Boarding a plane alone with her children, a young mom tried desperately to calm her three-year-old daughter who began kicking and crying. Then her hungry four-month-old son also began to wail.
A traveler seated next to her quickly offered to hold the baby while Jessica got her daughter buckled in. Then the traveler—recalling his own days as a young dad—began coloring with the toddler while Jessica fed her infant. And on the next connecting flight, the same man offered to assist again if needed.
Jessica recalled, “I [was] blown away by God’s hand in this. [We] could have been placed next to anyone, but we were seated next to one of the nicest men I have ever met.”
In 2 Samuel 9, we read of another example of what I call intentional kindness. After King Saul and his son Jonathan had been killed, some expected David to kill off any competition to his claim for the throne. Instead, he asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” (v. 3). Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, was then brought to David who restored his inheritance and warmly invited him to share his table from then on—just as if he were his own son (v. 11).
As beneficiaries of the immense kindness of God, may we look for opportunities to show intentional kindness toward others (Galatians 6:10).
Who can you show God’s kindness to? What specific act of kindness can you demonstrate to someone who is hurting or discouraged?
The events that transpire in 2 Samuel 9 have their roots in the covenant relationship that David had with Jonathan, the son of Israel’s first king, Saul. Jonathan, knowing that David was destined to be king, secured David’s commitment to show “kindness” to his offspring (1 Samuel 20:14–17). Mephibosheth, crippled by an accident when he was five years old (2 Samuel 4:4), was an heir to covenant kindness.