David, failure or man after God’s own heart

It is never too late! Don’t let people tag you. Allow God the last word over your life.

Sometimes we put a tag on a person.  For example we talk about one of Jesus’ disciples as ‘doubting Thomas’ because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection.1  Yet we forget that he was also brave and committed to His Master.  When the chief priests wanted to kill Jesus, on the occasion of going to raise Lazarus, Thomas said to the other disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with Him.’ 2  Why is he not recommended for his fearlessness?

#  We often treat King David the same way and give him a tag.

People remember him as an adulterer and murderer in the case of Bathsheba.  Turmoil in the family was a problem for David: one of his sons raped a sister and was killed by a brother.  That brother later tried to push his father from the throne and make himself king, but was killed.  Another son also tried to elevate himself to kingship and was killed.  Shouldn’t David be tagged ‘Failure?’

#  Did the omniscient God tag David ‘Failure?’

  • No!  The New Testament reports, “He [God] testified concerning him, ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'” 3
  • Look at what David did after all his mishaps (he confessed his sins 4).  He turned his attention to that which God held dear in His heart: His Temple.  That is where God would live in the midst of His people.
  • David, not allowed by God to build the temple, said, ‘My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations.  Therefore I will make preparations for it.’ 5

#  David’s exhaustive preparations

  • He brought the ark to Jerusalem. 6
  • He organized the Levites, priests, singers and gatekeepers. 7
  • He got the plans for the temple from the Holy Spirit. 8
  • He gathered immense amounts of gold, silver and bronze and got the leaders to contribute. 9

#  What is the moral of the story?

God was very pleased with David’s life work, done near the end of his career.  So when we think we blew it, God says it is not over yet.  If we confess our sins, God will reveal the next stage of His plan for each of us individually.  That might result in God giving us the wonderful tag, ‘A man (or woman) after my own heart who did what I wanted him or her to do.’

Conclusion

It is never too late!  Don’t let people tag you.  Allow God the last word over your life.

References

  1. John 20:24-29
  2. John 11:16
  3. Acts 13:22
  4. Psalm 32:1-5; Psalm 51
  5. 1 Chronicles 22:5
  6. 1 Chronicles 15-16
  7. 1Chronicles 23,24,25,26
  8. 1Chronicles 28
  9. 1 Chronicles 29

Deride Clinton and Trump, or pray?

David’s love for the Lord caused him to always ask God’s direction and help in prayer. Eventually that is the only recourse for a Church under siege.

Although we are not citizens of the United States or live there, the Trump/Clinton election battle is intriguing.  Let’s compare the candidates and the country with the history of Saul and David.

#  Israel no longer wanted God to be their King.

The people of Israel told the prophet, Samuel, that they wanted a king like all the other nations.  Samuel felt that they rejected God as their King.  It can be compared to the USA where there are many organisations and groups that fight to get rid of God.  The general impression is that the people of America don’t want God as their King.  God’s faithful followers resist it, but because the devil is the ruler of the world, he controls most of the media.  Thus we are aware of the efforts to banish God from public life.

#  Israel got what they wanted.

God told Samuel to give the people what they wanted, a king.1  Saul was ‘an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites – a head taller then any of the others.’ 2  Both Trump and Clinton, though not young, have impressive accomplishments.

#  Saul could not stand firm against social pressure.

Initially Saul defended the Israelites against their enemies.  Then God commanded Saul to punish the Amalekites because they attacked His nation (read Church).  Saul did not obey God, but submitted to the people’s desire to save the best possessions of the Amalekites.  Will the president elect take a stand against God’s enemies (abortion, gender issues, same sex marriage, opposition to to marriage, et cetera), or capitulate to the wishes of the masses?

#  Saul wanted to look good in front of the people.

Saul was not interested to obey God, but to look good before the people.  He asked Samuel, ‘Please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel….’ 3  Both candidates promise everything to everybody.  Fine, but what about the Church?  Will the chosen president honour God through obedience to God’s commands, or capitulate to what the general media wants?  Saul persecuted David so intensely that he in a sense lost his mind and killed all the priests of Nob.4

#  Saul focussed on the minor instead of the major.

What was Saul’s end?  Because he was so intent to destroy David, he neglected the duties of kingship.  The nation was overrun by its enemies.  That might happen in the USA, but not necessarily by the invasion of a foreign nation, but invasion of foreign doctrines that are detrimental to the nation.  The family is under siege through confusion about the roles of men and women, et cetera.  Biblical values like love for the Lord, are devalued.

#  David’s reaction to persecution.

How did David, whom we take in this blog as a type of the Church, react?  David constantly went to God through prayer. 5  David found his strength in God. 6

Conclusion

David’s love for the Lord caused him to always ask God’s direction and help in prayer.  Eventually that is the only recourse for a Church under siege.  God never fails to answer prayer, but it needs committed people like David, who loved the Lord and trusted Him.

References

  1. 1 Samuel 8:4-22
  2. 1 Samuel 9:2
  3. 1 Samuel 15:30
  4. 1 Samuel 22:6-23
  5. 1 Samuel 23:9-12;  22:5;  17:45
  6. 1 Samuel 23:16;  30:6

Trump or Clinton?

In the presidential race between Trump and Clinton voters are increasingly skeptic of the honesty and integrity of the candidates.  The election reminds one of God’s lament in Hosea 8:5, ‘They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.’  It is still true that a leader makes or breaks a country by his or her love for, or rejection of, the Lord.  Let us look at two Biblical examples.

#  Saul, the first king of Israel

The Israelites wanted a king like all the other nations.   They rejected the leadership of God.  So God consented and gave them Saul as their king.  He was a strapping young man, taller than most. 1

  • Saul proved to be quite an able soldier.  Initially he lead his people to defeat their enemies.
  • The only problem was that he just couldn’t follow God wholeheartedly.
  • He also fell into the jealousy trap of the devil.  He spent valuable years persecuting the future king, David, and logically neglected the country.
  • So the Philistines were eventually victorious at the battle on Mount Gilboa and Saul and his 2 sons died there. 2

#  David the second king of Israel

  • He was an ordinary man, but had a lion’s heart.  He defeated the giant, Goliath, and was victorious against the enemies of Israel. 3
  • Unfortunately he lost the battle against temptation.  He sinned with Bathsheba.  It cost him their baby and his sons Amon, Absalom and Adoniah.  It caused a lot of turmoil in his family that affected the kingdom.
  • Despite that, David thoroughly repented.  He never deviated from his loyalty and love for God.  God helped him to defeat Israel’s enemies.  He also devoted his later years to organise the temple worship and prepared much of the material to build it.  The temple would be God’s dwelling that He would fill with His glory. 4   That is why we believe God said of David, ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 5

Conclusion

We learn from Saul and David that a leader can make quite serious personal mistakes, but if a leader loves the Lord, the country prospers.

References

  1. 1 Samuel 8:4-9; 9:2; 10:1
  2. 1 Samuel 31:1-10
  3. 1 Samuel 17-18
  4. 2 Chronicles 7:1-2
  5. Acts 13:22