Reading: No Scheduled Reading
Thoughts and Reflections: this is the catch up day for the first week of April (1-7). In addition, here are some points to ponder based on this week’s readings.
- One of the many evidences for the divine origin of Scripture is how it handles its heroes. This is not an obvious point to most of us, but the contrast with how other ancient records deal with their champions is striking. The Bible is very forthright about the weaknesses and failings even of those whom we are to otherwise admire and emulate. Nowhere is this any more evident than with David. The Bible is very honest and even handed in its presentation of both heroes and villains.
- Related to the point above is the fact that throughout Scripture the fact is reiterated that God can and does use weak and faulty people. That is not intended in any way to excuse or rationalize those failings, rather it is to show that God can also use and work through us; ones whose faults and weaknesses with which we are quite familiar
- When the Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), it’s not trying to pull the wool over our eyes or to suggest that David was something he was not. What it communicates is that our sins and shortcomings do not have to define us. Seeking God’s heart does not render one perfect. Sin will remain a reality as long as we are in the flesh. David shows us that though we may get off course spiritually, we can return, and that returning demonstrates the true pursuit of our lives: the heart of God.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…” (Theodore Roosevelt)
It is not hard to find the places where David stumbled, where this king could have done better. But, as Mr. Roosevelt suggests, that really doesn’t count. After all, what’s the point? It’s the Bible that shows us where he failed and it’s also the Bible that tells us of his desire for the very heart of God (Acts 13:22).
Having spent the past week reading his life, what do we glean for our good?
Don’t quit. Don’t quit because of opposition. Don’t quit because of less than ideal circumstances. Don’t quit because of failure. David faced them all, but he never quit.
Honor God’s will. David knew his life was not about himself, but God. Therefore he respected Saul as a man whom God had anointed king. Never mind that Saul desperately wanted David dead. God refused David the right to build His temple. So David didn’t.
Work hard. David’s achievements as king were phenomenal. He took control of a shaky, tottering, uncertain kingdom. He handed over a strong, prosperous, united, and secure kingdom to his son. David worked hard to make it so.
Focus on spiritual concerns. David knew he ruled God’s people. The nation’s relationship with God was as vital as secured boundaries and a thriving economy. He brought the ark into Jerusalem. He organized the priests, Levites, and other temple servants. He would have built the temple itself had God allowed. Spiritual concerns were a priority.
Repent when you’re wrong. David obviously had his share of failings, some of them monumental. David repented. David changed. David found forgiveness and corrected his course.
Thank God for the life, and the record of the life, of David.