Hebrews 11: 32 NLT
“How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. “
Today I want to look at David, another man of faith. His life story is an assortment of ups and downs. One of his early achievements was killing Goliath, a story most of us heard when we were young children. That started him on the road to fame from being the youngest in a regular unknown family. He was an excellent king, and conquered many of Israel’s enemies, thereby establishing Israel as a strong nation to be respected. He also ran into a lot of difficulty along the way. Prior to becoming king, Saul hunted him and threatened to kill him. While he was king, his son, Absalom, tried to take over the kingdom. All of those life-threatening situations must have been difficult to live through. Being hunted, war, and revolt. Just watch the news today with various countries experiencing uprisings, and the photos are horrendous. Living through those events would be so hard.
Then there was the time when David got lazy, decided not to lead his army in battle and just stayed home wandering the palace. That led to seeing a beautiful neighbour and ordering her to be brought to him at the palace. That night produced a pregnancy, and also led David to murder her husband to keep the whole thing quiet. How could someone who was devoted to serving God do something like that? Rape and murder would be high on my list of terrible sins. Yet God would still include David in the list of faithful people?
One of David’s amazing gifts was the gift of writing. We’re going to take a look at some of the psalms David wrote that will give us insight into his mind and soul. David did love God and wanted to serve Him, and was willing to admit he had done wrong and ask for forgiveness. Look at Psalm 51: 1 – 12
“Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.”
This psalm is such a compelling expression of David’s sorrow over sin. We look askance at David’s sin, but we also know we are not perfect, and often our own sin burdens us down. Sometimes, the things we’ve ‘messed up’ prevent us from serving God now. We see opportunities for service in our church, but stay back. We’re not good enough. But we need to know that when we confess our sin the way David did, God forgives.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1: 9)
David wrote many more psalms about his faith in God. Here is one of them:
Psalm 18: 28 – 36
You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.
30 God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.
We have a forgiving, loving God who is able to take our ordinary, faulty lives and make something beautiful from them. As we look forward into 2022, let’s look with expectation that God has something for each of us. Admit our failures to Him, and pray for opportunities to serve Him. Just like David, you can go down in history as a person of faith.
Our song for today is Who Am I by Casting Crowns.