Small Groups Ministries at LNC
All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training
in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Bible Study Groups
I considered different titles for this writing. I thought about calling it “David for Grownups.” I thought about using “David; The Rest of the Story.” But, then I settled on the title; “David’s Example.” I think that name fits because when I look at the Scriptural record of David’s life, I see an example.
The story of David and Goliath must stir the heart of every child raised in a Christian home. It is an example that faith in God is more important than size, strength, or skill. Another Bible story tells how God directed Samuel, the prophet, to anoint David as king when David was still a boy, or, a young teen. According to that account, a person’s heart is more important than their age or appearance. The narrative of David and Johnathan’s camaraderie is an example of how God can bless and use special friendships to the benefit of many. Then, there are the two occasions when David could have killed Saul (who was trying to kill him). But, he refused to take matters into his own hands. David considered Saul to be the “Lord’s anointed.” So, David refused to destroy him. Those two occasions are examples of David’s willingness to walk by faith and trust God to protect him. Then, there’s the story of the first time David saw Bathsheba. That’s an example of… Wait a minute! Let’s look at that one more closely.
II Samuel 11:2-4a says:
It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her (ESV).
Well, I guess that story is an example of sin. And, it doesn’t end there. When David tries to cover up his wrongdoing, the sin gets worse. I hate that story. It makes me feel terrible, like my insides are knotting up. How could this happen? How could David, the man of astonishing success, the man whose faith inspired a nation, the man who seemed completely devoted to God fall like that? How?
The answer is found in one terrible word. Sin. It is something we all experience. And, many before and after David have been successful, popular, and even enjoyed what seemed to be a close relationship with God prior to stepping into its trap. Many who follow such people turn away in disappointment and, sometimes, disgust. And, I ask you, is that what we should do with David? It’s hard not to. Yet, I’ve learned that David is not the star of the story. He is not the hero. God is! And God’s love digs through the rubble of David’s brokenness. God’s love leads David through conviction, repentance, and on to restoration. God’s love makes David an example once again. This time David is an example of what to do when we have sinned. He is an example of what to do when we are shattered and lost in the realization of what we have done.
Look at David’s Prayer in Psalm 51:1-2
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin (ESV)!
Then, look at David’s prayer in Psalm 32:3–5:
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (ESV)
Yes, because of God’s gracious love David was forgiven and restored. David became an example of God’s love.
There are times when it is tempting to think, “I wish I was like David.” He was a shepherd who became a king! He was a courageous warrior, and an inspirational leader! He was a poet and a musician, an architect and a project planner! He was a prophet and, in a sense, a theologian! His prayer life and dedication to God were magnificent! But, then reality sinks in and I see the rest of the story. Even when David is enjoying success and doing the things we admire, his life is in danger. He experienced betrayal from a king to whom he was loyal.
He spent years on the run like a criminal. He sinned. His own family was appallingly dysfunctional. One of his son’s planned and led a revolution against him. Another tried to take the throne before his death.
Yep, it might not be so great to be like David; even though I can learn many great things from his life. But, I think there is something we all need to see when we look at him. That is God’s love. God loved David through the best and worst days of his life. And, David knew it. In Psalm 28:7 he wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him” (ESV).
Very near the end of his earthly life, when David was talking to Bathsheba, he used the phrase, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity” (I Kings 1:29, ESV). David’s example is this: God loved him and he knew it. In the good times and in the times of sin and adversity, God loved him and he knew it!
May we know it too!
SDMI Director, Longmont Nazarene Church
-Monday night Youth Group/Landing at 7:00 pm
-Thursday Prayer time at 6:30 pm