An Imperfect King


Good Morning, it’s another Monday! Thank you for starting your week with Bible Journal. Today’s readings are: 1 Samuel 27 and Psalms 28. After reading today’s chapter in 1 Samuel, I found myself getting a little confused about the whole Saul and David story. I know most of our readers are way beyond my level of experience and knowledge of the Bible, but just in case…here’s a recap:

While Saul is still king, Samuel appoints David as the next king of Israel. As a young man David slays Goliath the champion of Philistine. During this time he develops a friendship with Jonathan, Saul’s son. When Saul realizes that Samuel has appointed David as the future king he gets super jealous. After that Saul works really hard to chase David around and kill him. In today’s reading, David has fled to Ziklag (the land of the Philistines) in order to avoid Saul. Spoiler alert: Saul is eventually takes his own life in the face of eminent death (Chapter 31 if you want to check it out).

So this is the second time that David has sought refuge in Philistine territory under the protection of King Achish. Since David is out of the country, Saul stops the chase as the immediate threat to his throne is gone. Of course, it’s easy to view David as this righteous guy that is just doing his best to follow God’s command whilst simultaneously avoiding his jealous predecessor. Indeed, in Acts 13:22 God refers to David as a man after His own heart:

“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him:’I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” Acts:13:22

I’m starting to feel a little jealous of David too now that we know how much God trusted in him! David has a lot of admirable qualities: shepherd, giant killer, poet and king. But alongside that list of wonderful qualities is another list of not so great qualities: betrayer, liar, adulterer, and even murderer. Yet what we remember about this great king is his humbleness before God. David’s failings may resonate with you far more than his greatness in the eyes of God. But I read something in my study Bible this week that changed this notion for me: David, more than anything else, had an unchangeable belief in the faithful and forgiving nature of God. David never took God’s forgiveness lightly or his blessing for granted. In return, God never held back from David either his forgiveness or the consequences of his actions. David experienced the joy of forgiveness even when he had to suffer the consequences of his sins.” (NIV Study Bible).

 If that didn’t just change your life, read it again. God never held back his forgiveness or the consequences of David’s actions. So David experienced the joy of forgiveness as a result of suffering the consequences of his sins. God brought this lesson home for me in a real way this morning before I sat down to write.

Our seven year old decided to test some boundaries related to obedience this weekend. I found myself getting so angry with him when he smirked while refusing to go upstairs and get dressed for bed. When I took away his iPad and the TV he said, “Sure, I can live with that, no problem!” I had to take a deep breath and pray for guidance. When more sassy words came my way this morning I decided to give our little guy just what he was asking for, I made him a grown up for the day. After an hour of folding laundry it was on to dishes. Then bathroom scrubbing, bed making and finally meal planning. When we arrived at the grocery store I pulled up in front of Meijer, handed him his shaky misspelled list and said, “pick you up in an hour!” That’s when he cracked, he sobbed all the way home in his car seat. Only then could we have a clear conversation about authority, obedience, humility and respect. It was so hard to wield that consequence all day. I just wanted to relent and give him back his screen or let him go outside to play. But God gave me the strength and the wisdom to understand that there cannot be joy and redemption in forgiveness if my little one didn’t first understand and experience the consequence. David learned from his sins because he accepted the suffering they brought. Too often we don’t learn from our mistakes and thus get stuck in the same sin again and again. As we start another fresh week, I challenge you to ask yourself, what changes do you need to make for God to find obedience in you?