked if there were any relatives of Saul that he could be kind to.
2 Samuel 9:1. And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
And there was one – Mephibosheth. Can you say Me-phi-bo-sheth?
Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson and he was lame. He couldn’t walk. Back them Mephibosheth would have been poor and considered useless because he couldn’t even be a servant to King David. On top of that, Mephibosheth should be David’s enemy because he was related to the evil King Saul.
But listen to what Mephibosheth and David said to each other when they met:
2 Samuel 9:6-8. 6 And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” 7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” 8 And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”
Mephibosheth called himself a “dead dog.” Worthless. Useless. Poor and needy. And he was. Mephibosheth could never give anything to King David. He couldn’t serve the king, or fight for the king, or pay money to the king like everyone else. But David was kind to Mephibosheth anyway. Why? Because of Jonathan. Because David and Jonathan made a promise to each other to always take care of each other. And so David moved Mephibosheth into his own house, and gave him land, and let him eat at his own table every day. Wow.
2 Samuel 9:11. So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons.
Now I want you to think about this story and how it relates to you. How are you like Mephibosheth? And how is King David like God?
David loved Mephibosheth because of Jonathan. God loves us because of Jesus. Like Mephibosheth we are God’s enemies. We are “dead dogs” without Jesus. We are useless and hopeless. But because of Jesus and his death on the cross for our sins, we are now invited into God’s house to eat at his table forever in Heaven.
And now God wants us to be kind to others just like David was. When we know that we are kings and queens in God’s royal family, we can be nice to people even if they can’t ever be nice back to us. We can be kind to everyone, even if it seems like they should be our enemy.
Because of Jesus we will never be God’s enemies, and will always be welcomed in his house.
With Jesus we can be kind to everyone.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Plan a way to be nice to someone this week. Maybe someone that it has been hard to be nice to. Can you take them a meal, or invite them over to play in the yard?
With you I am no longer a dead dog. I am alive and loved by God!
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