“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” - Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV).
King David is quite an amazing character study. At first glance it is easy to take him for one hardened man devoid of a soft heart. When a messenger brought to him the news of the death of once his tormentor King Saul, and claimed to have finished him off in his suicide bid, he wasn’t amused. “David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died” (I Samuel 1:15). Expect no mercy!
But it is the same David after routing all his enemies, the throne of Israel firmly secured, who “asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1). Jonathan, Saul’s son, had saved David more than once when his father sought to kill him (1 Samuel 20). A servant of Saul, Ziba, came forward and “answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet…When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan…came to David, (he)…said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” (2 Samuel 9:3-7).
Kindness has been described as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”! Some would say David was kind to Mephibosheth because it was only expected after all Jonathan had done for him! Yet, how often do we find those with power, and who conveniently forget where they came from! Kindness is most felt when a favor is extended to someone in need. Unfortunately, there is a sadistic streak we sometimes come across of those who enjoy at keeping at bay, in suspense of others, before dismissing them with their needs. A simple request for a favor brings no consideration.
Some people see kindness as sign of weakness, perhaps a trap for someone to take advantage of them. King David had the power to neglect the crippled Mephibosheth but he didn’t feel threatened by being kind. The one thing about kindness is that each one of us has that power over somebody to cause grief or bring pleasure. The Lord Almighty expects us to show kindness whenever we are in position of power, as we clearly see of King David.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you are a kind and loving Father, may I through the gift of the Holy Spirit show kindness to those in need, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!