2 Samuel 9:1 – And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?
King David was considered a man after God’s own heart. He loved righteousness and mercy alike. He appreciated victory, but he knew the taste of defeat. He spent years running from King Saul, a man who should have love him. David loved the Lord so greatly that he would never take up arms against Saul as an anointed king even when his own life was unjustly jeopardized. David love his enemy even though it cost him much. When David learned of Saul’s death, he was heart broken at the loss of this once mighty man and his sons, especially Jonathan, David’s best friend. This example shows us the mercy of God worked out from the heart of God to the heart of David.
Many times people seem to think that the God of the Old Testament was wrathful, and the God of the New Testament was merciful. As the example of David illustrated, this is a mistake. God is holy, and being holy means among other things that God is above our often unsophisticated notions of right and wrong. In reality, God is just as merciful in the Old Testament as in the New Testament and just as wrathful (though this is a poor explanation) in the New Testament.
Among other things, the Old Testament demonstrated the falling away from God and the beginning of God’s plan of redemption. He chose to work out this plan through Abraham’s lineage all the way through to Jesus Christ. His wrath is demonstrated only in response to the wickedness evident in the world. As His chosen people closest to the plan mentioned above, Israel play a major role in fostering the lineage of the Savior, and they were blessed so long as they sought the Lord and repented readily when they failed.
God expected and provided for failure demonstrating His continuous mercy from the beginning, and He has never forsaken His people. To fulfill the covenant of grace promised to Abraham, Jesus Christ took upon Himself the full wrath of God for His people. So God’s wrath (or justice rather) and His supreme mercy were reconciled in Jesus Christ the Righteous.
Knowing someone has erred from the path of life, we should mourn like David for the lost. Instead of hasting their demise or rejoicing in their tribulations, we should love and pray for our enemies and those who abuse us. If they refuse our help, then help those closest to them. This is the pattern of David, a man after God’s own heart. This is the pattern of Jesus Christ.