David as King—Lessons for Life
The Bible gives us a rather in depth look at the life of David. We are fortunate in this because there are many great lessons to learn from one whose life would otherwise be an enigma.
Note: This blog post is based on last week’s reading: 2 Samuel
This week we returned to the life of David beginning with his mourning for the death of Saul and Jonathan and ending with some final words and his purchase of the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite for use as an altar to the Lord—a property that would later become the location of the temple of Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:1). The story of David is one the most complete biographies in all of the Scriptures. We get to see him up close and in depth. His actions and thoughts are laid out for our consideration. If this were not so, we would find his life more of an enigma than a basis for instruction in godliness. Here are some examples:
He loved the glory of God so much that he mourned the death of his enemy.
For years Saul had tried to kill David but when the king died, David mourned his death. Why was that? He loved God and His people, Israel, enough to understand that the failure of Saul’s reign was not a good thing for the nation even if it finally cleared the way for David’s own reign and eventual dynasty. The Philistines killed Saul and decapitated “God’s anointed.” It was right for David to mourn. This attitude had been present in David years earlier when he offered his services to fight Goliath. As he approached the dreaded giant, David proclaimed, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (1 Samuel 17:45 ESV). Nothing mattered more to David than the glory of the God of Israel.
He accepted a limitation on his plans because he trusted God’s better plan.
David’s concern with God’s glory caused him to consider the need for a permanent structure for the ark of God. He proposed to build a temple. But God revealed to the prophet Nathan a greater plan—far more glorious than what David had imagined. God established a covenant with David in which his dynasty would be established forever (2 Samuel 7). In light of the New Testament, we know that on David’s throne would sit forever Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 1:1; Rev. 19:16). David was rightly overwhelmed at God’s graciousness to him which far surpassed David’s idea of a mere temple. The Apostles would later understand that the true temple was not a building in Jerusalem but the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Church (John 2: 18-22; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4, 5).
He learned through failure to be watchful of Satan’s schemes in times of peace and prosperity.
Military success and a well-ordered kingdom provided the opportunity for David’s temptations to abuse power and to commit adultery and murder (2 Samuel 8-12). Although David repented of his sin there would be consequences for him all the rest of his life (2 Samuel 12:7-14; 13-24). The Apostle Peter would later write to elders of the church what he had learned about the nature of our enemy, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8, 9 ESV). Both Peter and David knew the lion-like power of the enemy who seeks to tear our souls apart (Psalm 7:1-2; Luke 22:54-62). Our brotherhood worldwide experiences this kind of suffering, but Peter assures us that “the God of all grace…will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish [us]” (1 Peter 5:10 ESV).
Let us be attentive to the lessons from David’s life: to desire God’s glory, to trust His plans, and to be watchful of the enemy of our souls especially when we feel secure and successful.
This week’s reading: Proverbs 6-15; Psalms 31-45