“Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon…” (2 Sam. 10:2).
Being a leader in the Kingdom of God requires us to not only exercise strength and power but also to demonstrate a willingness to extend kindness as well. Wisdom teaches us that in order to gain respect, we must also show respect to others as well. When we sow seeds of kindness to others, we reap a greater harvest in return.
Understanding The Text
In this text, David learns about the demise of the king of the Ammonites (v. 1). As is custom, he sends an emissary to the newly crowned king to offer his condolences and show his support during this transition (v. 2). David recalls the kindness shown to him by the deceased king and wants to reinforce the solidarity between the two nations. The purpose of this gesture is two-fold as it also ensures that peace will remain between them as a result of the act of goodwill on David’s part.
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because as members of God’s Kingdom, we live in a world that is filled with hostility. Because our Kingdom lifestyle is counter to that of the world system in which we live, we must employ diplomacy and kindness at every turn. The Apostle Paul says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men…” (Rom. 12:18).
This sometimes calls for us to go the extra mile to help others whose actions may not warrant such a response. It may mean that we go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we provide a helping hand to someone in need within our community. Random acts of kindness are not something we plan. They are the result of our awareness that we ourselves are the recipients of God’s mercy and kindness each day. Therefore, in response to His benevolence, we extend the same kindness to others because it is a part of the Kingdom lifestyle to which we subscribe. In other words, it is a part of God’s divine nature of which we are now partakers through our life in Christ (2 Pet. 1:4).
When we begin to reflect on God’s kindness to us, we begin to marvel in total reverence to Him for this undeserved gift. A part of our gratuitous response to God’s kindness to us is to demonstrate kindness to those around us in a similar manner. If we are indeed the children of God and members of His Kingdom community, it should be reflected in our everyday interactions with others.
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”