Read His Words Before Ours!
A repentant, handsome poet, and songwriter with charm, intelligence, and swagger – a man after God’s own heart.
An adulterer, polygamist, and murder conspirator with a tendency to ignore important issues, and do whatever it takes to get what he wants – even at the expense of others.
These descriptions sound like two completely different men, and I don’t know about you, but I am more interested in being associated with the first guy than the second.
But all of those characteristics describe one real, historical person, King David.
Most of us are familiar with David. He spent his early years shepherding as the youngest of 8 brothers, bravely taking down the menacing giant Goliath as a teenager, and eventually rising to power as king of the Isrealites. It’s common for us to uphold David as a hero and shining example of who we should be as God’s people and gloss over the corruption of power, flagrant misconduct, and general carelessness that also characterized this Biblical man.
However, without discussing the full truth of David’s wrongdoing, we falsely believe David possessed innate righteous heroism, and, in comparison, we have nothing to offer because we could never be as brave, upstanding, or godly as David.
In reality, David was a complex, complicated human just like you and I, yet God still called him a “man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) and chose him as the king of the Israelites. The hero of David’s story is not David, but God.
David’s story seems like the plot of a movie.
A shepherd boy who defeated a giant and was anointed as the next king at a young age.
A musician and songwriter who gained the favor of King Saul, only to be hunted by him soon after when jealousy took root in King Saul’s heart.
Taken with one of his men’s wives, he called for her, had an affair with her, and
got her pregnant, then had her husband killed to cover it up.
Married multiple women and did as he pleased.
Refused to discipline his children which led to turmoil and trauma within the family.
And woven throughout each of these moments are David’s prayers of repentance and psalms of praise to God.
David’s story is not linear or straightforward. It is complicated and wrought with bad decisions, devastating loss, incredible favor from God, humility, and repentance. He wasn’t redeemed from a tragic past before God chose him to lead. His sordid stories and the ups and downs of his life happened alongside his journey from shepherd boy to anointed king to warrior to leader of Israel.
What matters about David and his story, and what is the most compelling, is that over and over, God redeems his story. God relentlessly pursued David’s heart, and continued to use him to unfold God’s plan for Israel.
As I reflect on my current lot in life, I am in a valley moment, where David found himself countless times. (Psalm 23:4) I feel far from God and hope has become overgrown with loss and disappointment and unmet expectations. I feel like David, hiding away in a cave wondering if God will rescue me, or turn me over to my enemies.
If I am honest with myself, the darkness feels safer.
In the darkness, no one expects me to be more than I am. Nothing changes for worse or for better. Simply existing on my own seems like the best possible option.
Without looking at the entirety of David’s life, we miss the significance of how each moment prepared him for the next and how God’s sovereignty and mercy covered every transgression.
We have the advantage of seeing David’s life from a young boy until he dies. We can see the arc of God’s Sovereignty made clear through his stories and psalms. We can see how God chose him and worked through him to accomplish salvation for all people through David’s lineage. We can see how, in spite of and because of David’s scandals, God showed us His unyielding pursuit of our hearts. We can see how much God desires a relationship with us – children after His own heart.
We don’t get to see the full picture of our own story, but God already knows.
And so, in the midst of our valleys, or when we feel safer in our darkest moments than in the light of day, we can rest assured that God is not finished with us. There is no barrier too big, no sin too wicked that can separate us from the love and power of our Champion.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!