Journal Entry // August 23, 2022
Now therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ (ESV)1 Kings 8:25
I have always found comfort in the life of David because of passages like this one in 1 Kings where Solomon is praying to the Lord at the dedication of the temple. This promise that the Lord made to David is filled with many points of interest to meditate on, but I find the last portion to be so intriguing and challenging. The example that the sons of David should follow was the life of David. As I have just finished reading through the life of David in 1 and 2 Samuel, I find this promise interesting as David did not live a perfect life. By no means did he live a perfect life. Yet, the thing that David did well was humility and repentance. David’s steadfast trust in the Lord and the understanding of his weakness and dependence upon the Lord is the model his sons should emulate. Not only them but me as well.
David walked before the Lord in humble reliance upon every good and precious word of God. His heart was eager and willing to follow the Lord wherever he was led. David was anointed king but waited patiently for the Lord to bring about the fulfillment of this anointing. David fled from his kingship so as to spare his son Absalom. David was patient as he walked before the Lord in the weaving of experiences of this life. David’s focus was to simply be a servant to the Lord. He knew his role and trusted in the goodness of God to provide for him as he found best. Did David fail at times? Of course, the pattern of his failure always led him back to the Lord in humility with repentance. David understood that it is only in the Lord that forgiveness can be found.
I find it difficult to sometimes let go of past failures and sins. These moments of shame and guilt keep reminding me of how unworthy I am before the Lord. I typically let these thoughts press in on me and feed me guilt and shame. Even though I have repented and have turned to Christ for forgiveness, I still feel this need for some sort of penance on my part. What I need to learn from David is that once I have repented and turned in faith and humility toward Christ, the guilt and shame have been dealt with. There is now only grace. Grace abounding and free. “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Romans 5:20 ESV). This is what David teaches me to focus on. I need to focus solely on the love of Christ for me bound up in this abundant grace that covers and shelters me like a strong refuge.
I was reading Andrew Murray’s book on humility last night and he was sharing how it is necessary for us to not focus on the sins we have committed or will commit to make us humble, but to focus on the lavish grace of God to make us humble. My humility before the Lord is not to be rooted in the inability of my life to not sin. My humility before the Lord should be rooted only in this abundant grace he pours out on me. Just like David shows me, I need to move the center and focus of my humility from my actions to the actions of God. The overwhelming flood of grace and mercy in my life is the foundation of my humility and the motivation for my thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. He alone is worthy. He is alone is good. He alone is my everything.