Hello! Welcome to my first blog for 2020. I trust that you are ready for all this new year holds. I’d like to share with my readers some of what I’ve learned or been reminded of through recently studying David. He was an extraordinary man with a distinct call and anointing over his life. His name means ‘beloved’ and this certainly is appropriate for a person described as a ‘man after God’s own heart’.
A shepherd, singer, musician, king, warrior, family man, David’s life shows us:
1. God uses imperfect people and families to accomplish His purposes.
2. God disciplines those whom He loves.
3. God forgives sin but there are consequences for forgiven sin.
4. God can always put things right no matter how bad it gets.
5. God is the RESTORER – of people, families and nations.
* David cared about people.
Whatever office he held, where ever he was, David was kind and considerate of others. God first gave David the job of a shepherd where he cared and protected sheep. Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd and used shepherd like stories to explain the extent of love the Father has for us. David then used his shepherd’s training to love and care for his nation under his kingship.
“David was a man with a shepherd’s heart who cared about his people.” ( Psalm 78:72)
* David modeled integrity.
The many times over a 10 year period that David was on the run from king Saul, he never tried to kill Saul- despite how long and hard Saul tried to kill him. He had a number of opportunities to take Saul out but refused, showing us the importance of not seeking revenge but committing ourselves to the Lord, waiting for His timing and vindication.
“The Lord forbid that I do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed or lift up my hand against him..” (1 Samuel 24: 10)
* David had a varied life.
David began as a shepherd, then as an attendant to king Saul, a singer and musician, an exile on the run for 10 years, then king, a warrior, a leader and a family man. This fact encourages me that is okay to change direction in career or to have a life that is varied and changing.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”( Psalm 37:23)
* David sought the Lord.
On the many instances David sought the advice from the Lord, he experienced success, victory and favour. With the recorded instances in scripture when he didn’t seek the Lord’s guidance and will, failure, sin and tragedy was the result.
“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” (1 Chronicles 16:11)
* David modeled true worship.
David’s worship was sincere, humble and personal. He prioritized worship. His heart was to honour God, to bring praise and glory to Him.
“Who am I Lord God? And what is my house that you have brought me this far?.. You have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things..O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God beside You,according to all that we have heard from our ears..”
(1 Chronicles 17: 16, 19, 20)
* David fought battles with God’s strength and enabling.
The Bible shows David as a strong, capable and mighty warrior who God enabled and equipped to win many battles. Although we do not fight physical battles today, we still are fighting spiritual ones. We are told to put on the full armour of God and are shown how to win such battles, when they rage against us and our loved ones- by prayer, worship and by coming in agreement with the truth of the scriptures. (Read Ephesians 6)
* David displayed true repentance.
David was flawed like the rest of us. His failings are recorded in scripture for all to see. Yet God forgave David each and every time he sinned and sought forgiveness. He showed true contrition when confronted by his sins. He recognised the times he had sinned were against God. He never downplayed his sins or sought to justify himself. We need to have repentant hearts like David. We can’t only be remorseful or self pitying.
Each time David submitted under God’s hand of discipline for his sins, he was honoured by God afterwards.
“Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight; so You are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.” (Psalm 51:4)
* David never turned to idols.
Saul sought a medium. His son Solomon had many foreign wives who turned his heart away from the Lord. The majority of kings who came after David did not love or obey God and worshipped the gods of their pagan neighbours and enemies. In fact, all Jewish kings were measured against David. You just need to read the many psalms David penned or read a portion of his life in the Bible to see he only worshipped God.
Although we don’t bow down to physical idols today, made of wood clay, stone or metal, there can be many ‘idols’ we can allow to take our attention, our worship, our time, talent or treasures in place of the Lord. Ask the Lord to show you what idols you may have allowed in your life from time to time.
As there is so much to take from David’s life, this ends Part 1 of our lessons learned from him this month. I hope that from the 8 points I’ve extracted from David’s story, there is 1 or a few that have resonated in your spirit and have inspired you to model more distinctley into the future.