2 Samuel 10:1-5

            King David was at the pinnacle of his rule.  All Israel and Judah were under his gracious authority.  David acted as a godly sovereign when he sought to use his power to show kindness and grace to those in his kingdom, even those who were related to his former enemy, Saul.  But when David kept up his gracious ways and sent a delegation to the Ammonites in order to bring compassion to a grieving nation, they not only spurned the kindness but attributed evil intent to it.
            One of the hard lessons of life is that showing God’s grace and mercy to others does not necessarily mean that they will receive it and give love in return.  In fact, there are some who refuse grace and give back only scorn and despise.  Yet, even the Lord Jesus experienced this like no other before or after him.  Christ endured all the foulness and degradation of a cruel cross because there were people who refused to see that he was extending to them God’s grace.
            In those times when we, at best, scratch our heads, and, at worst, weep uncontrollably over having our genuine love paid back with harsh scorn, it is a good reminder that we are imitating the life of our precious Lord Jesus who knows exactly what shame is and what a profound lack of mercy can do.  It is in such seasons or events in life that we understand that perfect peace will not be found in this life, and we more fully attach ourselves to Jesus and find genuine grace and the solidarity of faith and love.
            Loving God, I give you thanks for sending your Son, the Lord Jesus.  He is the pioneer of my faith.  Just as he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at your right hand, so help me to live into the grace you offer through Christ’s redemptive events so that I might remain strong through all the unmerciful acts of this world.  Amen.

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