David: A King with a Heart for God
The Bible is the only book throughout history that is referred to as the Word of God. Jesus declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead as seen by many witnesses; Himself proclaimed the Bible to be the truth. He prayed. "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." (John 17:17) This only book of absolute truth does not make men larger than life but declares them to be the sinners we all are.
The Bible does not embellish the character and condition of men. Great men in the Bible are not born great; they do not even achieve greatness in and of themselves. God always uses sinful men to complete His sovereign and comprehensive purposes because there are only sinful men. Even in the writing of the Bible, it declares, "...but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:21) Apart from the moving of the Holy Spirit, there would be no Bible.
David became the second king in Israel, and he is revealed with his faults, flaws, and sinful behavior. We should, therefore, see him as not less or more than the Bible proclaims him to be. He was a man of godly faith and love for the God who called him to be king.
David's Story Begins
The story of David begins with 1 Samuel 15:35, "Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death; for Samuel grieved over Saul. And the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel." (1 Samuel 15:35) In this closing verse, we come to understand several things to be true.
First, Saul irrevocably shattered his relationship with one of Israel's holiest prophets, Samuel, due to his unrepentant heart. God only forgives repentant sinners, and His people must only fellowship with the same. We, however, do not sit in His seat of judgment.
Second, Samuel grieved over Saul. What we know about Samuel's grief is this. "Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul since I have rejected him from being king over Israel?" (1 Samuel 16:1a) We might see in Samuel a godly prophet, grieving but not in the exact way God did. The previous verse from chapter 15 says that God regretted making Saul king. In the Hebrew, He consoled or comforted Himself, which He did by altering the outcome.
God's decision to make Saul king resulted from His giving the people what they wanted. Men want to sin, so God gives them what they want, coupled with grace and not immediate punishment, and the consequence of their sin. God intends that men might repent and turn to Him for forgiveness and salvation.
God had a purpose for making Saul king, and Samuel knew the grievous nature of Saul's sins. God grieved right on time, Samuel delayed and maybe even complicated his grief with undo sorrow. We can sorrow over the loss sin produces, but we cannot grieve over the loss of sin.
Therefore, God says to Samuel, "Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons." (1 Samuel 16:1b) God chose the first king Saul because the people rebelled against His rule; He chose the second king David for Himself so that he would rule in God's place.
Remember, God never intended the king's position in Israel; He continually disciplined Israel for sinning against Him by wanting to be like all the other nations. God uses judges and prophets as His preferred method of truth-tellers and leadership. Is the Church doing the same thing as Israel? How well do you know Church history? Is the Church what it is meant to be by scriptural mandate? Check out my next Featured article, Israel and the Church: Fact or Fake
Concepts to Contemplate:
When God allows evil in the world, He has a greater purpose, including repentance for the sinner and sanctification for the saint.
The evil of men cannot produce the holiness of God.
God never contradicts His holy Word. To love the Lord, our God, is the first great commandment. God permitted a king in Israel; however, every king that reigned was in direct defiance to God's greatest commandment.
As in tune to God as Samuel was, he still grieved over Saul too much, and God admonished Him for it.
There are systems within the evangelical Church derived from Roman Catholicism that corrupt it to this day.
Leadership is a skilled teaching rather than Spirit-filled shepherding.
Professionalism is no substitute for a praying congregation.
No leader fights the war for the people; it wasn't true of the kings, and it's not true of the pastors.
We are, as Calvin said, an idol factory. We are always making idols in our hearts, which icons include our leaders.
By not abandoning the pulpit's professionalism, the Church denies the Apostolic mandate that God uses common men to serve an uncommon calling.