Truth, Understanding, Insight

David and Daniel: beloved of God

28th November 2009, mgh


1) David: A man after God's own heart

Samuel introduces David

The first occasion when we become acquainted with David is when Samuel informs Saul that he would not continue as king and he would eventually be succeeded by a “man after his own heart”. Saul had not obeyed God's commands and we see that obedience was essential in the faithful servant.

And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly: you have not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.

But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD has sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.(1Samuel 13: 13-14)

Solomon and Jeroboam know David

Solomon comments that his father David “walked truth and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart”. For these reasons in time of weakness he was granted mercy and forgiveness.

And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. (1Kings 3:6)

In response to Solomon's prayer regarding the temple he had built and its dedication, Solomon was told that his throne would be established if he walked “in integrity of heart, and in uprightness,” as David his father had done. David was always ready to confess his sins and to seek forgiveness in humility.

And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgements: (1Kings 9:3-4)

Jeroboam was told that he had failed to keep God's commandments or follow God with all his heart. In contrast David had done all that “which was right in mine eyes”.

Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel,

And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes;(1Kings 14:7-8)

David's attitude to the Law and the Promises

Psalm 19 shows David's attitude to the Law and Commandments. He studied to gain knowledge so that he would learn to be obedient to the Lord's will, which was right in God's eyes. The study of the Word of God enlightens and brings understanding of the Lord's requirements.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults (Psalm 19:7-12).

David had been given a promise because of his dedication to and unwavering faith in God. Through the seed of David the Saviour of Israel and the Gentiles would come. This is Jesus (Yeshua).

Paul tells us this,

And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

Of this man's seed has God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:(Acts 13:21-23)

At the end of his life, David's dedication, trust and devotion to God are clearly evident as he prays before the congregation and requests that Solomon, when he reigns over them, will have “a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes”. The following quotation shows David's reverence towards God and his thankfulness. He speaks of the Lord's majesty, power and glory, not only in heaven but also on earth. He reigns with might and gives strength to all who trust in him. David praises the LORD (Yahweh)'s name, which reflects his purpose with creation, which is to draw out those people who reflect his name and thus his character, “I will be who I will be”.

Read and ponder the depth of the faith reflected in the power of David's words, which display his deep reverence and the example that he presented to his subjects.

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine ; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reign over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.

For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.

I know also, my God, that thou try the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:

And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things , and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.(1Chronicles 29:10-20)

New Testament view of David

Stephen in his defence of the accusation of speaking “blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law” reminded the Jews of their past and referred to David who had found “favour” before God.<

Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Joshua into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.

But Solomon built him an house.(Acts 7:45-46)

Paul also acknowledged David's position before God in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia and his descendant Jesus as Israel's saviour.

And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

Of this man's seed has God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:(Acts 13: 21-23)

David as seen in the Psalms

David's great faith had been seen in his youth when he single handedly with a sling and five stones stood to defy the champion of the Philistines, whom he slew. His faith was not in his own accuracy with the sling, but with his complete faith in the God of Israel. This faith never departed from him. When he could have slain Saul, he did not. He was prepared to wait until it was 'God's will' that he should become king. His Psalms show a love of God and total submission to God's will. He read the Law and commandments which were the guiding lights throughout his life. In the times of difficulty in his life, which are clearly shown in many Psalms, he relied on God, not man, as in the wars against Israel's enemies. In the case of his numbering of Israel he chose punishment that God would bring upon the nation of Israel. His personal devotion, trust and dedication to the Lord are unsurpassed. The Psalms abound in the depth of love that flowed from his pen.

David's life was not easy. He faced difficulties and problems beyond anything that we might ever experience. If we turn to the Psalms in our Bible and randomly select a Psalm of David, we will be uplifted by the beauty of the words that express his thoughts and feelings and that convey his trust in and devotion to the God of Israel. We may then desire to search more deeply so that we may understand why faithful men such as David found such comfort in searching the Word of God to find the treasures and hope found therein.

Psalm 25 is a plea for guidance and an understanding of the path to salvation and for forgiveness. He acknowledges Yahweh's great power, his name and the promise that the meek and faithful will inherit the earth. Those who fear Yahweh will be taught. To this end he requests that Yahweh teach him and guide his path.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgement: and the meek will he teach his way.

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.(Psalm 25: 4-14)

Psalm 145 again begins with a consideration of Yahweh's name and then focusses on Yahweh's great power, majesty and might. Yahweh is also merciful, compassionate, slow to anger and merciful. This section of the Psalm concludes with the glories of his Kingdom.

David's Psalm of praise. I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Geat is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.

They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.(Psalm 145: 1-12)

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