Tag: David

The Unrighteous Righteous

Throughout Kings we have seen David described as righteous over and over again. We are told that he obeyed all the laws and regulations of the Lord and — if you’re like me — the justice side of your brain is hollering, “WHAT!?”

Is this the same David who married foreign women? The same David who forced himself on a vulnerable married woman? Who tried to cover that affair up? Who had the husband killed so he could marry his baby-mama? The one who was too cowardly or distant to discipline his own children? The one who refused to hold his own men accountable? The one who tasked his son to exact revenge on his behalf? That guy? That guy obeyed ALL THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS? Are we sure we’re talking about the same fellow?

Then we read about Solomon marrying 700 women of royal birth. Remember these were treaties signed with foreign nations! So not only was Solomon amassing women who will turn his heart away, but these women are also of royal birth and represent treaties with a great many nations and/or city-states. And, of course, if you are going to maintain good relationships with those peoples with whom you have a treaty, you are going to honour their heritage for fear of upsetting this new ally. You can see something similar today in the way our political leaders in the west will attend a Catholic Mass on Christmas, a Hindu Temple for Diwali, and a Muslim Mosque for Ramadan.

It is clear that both of these men have broken the laws and regulations. So then, why is Solomon found guilty where David is found innocent? Make it make sense!!

The difference was the same then as it is today. We need to pause the ‘JUSTICE!’ part of our brain and examine the ‘grace’ part. In order to bring a better understanding, let’s look to the Apostle Paul. This passage from Romans is talking about Abraham, but it could just as easily refer to David or anyone else who came before Jesus, but trusted in the Lord:

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Romans 4:20-22 (NIV)

Today I was again reminded that David was a man “after God’s heart”. This doesn’t mean that David was PATTERNED after God’s heart, but rather that he was CHASING after God’s heart. His eyes were on the Lord, even if his hands and feet and eyes and… other things… were places they should not have been. And that — to quote Robert Frost — has made all the difference.

This is the same way that God sees us today. This is how our faith is credited to us as righteousness. The righteousness that we could not hope to earn by our works. And so this righteousness is a gift of grace through faith that justifies us in the eyes of the God who will be our ultimate judge.

Justified. Just-as-if-I’d never sinned at all.

What Does Omniscience Mean?

Psalm 139 has David talking about how God sees everything he does (sitting, standing, laying, speaking!) and even knows his motives. This is exactly what omniscience means (“Omni” being “all” and “science” being “knowledge”); God has all knowledge. There are two things we can take away from the fact that God knows everything.

  1. We can take comfort in the fact that God can see us and is with us anywhere and everywhere we might go. He can always lead us and guide us.
  2. We can take caution in the fact that God knows all our sins. There is nothing hidden from us. He watched us commit them!
  3. God knows how many days you have left, and when your last day on this earth is.

So then, in terms of definition omniscience means all-knowing… but in terms of implication it means that God cannot be fooled, He knows literally everything. Everything we have ever done and will ever do. And what does that mean? Look at David’s request toward the end of the Psalm. David asks God to help him avoid becoming an enemy of the Lord. We should do the same. Sin can lead any of us astray. And God knows that, He knows where we are weak, and He knows where we are being attacked, and He WANTS to help us, but He is not going to go against our will to do so.

If God already knows our failings, let’s embrace that all-knowing-ness and ask him to help us deal with them.

Emotions Can Make Us Inconsistent

Reading through the Psalms, it’s hard to NOT notice that David swings wildly between God being faithful and just and wonderful and gracious to abandoning him in the dirt. Psalm 109 is MOSTLY David talking about his enemies plans and prayer to do him in. 108 has David asking the Lord if He has abandoned not merely David, but also the nation of Israel… just a few SENTENCES after praising God’s faithfulness!

I guess the point here is that HOW we call on God will change with our circumstances. When we feel like we are being blessed, we will naturally praise God for His blessings. But when we are in trouble, we will naturally tend to ask God why He seems far away. Note, though that David continually comes back to acknowledging God’s faithfulness, and we should do the same. So Job said, “though you slay me, I will trust you, Lord.”

Prophecy or Poem?

Psalm 68 has some interesting features. The earth shakes before God (v8). God rescues from death (v20). And the good news is delivered by women (v11). Note the similarities with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Some commenters point out that women celebrating the victory of the king is commonplace (Ex 15:20, 1 Sa 18:6, Jg 11:34), but in each of these cases, the women are greeting the warriors who are returning home. In Psalm 68 the women are sharing the good news THEN the kings run away.

In the same way, the women who went to the tomb were the first people EVER to share the news of the risen Lord!

So was this just poetic language, or was God prompting David’s pen to hint at things to come?

Jealous of Evil?

