A couple of Sundays back a reading from the Sunday Mass was based on one of the most great and contraversial characters from the Holy Bible ……David. The reading spoke about how God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint David as his chosen King.
A close look at the life of David, and we would realise that here was a man, who altough was a humble sheperd, still God entrusted him with power and greatness. Here was a man who struggled between good and evil but yet always tried to please God. I am trying to summarize a few aspects of Davids life that I got to know about on reading a book based on him.
David the son…..
David was the youngest of his siblings. Hence he is said to have suffered from the rejection of his father and older brothers. Even after his anointment they would have preferred him to stay back and tend to the sheep rather than him becoming a king.
But God had other plans, for as St. Paul says ” …… God has chosen the weak to shame the strong…..”
David the Giant killer
Everybody knows the story of David and Goliath. Killing Goliath was a matter of skill. David had faced fierce bears and lions in the wild as a sheperd. He trusted his skill…… Unfortunately he was the only one that did. Eliab, Davids older brother was angered seeing David at the frontline. Even King Saul felt he was too weak.
In challenging Goliath, David did not crave for victory, nor did he crave for fame. He just wanted to protect what belonged to God.
It was not Goliath that David feared ……It was his own people……The people that didn’t trust him , neither encouraged him………..But David trusted his God, for no giant is bigger than God.
David the friend
Heard of Johnathan? King Saul’s son and David’s best friend. Jonathan was next in the line to be a king, to succeed his father in the monarchy. But when he learned that his trusted friend David had been anointed by God, he willing submitted to the will of God.
David on the other hand was caught up in the middle, between Jonathan’s love and Saul’s hate. Jonathan helped David escape his father’s wrath. Jonathan and King Saul lost their lives at the battle with the Philistines. For David the loss of his dearest friend was like a spear through his heart. It was another pain he had to accept for the will of God.
David the King in making
So David was anointed to be the next King. But the Kingship would not be his so easily. Afterall God sends his chosen Kings through the greatest trials . King Saul was chosen by God himself to look over his people. Saul had most of the qualities of a king…He had the gift of prophecy, powerful leadership and a lot more. But he had a flaw……..He saw the kingdom as belonging to himself and not God. Saul became self deceived. And soon the spirit of God left him.
When Saul learned that David was to be the next chosen King….he was filled with anger, envy and insecurity.
Saul grasped for the kingdom but eventually God caused it to slip away, while David refused to grasp it and it was given to him in God’s time.
David the sinner
We all know about Davids greatest sin. No one would ever expect God’s chosen one to end up in such a mess……But he did. He lured a women to bed and then tried to cover his sin. And even worse he got her husband killed at the frontline. How evil !!!!! We all as humans struggle between sexual fantasies, lust and temptations. In a world obsessed with sensuality, it is increasingly easy to fall into Satan’s trap.
God gives us powerful passions and expects us to control them as a test of our loyalty. For David it seemed like fighting Goliath was much easier than fighting his lustful desires. He committed the sin and then tried to cover up. In all this mess David did forget that he couldn’t have fooled God.
God finally sent prophet Nathan to warn and rebuke David about his sin. What did David do?
David repented, he asked God for forgiveness. Even though his repentance could not change the judgement God meted out to him, he was freed from a polluted conscience.He and God could once again be in fellowship. David is an example of how vulnerable we are to evil as humans. But God in his kindness still frees us from our sin, when we repent.
David the father
David had greatness entrusted upon him. He was a great warrior, a great musician and a great king. Unfortunately David couldn’t be a good husband nor a good father. His wives it is said were unhappy with his favoritism. While his sons were undisciplined, disloyal and rebellious.
Davids sin had invited God’s fury on him. Altough his sin was forgiven by God, it paralyzed his family relationships. The sin David committed dragged on to his children. Amnon, Tamar and her brother Absolam, Adonijah are few of the children mentioned in the Bible. David watched like a helpless father the sins and the infighting amongst his children. David the great warrior was now a passive father. And sadly the weakness of a father is often passed on to the children. Sometimes God crushes his loved ones to make up for their sins.
David the dying King
Life till the end was difficult for David. In his sunset years David had to witness a lot…..A civil war within his kingdom, revolt by his eldest son Adonijah, a plague sent by God as a punishment for numbering his people and a lot more. Though David had often failed, he did not die a failure. He maintained his fellowship with God to the end.
To paraphrase the words on an observatory in Pittsburgh. ” David loved the stars too fondly to be afraid of the night. Then David, with his God, slipped into the night”.
David was finally fulfilled as his soul returned to God.
All there is , is David and his Lord. A sheep and his Sheperd…….
The Lord himself exclaimed as David’s epitaph “David my servant”. What more could a shepherd boy have asked for.
Epilogue: Davids life demonstrates…
- How spiritual growth happens in hard times
- How doing God’s will is not always peaceful
- How God expects us to endure struggles with patience
- How even with big failures we can remain ” a man of God’s own heart”
Many extracts in this post are taken from the book “Growing through conflict” by Erwin W. Lutzer