“And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”” (ESV – Read the chapter)
It is episodes like this one that garnered David the title “man after God’s own heart.” What David does here is perfectly in line with the way God operates toward us. We would do well to follow in his footsteps, if not in detail, then at least in intent.
David had established his reign over all of Israel firmly. There were no active challenges to his rule. There were not even any potential challenges waiting in the wings. There were no foreign threats either. David had conquered all of the enemies of Israel. They were afraid of him. They paid him tribute. David was as strong as he could be politically, militarily, economically, and spiritually. Everything was going his way.
So what did he do? He made an intentional search to find someone to whom he could show kindness. He sought to leverage all of his power and authority, not for himself, but for the sake of someone else.
More specifically, he sought out a relative of Saul to whom he could show this kindness. Now, culturally speaking, this was insane. When you are established in your power and authority, you don’t go looking for someone whose loyalty was to your chief rival in order to bring them into a position where they could potentially do you harm. Or rather, you don’t bring them into such a position unless you plan to eliminate , humiliate, or to keep a very close eye on them so they don’t get any ideas of challenging you.
David does not appear to have been motivated by any of those things. He is genuinely seeking to show nothing but kindness and hospitality to a relative of Saul as a result of the promise he had made to Jonathan. He took all of his power and all of his authority and he leveraged them for the sake of someone who had neither. He leveraged them for the sake of someone who by all rights should have been considered an enemy.
This is a great example for us to follow. You may not be a king, but you have a measure of power and authority given to you by God. How can you leverage those for the sake of someone else? How can you take your advantages and benefits and make them into an instrument of blessing for a person within your sphere of influence? Paul says that when we were enemies of God He leveraged all of His power and authority and sent His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place so that we might have eternal life. David made Mephibosheth a trusted member of his house. What will you do?