King David once asked an important question when he asked, “Is there anyone from Saul’s house I can show kindness to?” David had a grateful heart. We know that from the many Psalms that show his gratitude to God. We also know that he had made a promise to his dear friend Jonathan that he would show kindness to his descendants. A search was made, and someone was found. His name was Mephibosheth, and he lived in Lo Debar. He was Jonathan’s son, and he lived in a barren place, most likely trying to stay as far away from the new king as possible. When David discovered him, he had him brought to him and told him not to be afraid. David assured him that he had been brought for the sole purpose of showing him kindness and not retribution. David returned all the property that had belonged to his family previously and appointed people to take care of it. He then asked Mephibosheth to live in the king’s palace and eat at the king’s table (2 Sam. 9:8-13).
Mephibosheth was crippled in both feet, but that didn’t matter to David. I like that about David. Mephibosheth sat at the kings’ table and ate with the king’s family and invited guests, and the table cloth covered his feet. The whole story is a story of grace and mercy. God has shown mercy to all of us, and he expects us to show mercy to others, even to those who may not deserve it.
Such is the case of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers and even betrayed by others. Despite the setbacks, Joseph experienced God’s grace and mercy and eventually became the Prime Minister of Egypt. The reuniting of his brothers and their families along with his father is a tear-jerking story. Joseph gave them prime real estate in Egypt, and they prospered. However, after their father Jacob died, they came to Joseph unsure that Joseph would continue to show them kindness. They wondered if Joseph might hold a grudge against them for what they had done to him. They begged for forgiveness. When Joseph heard their words, he wept. Joseph’s response is beautiful, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children" (Genesis 50:15-21). Joseph showed his brothers mercy.
I encourage you to stop and consider who you might show kindness to today. It is what God desires for his children that they would show mercy to others around them. After all, how could we do anything less after all the mercy God has shown to us?