Scripture reading for March 28th: 2nd Samuel 8-10
Have you ever sought out a person who you knew needed help, but would not be able to do anything for you in return? What have you done to help that person? What was your motivation in helping him? If you are a Christian, this should be a way of life because our God did that for us!
David was a warrior and strong man of God. He was always ready to fight the Lord’s battles and sought the Lord for most of his battles. He had been involved in a struggle for leadership following the death of Saul and Jonathan, his friend. God helped David and brought about victory over Saul’s son Ish-Boseth. One David’s first acts as ruler was to seek out relatives of Saul or Jonathan to show covenant kindness based on his promise to Jonathan. (2nd Samuel 9:1) He was a man of his word!
Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan was still around and he was crippled in both feet from a fall. David sent for Mephibosheth and greeted him warmly. He restored all his grandfather’s land and property to him and placed Ziba, his servant, in charge to work the ground for him. He gave Mephibosheth a seat at the king’s table like one of David’s own sons! (2nd Samuel 9:7) What unexpected kindness from this mighty warrior towards a rival whose grandfather had chased him and hunted him for almost 13 years!
King David’s actions are much like that of our gracious God! God is a kind king who cares for His people. He honors those who are in covenant relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. When we are crippled because of sin, he takes us into his house and seats us as one of his own sons. He restores our property to us and lavishes us with blessing and restoration. (2nd Corinthians 5:17) We have grace and favor because of the covenant made with the King’s Son!
Look for a way to show kindness to someone who is handicapped, needy, or hurting today. Remember, if you have done it to the least of these, you did it to Jesus Himself! (Matthew 25:40)
Scripture reading for March 23: 1st Samuel 20-23
When I was in school, I had a “best friend” named Kendal. He and I were in the same class at the same school from kindergarten until our junior year of high school. We tried to sit together and play together at recess. His father was a farmer, like mine, and we had a lot in common. We camped out during the summer and loved to hunt birds and fish. We had a great time, and often shared our hearts with each other. Kendal was drafted into the Army and went to Vietnam. I had gone to college and had enlisted in the Iowa National Guard. Kendal gave his life serving our country. I had the privilege of being a pall-bearer at his funeral! Best friends are hard to find, and even harder to loose!
David and Jonathan were best friends. The Scripture records their love for each other and how their hearts were knit together. (1st Samuel 18:1-4) Jonathan was Saul’s son and the probable heir to the throne of Israel. David was a shepherd and musician who God had selected to be the next king of Israel. God placed David in Saul’s court to prepare him for his kingship. Jonathan recognized the favor of the Lord on David and was drawn to him in a covenant love. They became best friends and shared their hearts with each other. They made a covenant that would bind them to help each other and even their extended families.
David’s anointing and the favor of the Lord did not bring love for him from King Saul, however. King Saul was jealous of David’s reputation and was afraid of David’s anointing. He was insecure and tormented by an “evil spirit from the Lord”. (1st Samuel 17:14, 23) David played his harp and the evil spirit would leave for a time. The evil spirit would return and sometimes turn murderous towards David. Saul tried to kill him on several occasions and David was forced to flee. Jonathan always tried to patch things up or help his friend. Real friends are there through thick and thin!
Finally, David realized that King Saul was going to kill him. Jonathan tried one more time to patch things up, but was himself attacked with a spear by his own father! Jonathan sent David away with tears and reaffirmation of their friendship. (1st Samuel 20:41-42) When he could, Jonathan would slip away and meet with David. He always encouraged him in the Lord! (1st Samuel 23:15-18) Jonathan maintained friendship even when he knew his own father was out to kill his best friend.
We have such a friend as Jonathan in our Lord Jesus Christ! He is faithful and true to us, even when the going gets rough! He provides encouragement and shares his armaments with us! We can call on him at any time and he will come. He will warn us of danger and help us to either face it or escape. He is a friend by covenant and promises to help our descendants as well! He is benevolent and can be trusted to do us good all of our lives! Praise the Lord–He has called us friends! (John 15:15-17)