Learning About God(liness) From David

By Not Known

Much practical education is now given by case studies, whether training professionals or improving corporate or organisational performance. We also learn much about God and godliness from the case studies presented in the Bible.

Our focus this month is on King David. David is a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14). David’s heart is shown to us in his actions (read 1 Sam 16 to 1 Kings 2). We can also see his heart in the book of Psalms (look at the Psalm titles to identify those attributed to David).

Today’s passages (2 Sam 1 & 9) show us more of what a godly heart looks like. David had been a valued member of Saul’s household and a son-in-law of the king. Despite Saul’s attempts to murder him, David twice declined opportunities to kill the king (1 Sam 24 & 26).

David shows us what it is to live under God’s kingdom rule. He refused to harm Saul because of his respect for God who made Saul king (1 Sam 24:6). Now he refuses to reward the person who (falsely) came and claimed to have killed Saul (2 Sam 1). Next, he punished the person who boasted of killing Saul’s son Ishbosheth who rose in a rebellion against David (2 Sam 4). Finally, David invited one of Saul’s grandsons to eat from his table for life, and so fulfilled a promise made to Saul’s son Jonathan (1 Sam 20:12-17; 2 Sam 9).

David sets a high standard for us in his love for his own enemy, his care for his enemy’s family and his honouring of the king. His actions show a high trust that God’s way is best, a high obedience to God’s word and a high love for God and man. David is a strong challenge to the weak faith, obedience and love that we often display. David does more than show us a kingdom life. He also anticipates the kingdom pattern that comes to its fullness in Jesus. Consider how God loved us in Christ when we were still his enemies:… when we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to him through the death of his son… (Rom 5:10).

So, let’s follow David as he shows us a godliness. But, let’s also follow the God whom David shows us. God’s love of us when we were his enemies is the reality, of which David is a faint shadow.