Bible Reading Blog
“Seek Peace and Pursue It”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 9
“And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9.1)
The struggle between David and Saul’s house was festering. It should have ended after Saul’s death, but his house [unsuccessfully] rallied against David’s (2 Samuel 2.8-ff). Joab, David’s military leader, retaliated even though Abner, Saul’s commander tried to peaceably align with David (2 Samuel 3.30).
None of this was directly David’s fault. Instead, he actively sought to appease the animosity. David refused to kill Saul, even mourning his death (1 Samuel 24.6; 2 Samuel 2.17-ff). He publicly condemned the actions of Joab against Abner, even invoking on him a future curse (2 Samuel 3.31-39; 1 Kings 2.5). David’s actions endeared him to the people and convinced them he was the king God had appointed for them (2 Samuel 3.36; 5.2). But David’s actions weren’t merely political. His actions in 2 Samuel 9 reveal the character of a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13.14; Acts 13.22).
The text tells us David met the crippled son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth [2 Samuel 4.4], who is terrified and humbled. It is clear Mephibosheth was expecting the worst [2 Samuel 9.6]. But instead, Mephibosheth was given all the land belonging to Saul AND promised provisions from the house of David the rest of his life.
This episode is a “high point” in David’s walk of faith which we would do well to observe. Notice two key things from the text:
“Is there still anyone left…”(1 Samuel 9.1a, 3). David sought to do kindness to the house of Saul. This situation wasn’t brought to his attention and didn’t happen by accident. David had clearly thought about this, and was moved to take steps towards reconciliation. Do you give thought to how you can show kindness to others? Are you seeking that out?
“…that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake…” (1 Samuel 9.1b, 7). David was motivated by relationship. Years before, Johnathan saved David’s life and served as a faithful confidant in a difficult to him (see 1 Samuel 18-20). Furthermore, David had made promises to Jonathan he intended to keep (see 1 Samuel 20.42). Relationships are powerful motivators when it comes to our actions. While David could have dwelt on the evil done by Saul’s house, he chose instead to remember the kindness shown to him. We are often quick to do just the opposite. Our pride can develop serious barriers to showing kindness. Do you look for the good in situations or dwell on the negative? Are you motivated to uphold promises and develop relationships or do you act out of selfish preservation?
David refused to perpetuate the animosity. Instead, he actively sought peace and pursued it (Psalm 31.14; 1 Peter 3.11). He showed unmerited favor to someone who wasn’t asking and didn’t really deserve it. But because David was faithful, he kept his promises. Much of this episode mirrors the nature of God and reminds us that godliness is possible if we choose to pursue it.