Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “At your service!” Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” 2 Sam 9:1-3
David was a man after God’s own heart; and the kindness that he desired to show Jonathan’s son was the kindness of God. Kindness is from God, it is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22); it is not from men.
Kindness means, arising from affection or love, from a sympathetic or helpful nature, gentleness, forbearance, that which gives pleasure or affords relief, according to Webster’s. The Hebrew word is Strong’s H2617, chesed, chet + sin + dalet, the fence, the thorn, and the door. So according to the ancient Hebrew pictographs, the story this word paints, is of the fence made of thorns which surrounds the encampment where the clan lives. Outside of the fence is the wild. Inside of the fence, is family, peace, security, happiness, and well being. Kindness, then, is as the door in the fence of thorns, by which one enters into the affection, love, and peace that is shared within the family.
In showing kindness to Jonathan’s son, David’s desire was to treat him as if he was his own son – he wanted to open that door in the fence and bring him into his own house. And he mentions this several times when he says that Jonathan’s son will eat at his own table where his own sons eat.
Furthermore, this kindness is the kindness of God. Much of the time in the Hebrew scriptures, especially when this attribute is applied to God, this same word is translated mercy or lovingkindness. This is the nature of God and the fruit of His Spirit: to seek out His enemies, who made themselves His enemies (as the house of Saul had made itself the enemy of David, not through any will or desire on David’s part), and to lead them through the door into His family encampment, and show them lovingkindness.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Rom 5:8-10