Have you ever felt convicted to do something? On 13 September 2008, Christopher Irmscher set the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100 metre hurdles wearing swim fins. Christopher felt convicted to do something unique to get his name into the record books, his accomplishment so far stands undefeated as no one else has felt the calling or conviction to beat his time. (I wonder why?).
Searching through 2 Samuel and reflecting on the nature and function of biblical community seemed like a stretch when the majority of the book primarily details the many battles and life of David as King. Nestled between the accounts of David’s many victories in battle and the scandalous story of his indiscretions with Bathsheba we find the story of David and Mephibosheth. A story that reminds us of the compassion, kindness and love that community is built on. David, true to his covenant promise to Jonathan does right by showing his “unfailing kindness” (1 Sam 20:14) to the last of Jonathan’s family through the inclusion of Mephibosheth (Jonathan’s son) into his house as if he was his own son. David’s kindness, his compassion, extends from his relationship with Jonathan and ultimately from his relationship with a gracious God who had provided for Him.
Biblical community is found when God is the center of our relationships. The nature of our relationship with God is built on love; His unconditional love for us and at our best (often failing), our hearts desire to love Him back unconditionally. David felt convicted to reach out to Mephibosheth, I believe that God was using Him to be an example to others, an example of how to show compassion and kindness when it might be hard. God’s love for us, the conviction that he lays on our hearts comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. David, known as a man after God’s own heart lived a life obedient to God, he failed at times like all of us do. It is what he did with that failure that we need to recognize as we live in true biblical community. David acknowledged his failures, he confessed his sins before the Lord seeking forgiveness so that with a pure heart he could continue living a life pleasing to God.