Actively bringing about much needed change in our communities and hope to the broken and disheartened.
This is my personal study of the person of David. I am posting it on the blog in an attempt to be able to hash out my thoughts on a deeper level. I considered making these posts private, but thought that they might edify others as I hope God edifies me. I will not be advertising these posts like I do others simply because I’m not writing with the intention of getting everyone to see my thoughts. If you happen to stumble across this (and future posts on David) and care to share with someone, please feel free.
I’m writing from a place of brokenness. I desire to see God manifested in and through me, yet I find myself dwelling on my past mistakes and refusing to trust God to remove me from my sinful nature. As a new creation in Christ I am supposed to have crucified my fleshly desires and be full of the Spirit, but I find that I have road blocks that I can’t overcome on my own.
Too often I have let my mistakes hinder me from growing in Christ. I want to live as if Christ were my all, but sin always finds its way into my life one way or another and I feel like I can never grow to be the man God wants me to be.
That being said, God has been pulling me toward the person of David for quite some time, but I am just now taking the time to really study his story. My initial perception of David is that he was “a man after God’s own heart” yet I can look at his life and see that it’s full of sin. I want to know how David could have overcome his own shortcomings to be known as a passionate lover of God. So I will start from the beginning and just write about what I see.
1 Samuel 16.
Samuel is grieving because God’s Spirit has been taken away from Saul. Samuel is told to go to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse to annoint the next king. God told Samuel, “I have selected a king from his (Jesse’s) sons.”
God selected David before he sent Samuel to annoint him as king.
This tells me that David was already the kind of man God was looking for. We find out later who David is through a description from one of Saul’s servants.
Samuel goes to the house of Jesse and upon seeing Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab, believes in his heart that this was surely who God had chosen. But God tells Samuel in verse 7:
“Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visibile, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
David was the youngest of 8. In fact, he was looked upon as unimportant. So unimportant that when Samuel invites Jesse’s family to take part in a sacrificial ceremony they didn’t even invite David. David finally makes an appearance after Samuel summons him and we find that David is actually also a good looking guy. He’s described as handsome and healthy. But it’s important to remember that those outward features really didn’t matter to God – it was David’s heart that God was interested in. What made David’s heart so special?
Samuel annoints David as the future king, and this next part is huge: verse 13 says that after Samuel annointed David, “The Spirit of the Lord took control of David from that day forward.”
God’s Spirit took control of David.
Ok so there is so much stuff I want to weigh in on here. First off – how’s my heart? God is looking at it. By my nature it is sinful, dark, horrid, detestable. I lack all righteousness, it’s pretty shameful. God was searching for a heart like David’s, and David met God’s standards for a great leader.
Am I being diligent about allowing God to capture my heart? Am I legitimately working on having a pure heart – or is it easy for me to get caught up in the appearance of a new heart? It’s easy for guys like me to fake it – stand up in front of a crowd and tell them who you want to be and not necessarily who you are and it gets all blurred in the midst of everything else and people think your something your not. But deep down you know how short you fall of the expectations. Then it becomes about wanting to live up to the expectations of others and not of the expectations of God. Try doing it on your own strength – you’ll find that you’ll fail miserably and get more deflated. There is something to say about being diligent to be working on your heart condition. I’m just not working on it.
Paul says that we must discipline ourselves to grow in Christ just as we would if we were training for a marathon. It doesn’t just come to you all of a sudden – it’s a matter of being disciplined to pray, to know and read the word. David was that guy. He had plenty of time to spend with God out there in the fields, and as he spent time with God, God worked on his heart.
The next big thing is that God took control of David. It’s not a foreign concept to us today either. Galations 2:19-20 says: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Do I believe that Christ literally lives in me and I no longer live? I am supposed to crucify myself, along with all its passions and desires, and let it die and rot on the cross. Then once it’s dead, Christ now is the life in me. Both cannot dwell in this house – it’s one or the other. You can’t have some of Christ and some of your old self. Peter says “should I go on sinning so that grace may abound? By no means!” So no, I can’t have it both ways. When David was annointed by Samuel to be the next king, he gave up his own aspirations, his own dreams, his own way – so that God could have his way. You might think that being king was David’s wildest dreams come true, but watch the movie “The King’s Speech” and you’ll understand a little better – they say being king is the lonliest, most isolated position you can have. It’s not all glory and riches, its hard decisions and service. David gave himself up for God – and God took control of David.
God, I want to get over myself and allow you to take over control in me. Literally. Take control.
The last part of 1 Samuel 16 gives more insight into who David was as a person. Saul is troubled by an evil spirit and asks for someone who can play the harp to be brought to him to calm him when the evil spirit attacks. Someone says they know of a man named David who is:
1. A valient man
2. A warrior
5. The Lord is with him
It’s not too often you hear of a guy like that. When you think of a warrior, do you immediately think eloquent as well? They don’t really go together. Valiance and warrior, sure – but eloquence?
Essentially what I see here overall is integrity. David is a hard fighter with courage, bravery, valiance – but he is also a sensative man who is in tune with God’s Spirit.
In the book “Integrity” by Henry Cloud, he asks the question: “What wake are you leaving behind?”
The question is essentially asking – what will people say about you when you leave a particular area in life? Will they say you were selfish and pompus? Depressed and angry? Quiet and courageous? Valiant and eloquent?
It’s an important question to ask – and I think David’s life is a perfect example of leaving a positive wake. David is being talked about by someone who knew him and is being described really well. But you don’t describe someone like this man did David unless you really have seen those sides of him. You didn’t hear this guy say…”well, he has great eyes – he is able to count to 100 – and is good at song writing.” No, when Saul askes for a musician this guy gives him a man of integrity, who also happens to be a musician.
How can God use my gifts to further his kingdom? How can I become a man full of integrity? Not pretending to be someone that I’m not – but truly living a life that people can see God’s Spirit in me.
It’s a matter of the heart. I need to discipline myself to study God’s word, to spend time with Him in prayer. To know and understand the grace that has been given to me freely, that God will use me in spite of my sin and through my weaknesses.
Having a heart that seeks God.