Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fame (05/10/12)
TITLE: DAVID? WHICH DAVID?
By Graham Insley
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Blood started to crawl down his cheek from where the last arrow had taken off his right ear lobe. The moisture he could feel on his chest was of uncertain origin, but he knew he was in serious trouble. Head spinning, feet finally giving way as something hard crashed into his side, he turned as he fell. That was when he realised he was alone. His allies had withdrawn from the fight and he suddenly knew, beyond all doubt, that he was going to die this day.
But he didn’t know why.
The above scene is not an actual quote from Scripture. But it is a description of what may have been happening in the last moments of Uriah’s life, as he was left to die in battle by the orders of King David himself.
Guilty of adultery with Uriah’s wife, David added further to his guilt by arranging this murder so that his own sin may go undiscovered. Imagine the stupidity of someone, so lost in the consequences of their own behaviour that they actually believe they could hide it from God? David knew better. But at that moment in his life his mind and emotions were leading him deeper and deeper into trouble.
And these infamous sins and actions, which amounted to rape and murder, are well remembered and often used to teach lessons about God’s grace and forgiveness.
The Webster’s Dictionary defines the word infamous as ‘of ill report, having a reputation of the worst kind, odious, detestable...’
It doesn’t matter how odious or detestable our sins are, they are not beyond the reach of God’s love and forgiveness. His heart is always to bring us into repentance and restoration. He wants to lovingly and graciously accept us in spite of our stupidity, selfishness and lust; but more, to actually heal us and deliver us from their bondage.
And that brings us to something else about King David; his heart or repentance.
Sweat started to form on the older man’s brow. Hands shaking and heart beating loudly in his chest, the uncertainty was now becoming a cloud behind his eyes. Surely he must have missed something. This was the last son of Jesse coming towards him. Such a small young lad couldn’t be the next king. His brothers had been much stronger and more mature. He must have missed something.
Almost inaudible, that was when the whisper came; “Don’t look upon the outer lad, Samuel. Pour you oil, for I see his heart and I am well pleased.”
Samuel anointed David to be king because as infamous as David was for the murder of Uriah, he was going to be far more famous for being a man after God’s own heart. And from this we learn two very important facts.
Firstly, it doesn’t matter what you have done, it matters what you become. To be famous for having God’s heart should be the goal of every Christian; and when it is attained, all else fails by comparison. Nothing can compare.
And secondly, we really need to understand what that ‘heart’ is; because we modern day David’s don’t understand this concept and have turned it into a wishy washy excuse for sin. We do something wrong, even hurtful to others and make the excuse “God knows my heart”; as if some inner desire justifies our actions. But it doesn’t.
In our modern language we use the word ‘heart’ to refer to our motives and desires; but that isn’t the way it is used in Hebrew. Check out a Strong’s Concordance for the Hebrew numbers 3820 and 3824 and you might get a surprise. These words, as part of their definition, say that it refers to our feelings, heart, will (meaning our personal choice) intellect and understanding.
So the ‘heart’ that God saw in David wasn’t just emotions and motives. It was the way He knew David would learn to think, the choices he would learn to make and the understandings he would come into.
Want to be famous? Then learn to think and act, walk and talk, after God’s own heart.
Footnote: Scripture references for this article are 1 Samuel 16, 2 Samuel 11 and Acts 13:22
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