The story of David, an ordinary boy raised to extraordinary heights by an extraordinary God. The Son of Jesse, a simple shepherd boy chosen by God to be the King of Israel. And the only figure in the bible to be called: “A man after God’s own Heart.” In so many ways David is given to us as a type of Yeshua, a preeminence of Him to come. In this story we follow the journey of a single man through his falls and triumphs of life, and in every way we see the fingerprints of God, piece-by-piece allowing David to submit his life to God so that in every way he would become “one” with his savior.
As such, this is a story of God’s relationship with fallen man, and it expresses so clearly the grace and love of God towards us, ever pointing our eyes towards heaven so that we would continually seek the mercy of God and his gift of eternal life given through Yeshua.
And, this is also our story, piece-by-piece, God is allowing us to submit to His will so that in every way we also will become one with our savior. Are we not also struggling in this journey of life, desiring to become men and women after God’s own heart? I say yes and yes, so let us begin with God’s story of David.
We must first understand the time period in Israel. The nation had fallen into one of its darkest hours. It continued to deteriorate after the death of Joshua, each man living according to his will. Desiring to be like the nations, they chose for themselves a king who became an apostate and lead the nation astray. Yet man’s failures are continually God’s opportunities for deliverance. It was in this dark hour that He chose his instrument, His anointed one that would bring order to God’s people and deliver them from their enemies. This anointed one was David.
To the nation, David was less than nothing. He was the youngest of eight brothers, given the duty of tending to his Father’s sheep, a job traditionally required of bond servants. Here immediately we see the encumbrances to Yeshua. Yeshua also came from humble beginnings, the son of a carpenter sent by God to be a servant to His people, and to gather his Father’s lost sheep. “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29, NKJV).[i] God is jealous for His own honor and therefore is pleased to select the most unlikely and unpromising instruments to execute His pleasure.
“Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons” (1Samual 16:1). It is interesting to note that despite the sinful condition of the nation, God made a merciful decision to choose his own. For as always, forgiveness and deliverance from sin has been God’s sovereign work and not ours. And in so choosing His king, God looked at one thing only: the heart of David. “But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
God not only looks at our hearts, he desires them fully. By faith in Yeshua, God sees our hearts as purified. Yet we know that our hearts are not pure, at least not yet. It is God’s desire to build us up in faith and love so that we would ever grow closer to Him. It is through this process that God transform’s us, and it his promise to transform us completely. Let me say this plainly, it is His work in us and not ours. God is ever testing our faith, and it is through the tribulations and triumphs of life that we learn and grow. “To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity” (Proverbs 1:2-3).
All understanding and wisdom comes from God, yet to receive this knowledge one must look at life’s circumstances, both His and of others, and allow the spirit of truth to reveal the straight path of righteousness. This is but one reason that I teach the story of King David from the bible. It is full of real life experiences, that through divine revelation and the power of the Holy Spirit we can study these words and allow God to continue His transformation in us. “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14).
[i] All Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Bible (NKJV) unless otherwise noted, Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982.