Mercy For Enemies
2 Samuel 9:7 (ESV) – 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.”
Kings are typically paranoid. Herod the Great is an example of this kind of king. He had children and wives killed because he believed all of them were plotting to take his place as king. Many other leaders from political kingdoms to business kingdoms act the same. It is rare to find a leader that is not only secure, but not paranoid. It is even rarer to find a king that is merciful to their enemies.
Our passage today shows us one such example. King David was this kind of king. We read in 2 Samuel 9:7, “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.’”
David became king over all of Israel. The reign of Saul ended with his death. The first thing many kings did was kill all the remaining descendants of their predecessor. Why? Because they didn’t want any threats to their reign. They didn’t want anyone to gain a following and try to take their kingdom. But when David learned about the son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul, he showed mercy to him. Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, struggled with crippled legs. David told him not to fear for his life. He determined to show kindness to him and even restore to him land that belonged to Saul. David invited Mephibosheth to dine at his table. In other words, he treated him as family.
This is a stunning move for a king. David shows mercy to what would otherwise be considered his enemy. This mercy from King David is a reflection of Christ.
Jesus is the true king
that shows mercy to His enemies.
In one sense, He makes His enemies
His friends in saving them.
But even those who do not bow the knee
to Him receive mercy and
kindness from Him every day.
He gives rain to the just and the unjust.
Can you recount the mercies Christ gave to you when you were an enemy? What are ways that He has shown mercy to you recently? This story is a great picture of a king being merciful, but it is a great pointer to the King of Mercy who is kind to sinners.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is David kind to Mephibosheth?
- What does this tell us about David’s character? How does this point to Jesus?
- How has Christ been merciful to you recently?
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