I love the story of David in the Bible. He has been described as a man after God’s heart. “And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’”[i] He was a teenage shepherd boy who went up against a Philistine “war machine” called Goliath with five stones and a slingshot. ( 1 Samuel 17.) Goliath was known to be nine feet, nine inches tall and carry about 200 to 210 pounds of armor. He was literally a scary dude coming up against the Israeli army. But David said, “You come to me with sword and spear and with the javelin but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I will strike you and take your head from you. Then all the assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.”[ii] He swung his slingshot and felled the giant!
David was anointed to be king by the prophet Samuel. Before he was able to move into being king, he was pursued relentlessly by the current jealous, crazy king who was removed from his reign due to his disobedience to God.
David was a murderer and adulterer. But he was also quick to admit his sins and return to God. Nathan was a trusted adviser to David. After David’s affair with Bathsheba, Nathan came to him and told him a parable about a rich man who had no compassion for others. (See 2 Samuel 12.) David said that the offender should die. Nathan told him that he was that man. “So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’”[iii]
David had to live with the consequence of his sin. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”[iv] But his lineage brought about the greatest gift to humankind—Jesus. “His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; All nations shall call Him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.”[v]
David was a great and mighty king and warrior. He was also a psalmist—a musician writing poetry and worshiping the Lord through his music and instruments. And this is how he truly found the heart of God and was known as a man after God’s own heart. David poured out his heart in songs and showed sincere and pure trust in the Lord. He made supplications to God, asks for good advice, and even prayed for judgment on his enemies. He spoke about his history through the Psalms such as his exile, persecution, struggles, and the eventual triumph. David’s seventy-four-plus songs continue to challenge, comfort, and inspire us three thousand years later.
It is through the Psalms that I have learned to cry out to God through thick and thin; return to Him when I go my own way; lean on His provisions and strength; let His Word be my light and lamp for the journey; and reveal my anger, depression, fears, and unending questions. He is a big God—He can take it. And I have learned more about who God is through the Psalms. He is omniscient, omnipresent, my creator, my shepherd, and my strength. And above all he is a caring Daddy. “He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’”[vi]