Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote, “Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime, and departing leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.” I think, should Longfellow yet be among us, he would agree that few men ever left more distinct and meaningful footprints on the sands of time than the son of Jesse, a Bethlehemite who lived some 3,000 years ago. What has been David’s mark of distinction? First it is readily agreed that David was unique. He had a great heart for God and a determination to do the will of the Almighty. He was a loyal friend, generous to a fault, and–yes, flawed as a human being.
History and tradition has attached David’s name to 73 of the 150 Psalms that are found in the Bible. David was a warrior of great bravery, a military genius, a musician, and a poet, yet David’s greatest strength was that he loved God with all his heart, soul, and strength.
Now, some 3,000 years later what can we learn from this great man? More, perhaps, that many realize. Ponder some of the obvious lessons:
1. The bigger the giant, the harder he falls! David’s first great feat was felling the nine-foot giant, Goliath! Everything was against him–his brothers mocked him, Saul’s armor was many sizes too big for him. The beast, Goliath was 9 feet tall and David was probably about five-feet, eight-inches–an average male for his day. Goliath was ferocious, but David knew what the giant did not know! The giant came in his human strength and David came in the strength of the Lord God who made the heavens and the earth! David also had learned that the lion and the bear who tried to steal his father’s sheep fell dead when he did battle with them, and he was trusting God to deliver Goliath the same way. Score this big for David.
2. David had learned that there is a refuge under the wings of the Almighty that makes God’s children safe from every storm. Repeatedly David wrote of God being our hiding place, our refuge, our high tower, and a shelter in the time of the storm. Read the book of Psalms and notice how David described the very conflicts and struggles we face today–alienation, persecution, misunderstanding, and affliction! Instead of cursing the darkness, David took refuge in the Lord. So can you!
3. David learned the hard way that while there is forgiveness with the Lord the consequences of our wrongdoing are real and painful. Read Psalm 51 where David wrote of the pain of his affair with Bathsheba and the guilt over the engineered murder of her husband, Uriah the Hittite.
4. There is joy in music and singing the praises of the Lord. “I don’t feel like singing!” you may say. Sing anyway! Do you think Paul and Barnabas felt like singing in the prison at Philippi? No way! Yet they sang David’s psalms. Do what I’ve done for years–keep a song book (you may have to hunt for one) with your Bible and sing the great songs of the faith!
5. God will never, never push you aside–no matter what others do. Ponder David’s words: “When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up!”
6. The presence of the Almighty will always be there for you! Psalm 23, one of my favorites, was a testimony of David’s assurance that though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death (an actual valley leading from Bethlehem to the Dead Sea where the grass was green) we need fear no evil because He is with us!” Amen!
Text: 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.” Acts 13:22
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – September 8, 2017