There is an excellent example in the Bible of how to escape depression. It is the history of David when he was king over Israel. Let’s look at the stages of his life that could have lead to severe depression and hopelessness, and yet ended in wonderful victory.
#1. His Success
At a time, King David was at the pinnacle of success:
- His army was victorious, his enemies subdued.
- He placed the ark in Jerusalem.
- His family was going well.
Above all, he had the desire to build a house/temple for God.1 However, God told the prophet Nathan that David must not build it, his son would. Yet God would build David a house – an enduring genealogy.
# 2. His Calamity
Then David made some terrible mistakes. He sinned with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. His punishment from God was family tragedy. Bathsheba’s baby died; his son Amnon raped his sister Tamar; his son Absalom killed Amnon; Absalom later declared war on his father and David had to flee. Later he counted the fighting men (against God’s will), and a plague broke out that killed many thousands.
In such a situation, many a good man would succumb to depression and hopelessness, but not David.
# 3. His Reaction
He repented, and began an exciting ‘project.’ Since he couldn’t build the temple, he would prepare whatever he can for it: 2
- David said, ‘The house of the Lord is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel.’ 3 That referred to threshing-floor of Araunah (Mount Zion).
- He saw to it that there were skilled workers for the building project. 4
- He provided cedar logs5 and tremendous amounts of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone. 6
- He instructed his son Solomon regarding the importance of serving the Lord. 7
- He organised the priests and Levites, and the singers. 8, 9
- The Holy Spirit gave him the plans for the temple and all the furnishings. 10
- He gave from his personal treasures and urged his officials to do the same. 11, 12
We believe it is why God said about David, ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 13 The temple was dear to God’s heart.
David overcame the urge to be depressed after all his personal errors and calamities. We, if we erred, can follow David’s example, and with God’s help can do great things for the Lord.
- 2 Samuel 7
- 2 Samuel 22:5
- 1 Chronicles 21:18-30; 22:1
- Chapters 23-24
- Acts 13:22