David: A King with A Heart for God - Part 5
There are many reasons why David was a man and a king possessing a heart for God. We see David in Scripture as a man with faith in God in the regular course of his life as a shepherd. He was willing to repent deeply and sincerely about his sin when God saved him from killing innocent men like Nabal. He was a man of bold courage in the face of dangerous evil like Goliath and the Philistines.
In 1 Samuel 30, the story of Saul and David is reaching its climactic conclusion. Through a spiritist medium, Saul was told by Samuel's departed spirit that he was about to die in battle. David was told to leave the battle with Israel by Achish and the Philistine lords. Then we learn that while David and his men were away working as a band of mercenaries, their wives, children, and possessions were plundered. Their response was normal, as we might expect. "Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep." (1 Samuel 30:4).
However, the people of God do not react exactly like the world around them. "Also, David was in great distress because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David felt strengthened in the LORD his God" (1 Samuel 30:6). His men considered taking out their frustrations on David as if he were to blame when he was also suffering. Nevertheless, David strengthened himself in the LORD. This is evidence of genuine, saving faith.
David's Heart for God
A man with a heart for God prays. "And David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I pursue this band of raiders? Will I overtake them?" And He said to him, "Pursue, for you will certainly overtake them, and you will certainly rescue everyone." He asked, and he received while praying. As a result, they recovered everything and acquired much booty.
Now let us consider the difference between evil men and godly ones. Two hundred men were left behind who were too tired to continue pursuing their enemies. So after David and his men killed and plundered their enemies, they returned to those left behind. Then we read these words.
"Then all the wicked and worthless men among those who went with David said, "Since they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoils that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, so that they may lead them away and leave." But David said, "You must not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us, for He has protected us and handed over to us the band of raiders that came against us." (1 Samuel 30: 22, 23).
Evil men in this story are depicted as those who wanted to cheat others because they could not accomplish their task. Their response, I am sure, seems reasonable in today's culture. However, Scripture says, the wicked and worthless men among them said these things. What was their great wickedness? They did not understand that apart from the Lord, they could not have regained their families and things either.
Godly men see God behind everything. David did stop there but went on and gave further spoil to some in different parts of Israel. It is almost a foreshadowing of the giving nature of the early Church. "And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them." (Acts 4: 32). A godly man sees everything as belonging to God.
A farmer was highly offended when hearing his preacher proclaim that everything belongs to God. He took his pastor to the very highest point and said to him, "I want you to look out from here at all this land and tell me that it doesn't belong to me." The pastor thought for a minute and then replied, "Ask me a hundred years from now." The pastor understood God; the farmer possessed stigmatism.
The Deception of Self-made Men
My dear readers, in closing, please consider the evil heart it takes to believe the idea of self-made men. Paul had much to say to the Church at Corinth concerning their many sins. However, their many sins could be boiled down to just one as the source of all evils - PRIDE.
"For consider your calling, brothers, and sisters,
that there were not many wise according to the flesh,
not many mighty,
not many noble;
but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise,
and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
and the insignificant things of the world
and the despised God has chosen,
the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
so that no human may boast before God."
so that, just as it is written: "LET THE ONE WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD." (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).