David…of David and Goliath. A favorite for many Bible-readers, myself included!! Most people know the story of David and Goliath: the teenage shepherd boy who decides to challenge this giant with some stones and a sling shot…and takes him down cold! But, the reason I love reading about David’s life (found in 1st and 2nd Samuel in the old testament) is because of how miserably he failed and yet God affirmed him as a “man after my own heart.”
Who hasn’t failed? Who hasn’t come to a fork in the road of life and taken the dead-end road? Who hasn’t come to a point of sheer misery with themselves for the weight of sin they carry? Oh, for a while in my younger days I thought certainly I would not make some of the terrible choices some made…oh how I eventually found I was wrong!! There is much to be learned from the life story of David…how God chose him, the youngest of his brothers and the least likely to be future king. How God told Samuel (the man sent to anoint David the next King) “Man looks on appearance but I look at the heart.” Wow! How encouraging…and how convicting. God isn’t really interested in our presentation. He is looking at our hearts.
The most special part of David’s story, for me, is later in life when he has committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband murdered! Now that part doesn’t excite me! But the fact that later, as David is confronted by a Godly man, he finds himself broken before the Lord…in true repentance…and God forgives David. God begins to put the pieces of his family back together. You can read how his sin caused problems for his children and family but God never left him and certainly did not reject him. See, God knew what he was getting when he chose David. He knows what He is getting with us, too. And yes, you are chosen and called by God! He knows your name, the number of hairs on your head and all you have or have not done…and He loves you so much!! As with David, God is looking at our hearts and He is just waiting for that heart that will “let it all out” and hold nothing back from Him. Our mistakes don’t intimidate God! I have been there…so buried in shame and condemnation I could hardly catch my breath. So disappointed in what I had done…how far I had drifted from my savior. Eventually, because the pressure was “too much” I finally made that “clean breast of my failures to God.” Not that He didn’t already know…it’s part of a humble heart…of brokeness…and healing. So…this is a rather long post today, but as you read the Psalm below realize this David– shepherd boy, adulterer, murderer and yet chosen King is the author. God loves us in such a mind-blowing, life-giving, never-give-up on us fashion.
Psalm 32 (the message)
Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be–
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.
Count yourself lucky–
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.
When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.
The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.
Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”
Suddenly the pressure was gone–
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.
These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.
God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:
“Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”
God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!