David the King
It has always amazed and comforted me to know that God would use a flawed man like David to further his kingdom, and indeed to be the prince under Christ in the Millennium to come. You see, in many ways, David has weaknesses like you and me, and he had to suffer earthly consequences like we do.
In the last days of David’s life on earth, he suffered physically. Those around him sought to comfort him, but his problems were many. There was conflict between his many sons. His son Adonijah had all but taken over as the next king, but that is another story. Let me pick this up in 1 Kings verse 1.
When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. So his servants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to attend the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.”
Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no intimate relations with her.
You know, when I read that, I try to think what led up to that decision by his friends. David already had more than one wife! Why couldn't one of them keep him warm?
Perhaps the worst thing David did was the murder of Uriah the Hittite, his faithful servant and soldier. He did this to try to cover up his illegitimate relationship with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. The king’s palace was higher than all buildings around it. One day, David saw Bathsheba bathing on her roof, and from that developed his illegitimate relationship with Uriah’s wife.
When David learned that Bathsheba was pregnant, he sent for Uriah to come home. He came home, but refused to sleep in the comfort of his home while his troops slept in tents on the front. There was no way for David to keep his sin from being exposed. So he ordered that Uriah be sent to the most dangerous position on the front line, knowing he would be killed. Interestingly, the baby did not survive, but David married Bathsheba and the next king, Solomon, was born to her.
When David was confronted with this deed by the prophet Nathan, Scripture gives us a good picture of where his heart lay. I’ll read his own words in Psalm 51.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
David was called a man after God's own heart because his heart was broken over his sin. He grieved over his sin and saw it the way God saw it, as sin. He repented. I pray that God will help all of us have hearts like David's.
Note: This talk was presented by my husband Dennis at our small church.
Go on to read Shades of Gray
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