Week 19 Devotion
This week the story of David and His role as King of Israel will continue and our reading will highlight his military strength and success as well as His kindness and grace. These two characteristics have not been seen side by side in most of our reading so far this year but in David, we see strength and grace held in a unique balance.
If we did a straw poll on the most important Old Testament figures who would come to mind? Of course, there’s Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob or Israel and his twelve sons, Moses. There is a host of prophets that might come to mind like Daniel, Isaiah, and Jonah. There are even some villains like Pharaoh and Goliath. But at some level, David has to weigh in as one of the most important figures in all of Scripture. After all, David bears the title of the “man after God’s own heart.” He was a man like no other, a warrior, a poet, a shepherd, and a king whose throne God would promise to establish forever.
Over the last few weeks, our reading has reacquainted us with the life of this important Biblical figure. He was the youngest of 8 sons in the house of a shepherd in Bethlehem named Jesse. We met David in I Samuel 16 as the Prophet Samuel is sent to anoint the next king of Israel. This is an awkward time in the life of Israel because they have just been given their first true king in Saul, but Saul disobeyed the commands of God and the Lord promised to take the kingdom away from him giving it to someone else.
So Samuel came to the house of Jesse with the intention of anointing the man God had chosen to rule as king over Israel. Jesse lined up his 7 oldest sons in front of the prophet but God had not chosen any of them. Then David, as an afterthought, was summoned in from the fields and as soon as David came in the Lord spoke to Samuel saying, “Arise, and anoint him in the midst of his brothers (I Sam 16:13).” On that day and from that day forward the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.
David was a fearless shepherd and a skillful musician. He was a warrior poet who played musical instruments as well as he wielded the sword. He played the Lyre, a 7-stringed instrument very similar to a guitar, and he wrote songs of worship to God.
David was the only man in the army of Israel who trusted that victory belonged to God and not the strength of men. He alone faced the giant Goliath with confidence even though He was only a teenager. But the most important thing from David’s life was not all of his unique accomplishments but rather the fact that God made a unique covenant with him and we are going to read about that this week in 2 Samuel 7.
Here is something to Meditate on…
In 2 Samuel 7, David has come to the point in his life when he wants to do something significant to honor and glorify God. By God’s mercy David has become king over all the nation of Israel. In the strength of The Lord David has led his army to successfully beat back the enemies surrounding them. As a blessing from God David was able to establish Jerusalem as the king’s city and the capital of Israel. Then as a blessing to cap off all of these accomplishments, David oversaw the reintroduction of the Ark of God into the midst of the people within the walls of Jerusalem.
Then on a more personal note, David had been able to settle down in a house and the Lord gave him a period of rest from fighting against Israel’s enemies. So naturally, David wants to thank God and his idea is to build God a temple. He wants to make the dwelling place of God more permanent by trading the tent/tabernacle for a full-fledged house made of cedar and gold. But God has another plan.
God says, “I know you think I have blessed you up to this point but I want you to know that there is more to come. You want to build me a house? But what’s actually going to happen is that I am going to build you a house and I will raise up your offspring to build a house for my name and I will establish his throne and kingdom forever.”
God even goes on to say, “I will be to him a father and he shall be to me a son.” Now in one sense this is a reference to David’s son Solomon who would, in fact, become king and build a temple to house the ark of God, but the bigger picture to this promise from God is that this is pointing to the future when a better king would rise and establish a better kingdom that would last forever.
This covenant promise from God to David is about Jesus our perfect king who would come from the family line of David, who would save God’s people from their greatest enemy and establish the eternal kingdom of God. Take some time to think about and study up on the connections between David and Jesus. Check out the genealogies in Matthew and Luke to see the direct line from David to Christ.
Take some time to think about David’s significant but lesser role as warrior king and defender of God’s people and compare that to Jesus’ greater role as a warrior king and defender of God’s people.
Here is something to discuss…
In 2 Samuel 9 we see another side of David that should make us think ahead and compare David to Jesus. In this chapter, we see that David has once again been victorious in battle and has come to the point of wanting to show honor and grace to his fallen friend Jonathon. So he calls on the lead servant in charge of former king Saul’s house. This servant's name is Ziba and when he stands before David he hears a request he couldn’t have been anticipating.
David wants to show kindness to any living relatives of Saul especially any descendants of Jonathon. Now the reason this is so odd is the fact that in those days it was common for a new king to put the former king’s family to death in order to secure the throne for himself, but David is not like other kings. David is a king after God’s own heart and one of the ways that we see this is in his desire to show mercy and grace to others, in this case to the physically disabled son of Jonathon.
Mephibosheth was injured as a child when his servant was trying to rush him to safety and dropped him resulting in permanent damage to his feet. But David overlooks Mephibosheth’s brokenness and not only shows him kindness but restores all of his father’s land to him and then gives him a place at the king’s table as an adopted son.
First, let’s recognize that this is an incredible show of kindness on David’s part. He is willing to lay conventional wisdom aside and trust that being gracious to others, even potential threats, is a God-glorifying thing to do. But the bigger picture in this is how David foreshadows the unparalleled grace of Jesus to us.
We are the broken grandsons of a failed king in Adam. We are the desperate daughters who have no inheritance because it was squandered by the sins of the previous generation. Jesus is the better David who invites us in, forgives the sins of the past, restores our inheritance and gives us a seat at the King’s table.
Take some time to read through 2 Samuel 9 this week and discuss the similarities between David’s kindness to Mephibosheth and Jesus’ kindness to us.
Here is something to pray about…
This week I want us to all read and pray through Psalm 67. This psalm served as our call to worship a few weeks ago when our morning worship was devoted to Mission and we heard a report from the mission field in India. It was an appropriate psalm for that day because it is about God’s glory, grace and salvation spreading out to all the nations.
Take some time this week to read through Psalm 67 and pray hat God would continue to raise up laborers to send out into the fields of the world. Pray that God would raise up laborers among us who will faithfully take the gospel to the mission field of our own city, state, and nation. Pray that you would be faithful to obey the call of God to be and make disciples for the glory of Christ and the gospel.
Pray for the church in Haiti, in Hungary and India. Pray for the families we support around the world. Pray for God to bless Cornerstone that we would see men and women rise up and heed the call to bring the good news of God’s grace to the nations so that all the peoples would praise our God.