By Sam Greer
Senior Pastor, Red Bank Baptist Church, Chattanooga
Following an exhilarating performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall, celebrated classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma went home, slept, and awoke the next day exhausted. He called for a cab to take him to a hotel on the other side of Manhattan and placed his cello, which was handcrafted in Vienna in 1733 and valued at $2.5 million, in the trunk of the taxi. When he reached his destination, he paid the driver but forgot to take his cello.
After the cab disappeared, Ma realized what he had done. He began a desperate search for the missing instrument. Fortunately, he had the receipt with the cabby’s ID number. Before the day ended, the taxi was located in a garage in Queens with the priceless cello still in the trunk. Yo-Yo’s smile could not be contained as he spoke to reporters, and his performance in Brooklyn went on as planned later that evening (Chicago Tribune).
Even more desperate than Yo-Yo’s search is God’s pursuit for broken, lost and hurting people. God is passionate about reaching people who are lost without Him. We must extend God’s kindness to those whom God values. We will never reach the people whom God values without God’s kindness. In 2 Samuel 9:1-13, David’s extension of God’s kindness reveals three realities.
First, God’s Kindness Is Intentional! (2 Samuel 9:1-5). Before David asked Ziba if there was anyone in Saul’s house to whom he could show kindness (2 Samuel 9:1), he pre-determined in his heart and mind to show God’s kindness. His intentionality was intentional. David was not on some random Google search for an opportunity to be kind; rather, he was on a God search to show God’s kindness (2 Samuel 9:2-3). Names, such as Saul, Ziba, and Jonathan, further highlight the intentionality of God’s kindness for a specific family (2 Samuel 9:3).
Also, when David learned that Jonathan’s son was in the house of Machir, he didn’t say “Well, he is already being shown kindness so I don’t have to show God’s kindness.” On the contrary, David brought him from Machir’s house to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 9:4-5). David didn’t stop with good intentions; he followed all the way through intentionally showing God’s kindness. Are you being intentional? Be intentional in showing God’s kindness!
Second, God’s Kindness Is Personal! (2 Samuel 9:6-8). Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, was crippled, but David didn’t treat him as a project that needed to be fixed. David treated him as a person who needed to be loved. David’s extension of God’s kindness was so personal that he even called out “Mephibosheth! Do not fear!” (2 Samuel 9:6-7). We need to take God’s kindness personally because we will never connect anyone to Jesus by being rude.
Third, God’s Kindness Is Eternal! (2 Samuel 9:9-13). Although Mephibosheth was lame in both his feet, he lived in Jerusalem and always ate at the king’s table (2 Samuel 9:13). David moved Mephibosheth from Lo-debar to Jerusalem. Mephibosheth didn’t move himself; he couldn’t move. Someone else changed his address from a “no name” place to the city of David, Jerusalem. God’s grace and mercy was extended to Mephibosheth, as he had no business eating at the king’s table because he was a cripple.
No matter how crippled people are spiritually, emotionally, relationally, physically or psychologically God’s grace and mercy is available. What’s more, God’s kindness is eternal, as it lasts forever. Through a personal relationship with Jesus, anyone can have his or her address changed from this temporal earth to the eternal New Jerusalem. To whom do you need to extend God’s kindness?