The eighth son of Jesse, a sheepherder of Bethlehem, David became “a man after (God’s) own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). After Israel’s first king, Saul, rebelled and rejected God’s direction, God Himself “selected” David to become king (1 Samuel 16:1). He was “a valiant man, a warrior, eloquent, handsome, and the Lord (was) with him” (1 Samuel 16:18). He was called “the man of God” (2 Chronicles 8:14) and God’s faithful “servant” (Jeremiah 33:21).
God declared, “I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. I will make a great name for you like that of the greatest on the earth. … I will give you rest from all your enemies. … When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom… Your house and kingdom will endure before me forever, and your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:8–16).
That everlasting covenant pointed to the Messiah, whose “dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:7).
David, the author and composer of half of the Bible’s song book, “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1, NKJV) sang of his passionate love of God. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want… He leads me in the paths of righteousness… You are with me… goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:1–6, NKJV). “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1–2, NKJV). “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4, NKJV).
But David wasn’t perfect. Far from it!
“In the spring when kings march out to war, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and strolled around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing—a very beautiful woman. So David sent someone to inquire about her, and he said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hethite?” David sent messengers to get her, and when she came to him, he slept with her” (2 Samuel 11:1–4). Oh, be careful little eyes what you see…
To make matters worse, and to hide the wretched sin, David conspired to murder Bathsheba’s husband, the loyal warrior, “Uriah the Hethite.” Although the offspring of their illicit affair died in infancy, David took the young widow as his wife, and soon she gave birth again. “David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife” (Matthew 1:6).
Great king David was weak. He failed. He sinned. But God did not renege or default on His covenantal promises. Rather, our Gracious God demonstrated His longsuffering compassion.
Later, addressing his Glorious God and Good Shepherd, David sang, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit” (Psalm 51:10–12, NKJV). What was true then, is still true today… “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Grace! Great grace! Amazing grace!