Do for others what Jesus has done for you
From 2 Samuel: A 5-Week Devotional
After winning the kingdom back from his son, David makes a triumphant return to Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 19. It would seem like a perfect time to get payback from those who betrayed him and to bless those who stood by him.
Instead, David spares Shimei, the man who had cursed him on his way out of town. He forgives Mephibosheth, a longtime family friend David thought had abandoned him. And, David blesses Barzillai, the man who cared for David and his men when they were living as refugees.
David offers mercy and kindness to rebels and righteous alike. David’s dealings with these men were more forgiving than they expected and more generous than they deserved. It’s a perfect foreshadowing of how Jesus deals with us.
David’s kindness is a picture of the forgiveness we receive in Jesus’ kingdom. Before salvation, we are the rebels like Shimei. When we ask Jesus into our lives, we are spared death. Like Mephibosheth, our past is erased, and our relationship is restored. That level of forgiveness changes a person. Our lives are no longer about us, but about our gratitude toward the King, Jesus (2 Samuel 19:30).
And like David looked out for Barzillai, Jesus promises care for His people (Philippians 4:19).
All of us know how it feels to be wronged, like David felt. We’ve rehearsed thousands of times what we would say to the person who hurt us. But like David, we’ve been called to reconcile, not seek revenge (Ephesians 4:32 and 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
For some of us, learning to reconcile means tearing up our payback speech once and for all. For others of us, it’s time to slow down — making room in our schedules to show others the same kindness Jesus has shown to us.
- Is there anyone you need to forgive today? What’s one way you can show kindness or mercy to that person today?
- David forgave, but he also blessed. Is there anyone you need to thank today? What’s one way you can bless someone who was there for you when life was tough?