Monday, October 03, 2005
I've been reading through I Samuel lately and have been encouraged by observing David's life. It's kind of funny that this man who is revered by both Christians and Jews, and even remembered by God as a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22) was, in reality, often a screwup. It's not hard to forget the whole adultery and murder thing (II Sam 11), or the "my son raped my daughter so my other son killed him" thing (II Sam 13), or even "my son revolted against me so I sent my armies out and killed him" episode (II Sam 15-18). But I haven't even gotten there yet. What I'm reading right now is about David while he was still strummin the harp for King Saul. Yet in the course of a few chapters David has already managed to perplex me. When Saul's men come looking for David at his house he escapes and his wife (who he aquired at the expense of 100 Philistine foreskins (I Sam 18:25-27)) took their life-size "household idol" and laid it in the bed and told Saul's men that David was sick (I Sam 19). Is anyone else wondering what a man after God's own heart is doing with a "household idol"?! I'll let you know if I ever figure that one out. Moving on, while Saul is prophesing naked (!?) with Samuel (I Sam 19:22-24) David comes to Nob and lies to the priest to get shelter. Then he eats the consecrated bread. Next he takes Goliath's sword out of retirement and brilliantly goes to Goliath's hometown, Gath to ask for shelter from Saul. Surprisingly, the Philistines still hold a grudge about that whole cutting off of our greatest warrior's head episode, so David realizes he's in a bind. So what does he do to get out? Starts drooling and scratching the walls. The Philistines buy his act and throw him out of the city. Meanwhile, Saul shows up at Nob and kills all the priests for giving shelter to David (I Sam 19-22). The David of the Bible is not always as glamourous as the David of our memories or traditions.
So what does all this have to do with us? I believe that above all it is a testimony to God's grace. Who was David that he should be remebered as the greatest king of Israel. Who was David that the Messiah Himself would be known as coming from the house and lineage of David? When it comes down to it, he was nobody. God was just pleased to take this shepherd and work powerfully in His life for the Glory of God.
I think we can also find some answers in the Psalms. I am so grateful that God didnt just leave us with the often not-so-flattering accounts of David in I and II Samuel but he also gave us the Psalms in which we see the heart of David revealed. We see his struggles and complaints. We see his rejoicing and praise. We see his repentance. David did not have God's heart. But he was after it. David had a consuming passion for the knowledge and glory of God. He didn't always find it. He often failed. But he kept chasing till the end.
Lord give us that holy tenacity
by His grace, for His glory