Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for David

King David is probably one of the most recognizable figures in the Bible.  He's the hero of "David and Goliath."  He's the guy who plays the harp and writes Psalms.  He also majorly messed up several times and God doesn't sugar coat it at all in the scriptures.
We first see David in 1 Samuel 16, tending his father's sheep.  Samuel shows up and anoints him king of Israel.  If you read the previous chapters, you'll remember that Saul, the first king of Israel, was rejected by God as king for doing things his way instead of God's way.  After David is anointed king, he gets a second job playing harp for Saul who has been afflicted by an evil spirit for his disobedience. 
1 Samuel 17 is the account of David and Goliath. It's a familiar story but it has a lot of misconceptions attached to it.  The first is that David is a little kid (a myth made popular by several children's tv versions, especially Veggie Tales).  The exact wording in 1 Samuel is "little more than a boy" which I take to mean a young teenager.  However, he's "glowing with health and handsome" so even if he is young, we can't really describe him as a "scrawny little kid."  Think of him more as a high school freshman football player or wrestler.  Young, but with muscles.  After all, he has killed a lion and a bear by himself while tending his sheep. 
But enough on that, after David kills Goliath, he becomes really popular with the ladies.  They come up with a little song for him "Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands."  Makes Saul a bit jealous.  More than a "bit" jealous, actually.  Saul tries to skewer David with a spear at one point.  David is forced to go on the run (with a little help from Jonathan, his good buddy and Saul's son), even pretending to be insane at one point.  He's not a vengeful guy either because he has a golden opportunity to kill Saul in 1 Samuel 24 while Saul is peeing in a cave.  Instead of killing him, he cuts off a corner of Saul's robe but even doing that bothers David.  So he confesses what he did to Saul and there's a bit of a truce finally between them.  But that's only temporary.

Saul finally dies off in 1 Samuel 31 when he kills himself on the battlefield and after a few more struggles with Saul's family, David becomes king.  But his struggles are far from over.

David's first major blunder is Bathsheba which is recorded in 2 Samuel 11.  It's a very familiar story.  David sees her bathing on the roof, decides to sleep with her and gets her pregnant.  Her husband Uriah has been off at war so he tries to cover it up by bringing him home but he won't go sleep with her because it's not right for a solider like him to go home when all the other soldiers are not at home.  David decides to get rid of Uriah in a sneaky way but putting him on the front line and then having everyone but him pull back.  God, of course, doesn't let this one slide.  He sends Nathan to tell David a story about a rich man and a poor man and some sheep. 

If you've been following my little A to Z series, you'll see that Adam and Cain share a commonality of not owning up to their sins.  They try to pass the blame.  David, surprisingly doesn't.  He fully admits his sin and asks for forgiveness.  The consequence of his sin is the death of the child he had with Bathsheba.  David gives us an awesome example for prayer life after this.  In 2 Samuel 12:15-23, we see David praying and fasting and wearing sackcloth, hoping that God will spare his sick child.  After 7 days, when the child died, David gets up and resumes his normal life.  He tells his servants that there was a glimmer of hope that God would answer his request but now that the child has died, there is no more reason to beg God for the child's life.

David has more struggles after this within his family.  One of David's sons rapes one of David's daughters and gets himself killed by yet another of David's sons.  Then the avenging son from that incident goes on to try to take over the country from David and gets killed in the process.  After all that drama, we come to David's second major blunder.

Now, David's second blunder isn't all that well known.  It normally doesn't show up in Sunday School.  This blunder involves taking a census.  Now that sounds innocent but verse one of 1 Chronicles 21 says that Satan coerced David into taking the census.  Again, David owns up to his sin and takes the consequence which is 3 days of plague. 

What we can take away from David is that he wasn't perfect but you can definitely see that he trusted in God throughout his life and admitted his guilt whenever he messed up.  He also wrote a lot of beautiful psalms that still have meaning for us today. 

1 comment:

  1. He did become popular with the ladies. I find his relationship with Jonathan interesting. I'd like to have heard some more about it.


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