“Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching. The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life…”
I Samuel 16:13 (The Message)
I was reading a devotional the other day which was talking about how David, a shepherd boy at the time, was anointed by Samuel the prophet because God showed Samuel that teenager was to be the next king of Israel. The devotional was talking about how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
At the same time that I read this devotional, my daughter was reading Bathsheba by Angela Hunt, a fictional account of the Bible story about Bathsheba and David. We have had many great discussions regarding David’s influence as a father (some of his children did some very bad things) and the sins that David himself committed (adultery and murder to name a few).
Reading the devotional above about how David was anointed king by God because He saw something extraordinary in him contrasts quite differently with the “older David” who committed some major sins. I was commenting to my husband a few days ago, after one particular conversation with our daughter, that it just doesn’t make sense to me that God described David as “a man after His own heart” when David committed sins that affected many people.
That led me to two conclusions this morning. One: I believe God has a special purpose for each of us to fulfill in life and it always somehow revolves around sharing about Jesus dying on the cross so that everyone who chooses to can have a personal relationship with Him. While God may call some of us into positions that are more “in the public eye,” we all have a responsibility to live our lives authentically and with integrity, so that we never have to live in fear of secret sins being found out. It made me stop and think about my own life. I had a chance just this week to take one of two paths: telling the truth or trying to get away with something. I chose the option that allows me peaceful sleep at night. I think periodically throughout our lives we’re all presented with choices of integrity or deceit, which reminded me of David. He had the option to live a life of integrity or deceit and he chose deceit…not every time, but enough times that God mentions his sins, and the consequences, in the Bible.
That leads me to my second conclusion: No sin is too great for God to forgive if we come to Him with sincere repentance. David, despite committing murder and adultery, fell face down in front of God and repented, and God forgave him. God still, after all the evil that David did and was carried into the next generation as well, called David “a man after God’s own heart.” There is always forgiveness given when we truly repent.
I’m conflicted every time I read about David. I think to myself: “I want to be like David because he worshipped God with his whole heart”…but then I think, “I don’t want to be like David because he really made some major detours in his life which caused a lot of pain.”
I think we can learn a lot from David. Encouragement that no sin is too great for God to forgive and also that we all are appointed to fulfill a purpose for God and we should take that job seriously, staying as close to Him as possible so that the inevitable detours aren’t catastrophic. Staying humble, having a moldable and teachable spirit, and pursuing a relationship with our Father should help keep us honoring and pleasing our Father. Hard at times when the easy road seems appealing, but definitely worth the peaceful night’s sleep every time.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015