David 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

It was customary to kill anyone left in the previous king’s family so they wouldn’t be a threat to your reign. Yet here David does the exact opposite and arranged for Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, to eat at his table. When David asked the same question of Ziba, Saul’s servant, he changes “kindness” to “God’s kindness”. David’s heart’s desire was to bring peace and show God’s kindness to those undeserving of it. Mephibosheth described himself as a “dead dog” but David had him sit at the king’s table. Before we accepted Christ we could also be described as “dead dogs” but God brought us to his kingly table and “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

Not all David’s attempts at showing kindness were successful. For example, “David thought, ‘I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me’” (2 Samuel 10:2). But this act of kindness was misunderstood and led to a battle. God’s unending kindness towards us is also misunderstood and his gift of peace isn’t always accepted. Sometimes people think God’s kindness makes him soft so that he will let everyone into heaven, failing to understand that God is being patient giving everyone the opportunity of responding to the gospel. “God’s kindness leads you towards repentance” (Romans 2:4).

Sometimes our attempts to show kindness and bring peace will also fail or be misunderstood. This shouldn’t deter us as it doesn’t deter God. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).