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Posts Tagged ‘David’

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A covenant is more than just a promise. A covenant is something agreed upon by at least two parties … both knowing what they are agreeing to.

The Bible speaks of a handful of covenants between God and people.

God made a covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the Earth with a flood (Genesis 9:8-11), and gave the rainbow as a reminder of his covenant.

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” Hebrews 11:7

God made a covenant with Abram (later Abraham) when He said that Abram would be the “father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4).

Poor, old Abram, with his old wife Sarai (well beyond childbearing years) … this covenant sent Sarai into laughing hysterics. But, God did as he promised, and Sarah bore Isaac to Abraham, and God’s covenant flowed through his descendants.

By faith Abraham fulfilled his end of the bargain, and he went where God sent him (Hebrews 11:8). By faith, Abraham was circumcised, along with all males in his household, as a sign to set he and his descendants apart (Genesis 23:27). By faith, Abraham lay Isaac on an alter, willing to do whatever God asked of him (Genesis 22:8) … and so thankful that the Lord did provide.

God made a covenant, through Moses, with His people (not all people, but the children of Israel … the Jewish people), in the form of the Ten Commandments. This came after God, with force, brought His people our of slavery in Egypt. Before Moses had even written these laws in stone, the people, by faith, said, “everything the Lord has said we will do.”

And after he read the Book of the Covenant, Moses took the blood of young bulls that were sacrificed as offerings to God, and “Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”” (Exodus 24:8). The people, who, by faith, said “we will obey” were, quite literally, covered by the blood of the covenant … their sins were covered by God’s promise.

God made a covenant with David, that the Messiah would come through the lineage, the house, of David. David wanted to build a house for God. Instead, God sent a message to David, a house would be built, through the One who would come after him, through his very own bloodline. This builder “is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son” (2 Samuel 7:13-14). David responded to God: “your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant” (2 Samuel 7:28) … David trusted his God, he had faith, that that which God promised, and David would never see in his lifetime, would come true.

Over and over we see that when it comes to a covenant with God, the equation is :

Covenant = Blood (Faith + Promise)

I suppose we should consider that fulfillment of God’s covenant with David :

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel (the Jews)
  and with the people of Judah (the Gentiles).
I will put my laws in their minds (not just knowing, but understanding)
  and write them on their hearts (intimacy).
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
(Hebrews 8:8-10)

A new covenant, “has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). Previously, “the law required that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus Christ was the final blood sacrifice for sins. “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:14).

Jesus’ blood covers God’s promise and our faith.

And now, our part in the covenant:

Do we have the faith to follow, and obey? to be His?

 

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When we hear of the name of King David our minds think of Goliath, death threats from King Saul, naked dancing in the streets, bad children, and, of course, Bathsheba. His is not a life to emulate! And yet, Samuel says of David, “the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people” (1 Samuel 13:14).

A man after God’s own heart …

That is the verse that has had me wondering for years. When I see my Creator face to face, I will ask for further explanation. It makes me wonder, if David’s had God’s heart, maybe I have hope too.

When I was young, and idealistic, I have to say I thought the whole thing of David having a heart like God’s was a typo. Really how could a man who messed up so often, with so many people (his family, and an entire nation) and with such dire consequences, have a heart after God’s own heart? That just makes no sense. That just does not seem to be logical.

Maybe the clue to how David had the heart of God comes from when the prophet Samuel came to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as the next king of Israel. The first son he meets is the eldest, Eliab and he would seem to have looked like the right man to sit on the throne, because “Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:6).

But God interrupted the thoughts of Samuel on his first impressions of Eliab, and He said to Samuel, “do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Maybe David was only about ten when God had Samuel anoint David as king, but God saw his heart. He saw:
the gentle shepherd boy,
he saw the brave giant killer,
he saw the man who would lose all kingly demeanor and dance, un-robed, as the Ark entered the city,
he saw the great leader,
he saw the very human man who blew it royally (pun intended) by staying home while his soldiers fought on, who allowed his hands to take what his eyes desired (in another man’s wife), and who killed her husband,
who focused on his kingly duties to the point of forgetting his fatherly responsibilities,
who chose Solomon, not his eldest, as successor,
he saw a man from whose genealogy the Messiah would come, and through whom there would “never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel” (1 Kings 2:4).

In short, God knew how very human was David’s heart, but He loved it anyway! Just as God does with the hearts of all humankind. It is by His grace, that we too can hearts after God’s own heart.

And, like David, I want to reach the end of my days and have people say that my heart looks like the heart of God.

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“How much longer will you forget me, Lord? Forever?
How much longer will you hide yourself from me?
How long must I endure trouble?
How long will sorrow fill my heart day and night?
How long will my enemies triumph over me?”
Psalm 13:1-2

Well now, that is not a very cheery way to start a writing! Those words do not cause us to start the day on an optimistic point, and yet, this very day, those words give voice to the heart cries of many around us.

On this day after Valentine’s Day, not all are awakening with the glow of being loved. Some are rising with the weight of sorrow, of loss, of rejection, of loneliness, of brokenness. Some, like the psalmist, David, are awakening with lament in their hearts, and on their lips.

David, the psalmist, the shepherd, the king, reminds us that to lament is part of life in our broken world. He not only reminds us of it’s reality, but, because he laments, he gives us permission to lament as well. And what an example he gives.

