Today’s Reading: 2 Sam 9:1–10:19, 1 Pet 5:1–14, Ps 138:1–8
Today’s Theme: The Way of Kindness and Humility
Today’s themes are the kindness of God which is expressed in His grace and love towards us, and humility which God shows in both revelation and the incarnation and that we must clothe ourselves with and have towards God to receive His kindness.
The following definitions may be useful as you meditate on these two concepts which are dependant on each other for the revelation and reception of grace:
Generosity, humaneness and tenderness. The word can also refer to a particular instance of kind behaviour like a token of friendliness, good will or affection. In the OT (Old Testament) it is associated with words like mercy, loyalty, grace and love. In the NT (New Testament) it is associated with love or concern for humanity, benevolence, goodness, uprightness and generosity.
The Greek word for kindness is where we get our modern English term philanthropy from. Kindness is also an attribute of God and a characteristic of true love.
The proper attitude of human beings towards their Creator. Humility is a grateful and spontaneous awareness that life is a gift It is manifested as an ungrudging and unhypocritical acknowledgment of absolute dependence upon God.
2 Samuel 9:1–10:19
The Kindness of God
And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” 2 Samuel 9:3 (ESV)
We should be able to identify with both sides of this narrative.
Firstly, we are Mephibosheth, we are the ones crippled and discarded by the consequences and curse of sin. We are the ones from man’s fallen royal line, Adam. Jesus is like David, in this sense showing us great kindness and grace.
The grace God shows us is so earth shatteringly amazing that He calls cursed, crippled, forsaken, fallen and hopeless people like us (well like me anyway) to sit at his table and fellowship with Him, the King, daily. How marvellous is the love, mercy, grace and kindness of God to underserving sinners like us. See 1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:10, Romans 5:10 and Hebrews 7:25.
Secondly, we are David; we have been called to be like our God, to follow in the glorious footsteps of Christ. We must look for the Mephibosheth’s in life and show them the kindness of God.
We can do this through hospitality, acts of service, showing mercy and love, Christian social action, child sponsorship and any other way the Holy Spirit leads us to show the world, the unreached, the lost, forgotten and ostracised the amazing kindness of God! see 1 John 3:17, Hebrews 13:2 and Matthew 25:40.
Trust in the Kindness of God
Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.” 2 Samuel 10:12 (ESV)
David had shown great humility in seeking to establish a good relationship with the king of the Ammonites, but fear caused the new king of Ammon to act foolishly.
Joab as the commander of the Army is now outnumbered and surrounded by the Ammonites and the Syrians and it is now, under pressure that we see one of Joab’s better moments where he responds with faith in God, courage and wisdom.
Joab in his statement makes himself reliant on the kindness and mercy of God. We must think, pray and act in this way. We can act with courage and faith because we know our God is benevolent, He is good and does good and seeks to shower us with His kindness and favour.
Like brave Joab set your mind in a place to be ready to battle for the Lord’s cause today. Have courageous faith as you entrust yourself to the God who delights to show you kindness. 2 Corinthians 3:12.
1 Peter 5:1–14
Thank God for our Shepherds
shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:2–3 (ESV)
We give God thanks for our Pastors and Elders who serve as a reflection of the Father’s heart to His people.
God has called them to shepherd the church, guiding our straying feet back to the path and in a spirit of kindness and humility, showing us the example of discipleship to Jesus through their own lives.
Give God thanks for our Pastors today, ask that God would encourage and strengthen them and that they would look forward to that wonderful day when the chief shepherd Jesus will appear to reward them with an eternal crown of glory.
Be clothed in humility
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6–7 (ESV)
The image Peter uses is of humility as an item of clothing that we need to put on. That means it will take effort to be humble, we need the help of the Holy Spirit but we also need to actively “humble ourselves”.
Humility is our responsibility before God, it is not easy to be humble we need to work at it everyday. We need to literally put it on everyday like a coat because it is not natural.
The young are encouraged to be subject to elders for obvious reasons, but we must all clothe ourselves with humility because God resists the proud. If we embrace humility in Christ, God will exalt us at the right time.
We should not become distracted or consumed with our own fears and anxieties. God cares for us with loving kindness so we can give all our concerns, worries and anxiety to Him.
Trust God the one who cares for you today, don’t try to solve it all on your own in pride, humble yourself before God.
The God of all grace
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)
Our God from whom the kindness of grace comes to us will personally restore and replenish us, confirm His word and promises to us, strengthen us and cause our roots to go down deep.
This will lead to us having a full bodied, confirmed character. We will have firm, settled faith. We will be strong in the spirit and so secure in God that nothing will move us.
God does this for us for our everyday suffering but also will do this ultimately in the new heaven and new earth.
We have eternal glory waiting for us which puts the sufferings and just everyday life in this flesh into it’s true perspective.
Focus again today on the God who is the source of all grace in your life and be encouraged to press on because He has supplied the kindness of grace to see you through the trials.
We have a glorious eternal inheritance in Christ, take a moment to think about it and look forward to it.
The Humility of God
I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. Psalm 138:2 (ESV)
God in His own way humbles Himself to the words He has spoken because God does not lie like men do. God has revealed Himself and His will to us in His word and declares here that His word is the final authority above all things.
This is why God’s word is a sure foundation to build our lives upon. We can take God at His word (some corrupt this verse and say we can boss God around according to His word, this is foolishness and blasphemy).
God’s greatest act of humility was when The Word became flesh in John 1:14.
In God’s kindness to man He has has revealed Himself and even in humility constrained Himself to the promises of His word. Man can approach God, comprehend God and enter into relationship with God all according to His word.
If God did not show such kindness and humility to us through revealing His written word and guaranteeing that word, we would be without hope.
Today, thank God for the humility of His revelation of the word and incarnation as the Word.
High God, humble people
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. Psalm 138:6 (ESV)
God is high, there is none higher. God is so great and awesome that it is baffling that some people think they can bark commands at God when they pray… truly baffling!!
God will come down to help the humble, God comes close to the humble, we must be humble before God in thought, word and deed and God who is the most high and exalted there is will come down, see us and help us.
This is a clear view of glory which finds its ultimate expression in Christ, where the glory of God is not just power but God’s magnanimity. It is God’s kindness, as well as His sovereign power that is His glory.
As Pastor always says the way up is the way down. It is through humility that grace and exaltation come. If man is responsible to do anything before God it is to humble ourselves.
Cast pride aside today and be humble before God and receive the kindness of His grace.
God, who fulfils
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8 (ESV)
Our God is good and kind, He makes promises and keeps them and as we read here, is actively working to fulfil His purposes for us His people. Hallelujah!
Fulfilling our purpose is not founded on planners, calendars, and hard work although all these things are good and have their place, we can only fulfil our purpose through God’s loving kindness to us.
- Adapted from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible
Taken from the Tyndale Bible dictionary
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 1 Peter 5