Sometimes — as I have discussed before — we ask the question, why do good things happen to bad people? Here David addresses that. I can’t help but wonder if this was written shortly after David was being persecuted by Saul, who remained king of Israel while David hid in caves and was exiled from Israel. And so possibly David found himself struggling with jealousy over the success and abundance being experienced by Saul during that leave time for himself. But eventually, as he continued to do what was right, God delivered the kingdom into his hands as Saul fell to the Philistines.

So it is for us. We mustn’t be jealous of those who don’t fear the Lord; those who are doomed to an eternity separated from Him and, therefore, from every good and perfect thing. One day they will die and stand in judgement before the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. As for us? David encourages to be patient. And in so doing demonstrate the trust we claim to have in Him.

A Call to Action

David’s simple psalm carries a straightforward message. That the one who is not held accountable for his misdeeds is blessed. But when we try to hide our sins away, God allows their consequences to do us harm. It is only once we confess that we are freed from the (spiritual) consequences of sin. So don’t be stubborn! Take it to God while you still have time. None of us knows how many days we have left. And don’t bear the weight of your sin alone! Share it with a sister or brother and take it to the Lord. Indeed the truth shall set you free.

Chariots, Censuses, and Sins

I love this triumphant line from David:

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 20:7, NIV

Israel fought many foes under David and won because the Lord was with them, which was the point of what Moses recorded:

The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.”

Deuteronomy 17:16

Like I said before, the idea here was to trust in God for provision, not in oneself. This is what led to what many term “The Sin of David” (as if there was only one, lol) which we see in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 22, where David takes a census of his fighting men. Why, if not to prepare for some war against an adversary? This demonstrated an apparent lack of trust in God.

When we come up against foe to big to bear, we shouldn’t take stock of our assets, we should take it to our God. There’s nothing wrong with taking action and trying to do what you are able to, but not until you take it to God and ask Him to lead the way. Doing it our own way without involving God is — at best — benign, but at worst is a road that leads to sin.

Are Our Prayers Results-Oriented?

While going through today’s reading, one verse hit me in the face with the force of a heavyweight boxer. David is praying for his son, Solomon, who will become king. David says,

Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.

1 Chronicles 29:19, NLT

Wow! Really let this sink in. Maybe you are not guilty of this, but I know I am; when I pray to God I want to see a result. I want to see a particle thing happen. Then I can check it off in my prayer journal and be satisfied that God has answered this prayer in the affirmative and move on to the next one. But David’s prayer, so simple and moving is that Solomon would not MERELY obey and accomplish, but that he would have the WHOLEHEARTED DESIRE to do so.

Is that how we pray? Do we want God to do the work/empower us to do the work, or do we want God to help us DESIRE to do the work?

God help me DESIRE more of You. Help me WANT to do what is right. Incline my heart toward Your will and Your way. Help me to long for unity with You, help me to persevere toward that Goal all of the days of my life. Help me to hunger and thirst after your heart. Help me to feel incomplete without your direction. God have Your way in me. Help me to love myself less so that I can leave more room for Your love to share with those who do not yet know You. Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause.

Thank you Jesus.

Sola Scriptura

This phrase was the rallying cry of the Protestant Reformation and comes from the Latin: sola meaning “alone” and the word scriptura meaning “writings” (the Scriptures, the Holy BIble). Sola scriptura declares that Scripture alone is authoritative in the life of the Christian as it pertains to matters of faith and truth. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true.

Today I am applying it a little differently. Usually I would expound some kind of explainer or extrapolate some application from the day’s passage, but in this case, I think I will go with Scripture alone. And just allow the text to speak directly. Be encouraged, friends!

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you for forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20b

(Not) Having All The Answers

I’ll just say it… 2 Samuel says that God told David to take a census (then punished him for it), whereas 1 Chronicles says that Satan led David to take a census and then God punished him for it. I find the theories online quite unsatisfying and I find it frustrating that I don’t have anything to put in the place of these theories. I was deep-diving into the Hebrew and looking at sentence structure and asking my wife what she thought of this or that observation. Then she said something wonderful in its simplicity. Sometimes we don’t have the answers. That’s not to say that the answer is un-findable (because I fully intend to find it and yeah, I will update you all when I do!), but rather that these secondary issues are not ones on which we need to get hung-up. The cross of Christ is primary and all these other items are grow, learn, discuss, and deepen our faith, but we don’t need to be afraid of not having a solution or a perfect understanding immediately.

If you ever find yourself unsure about something when reading the Bible… that’s okay. You don’t need to be afraid of it. God is still God. Jesus is still Jesus. And in time, with study and dedication these answers will come. At the very least we will be satisfied when we stand before the Lord with unveiled faces.

Be blessed tonight my friends.

2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21, 22 | 122/365