“Look at me, O Lord my God, and answer me.
Restore my strength; don’t let me die.
Don’t let my enemies say,
We have defeated him.
Don’t let them gloat over my downfall.”
Psalm 13:3-4

This psalm not just a cry, but a demand! The scripture above indicates no gentle hinting, but demands, pleading for attention. He wants God’s full attention, “look”! like a child with an immediate need, he wants not just his father’s ear, but his eyes. He wants to know that he has the full attention of his Lord. And not just his attention, but a response!

Maybe you are different from me, but have you ever waved your fists into the air to God? Have you ever felt unheard? Weak? Dying (emotionally)? Defeated? And all you could do is wave your fists, or stretch out your arms to your Creator and say, “are you hearing me? I am desperate, and I don’t hear your voice.”

It is okay to be real with God. It is okay to be angry with God. He is our Father God, he knows we are angry, even if we smile and fake our way through life. Even when we pray only praises and thanks to Him, He knows the sorrow, the fear, the anger in our hearts. I believe His father shoulders are wide enough for us to tell Him the truth.

As we follow the example of David, we see that the lament is not without hope. David can lament openly and honestly to the living God, because although he cannot see a resolution to his current problem, he knows that the God he is lamenting to is one who loves him. David knows that, although he cannot see how his chains will be removed, God WILL rescue him. And not only that, but David goes from singing, no … moaning a dirge, to singing his praise to God, “because he (you) have been good to him (me).”

 “I rely on your constant love;
I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
I will sing to you, O Lord,
because you have been good to me.”
Psalm 13:5-6

The following clip is of Psalm 13 put to music. It is one I have sung, no … moaned, in lament to my God, when I just could do nothing but raise my hands to the heavens, and let the tears fall. And in those times, I have felt the presence of a living God who has always been good to me.

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I so vividly remember Thanksgiving Sunday, sixteen years ago …

I had spent the night in a hospital, in a city I didn’t live in, not knowing why I had been having the most dreadful, take you breath away (literally) pains for over a day. I was wheeled to Sonography for an ultrasound, which revealed the ‘problem’ … I was pregnant, and the pregnancy had attached to my fallopian tube. It’s growth was causing my life to be threatened.

Once that knowledge had been attained, I was immediately prepped for surgery, and wheeled into the OR to have the tube and the pregnancy (the baby) removed. It was a day that made thanks-giving a struggle. On the one hand, I was thankful for my life, and on the other I was mourning the loss of our fifth pregnancy, our fifth child.

And life moves on …

About twelve and a half years ago I was visiting my doctor to confirm what I had already guessed … I was pregnant.

Now for most that declaration might bring a smile to your face, but, with our history of incomplete pregnancies it was just step one of a very long, very anxiety-ridden time.

When my doctor told me the due date would be October 17, I asked him to look to see when Thanksgiving Sunday would be. His reply, “October 10.” To which I replied, “I’m having this baby on that day.”

On October 9, 1999, as I bent over to tie my shoes, the first discernible beginnings of labor began. And the following day … Thanksgiving Sunday … on the tenth month of the tenth day, at ten past ten in the morning our son breathed his first breath, and cried. And so did we, with more thanksgiving than we had ever hoped.

And, today he turns twelve. He is on the cusp of all that adolescence holds and brings to a boys body, mind and soul. He is eager to physically look down on me. He is not too eager to have signs of affection shown to him in public, and has not yet reached the point of maturity that can handle hearing me tell stories of when he was younger (but if I could, there would be rafts of great and humorous tales of adventure and mayhem). He is eager for his voice to change, but has not yet started to empty the hot water tank when in the shower. He’s on the cusp.

Who is this boy to soon become man? He is the one who wants to give hugs (even to his sisters). He is a creative soul, who would prefer to build than to tear down. He is the football player who is struggling to put all his weight into it when coming up against the other team players, because he really doesn’t want to hurt them. He is the only child we have ever gotten a call from school about … apparently on top of another boy hitting (if only he could divert this to football). He is a philosopher who, while the rest of us are talking nonsense, will awaken from his silence and share his deep thoughts about something he has been turning around in his mind for a time. He is not a ‘school’ academic, but he is a most natural student of life, who will probably study far more than his report cards ever indicate. He is our only son, and in him we are well pleased.

But what do I want for him? I want him to be a man after God’s own heart.

Samuel referred to David this way. He told King Saul that because he had not done what the Lord had commanded, his kingdom, his rule that was supposed to have lasted a long time, would end. He also told the King that because David was a man after God’s own heart, he would inherit (though not by birth, so much as God’s appointing) Saul’s kingdom.

A man after God’s own heart … what a grandiose hope for an adolescent boy. But, it was as a boy, the youngest in the family (probably called the Hebrew equivalent of ‘little puke’ by his older brothers), that David was first anointed as the next king of Israel. God’s plan for David’s life was not hampered by his last of bloodline, his youth, his size or lack of formal education. God had a plan that was born out of the condition of David’s heart, and it was that one quality that made David God’s man for the job.

I pray that my son’s heart will, like David’s, be one that seeks to be in unison with the heart of God. There is no other dream or desire that I pray more earnestly for his life. It is in being one with God that, even in sin (and boy, did David know sin, and failure), redemption can be received.

“But the LORD said to Samuel,

“…The LORD does not look at the things people look at.

People look at the outward appearance,

but the LORD looks at the heart.” “

1 Samuel 16:7

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