In ancient times, when a king assumed the throne, he killed off all the members of the family that had been in power. But not King David.
During a prosperous time for his kingdom, David remembers a promise he had made to both his friend Jonathan, and also to former King Saul (1 Samuel 20:13-16, 24:21,22). In Jonathan’s absence, David would look after members of Jonathan’s family.
Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan, who was the son of Saul. Mephibosheth wasn’t the kind of strong, sexy and successful person a typical king would want hanging around the palace for the media to see. He was disabled. Crippled. Special needs.
David felt kindness toward Mephibosheth, prompting him to remember his promise. “Is there no one alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness” (2 Samuel 9:3).
Whose kindness? God’s kindness.
David, with a worshipful heart focused on God, appreciated God’s kindness to him so much that it overflowed to others. As a matter of fact, the word for “kindness” that David uses is often translated “mercy” or “grace.”
So we see a powerful king with a kingdom to rule take special interest in a person with special needs who was disabled. Why?
Because David had special needs too—spiritual needs, that is. He needed exceptional forgiveness and mercy from God. He trusted in divine guidance and wisdom that he himself couldn’t produce. He relied upon God’s strength to win battles. David didn’t consider himself superior in any way. Even as a king.
- In what ways have you resisted coming closer to those with special needs or disabilities?
- Why is it so easy to feel superior to them?
- If you have special needs or live with a disability, why is it so easy for you to feel inferior when God loves you unconditionally?
- How can you show kindness to those who are uncomfortable around someone with special needs or a disability?
Pray today about showing kindness to others, without prejudice against those with special needs or disabilities.
Dear God of mercy, look with favor on those with special needs or disabilities. Remind them that you love and care for them, and consider them full and whole in your grace. Provide compassionate caregivers and a more understanding society that can show them the kindness that you have already shown to us all. Amen.
Meditate and pray on the questions I posed above. Take just 10 minutes to do this.