David's life was different than those who went before him. God wanted to start something new, a new season in time, and the introduction of that time was wrapped up in David's life, his destiny and calling in God. In many ways, these things lead David into difficulty and peril, so it wasn't arranged with the priority of David's comfort and / or convenience in mind. God's will for us can lead us into inconvenience, discomfort and also peril. But that doesn't mean we should try to avoid His will, or that the costs introduced by His will should be avoided.
David was not raised inside the system of his day, though he did start out there and spent some time there. Much of his development happened as a man on the run. Those that represented the order of his day were actually the ones pursuing him to take his life. Ever feel that way? Much of what David learned happened around a campfire, or in a cold, damp cave, trying to squeak out a few hours of sleep, while guards stood watch for safety.
Sounds romantic, right?
Maybe it does, if you've never been in a cold, dark cave, or exposed on a mountain in freezing temperatures, trying to manage a measurable amount of sleep, with a long day of moving waiting when you rise. Let's don't imagine it to be something that it wasn't. It was cold. It was wet. It was tough.
David was a forerunner to a time that was fast approaching, a time when God would establish His lineage of kings in the Earth, those who would make the way for King Jesus. I think the fact that he was a forerunner makes him one of my favorites.
I remember times as a younger man, reading about David's life and thinking of how cool it must have been. That was a little before I had had some of those experiences that he had; cold, wet, dark, exposed, in peril. He is a figure that looms large on the scene of the heroes of the faith, one who left it all on the field, who was raised by God to heights, that before him, no one had arisen to. This is an idealistic young man's champion, or it least that was true in my case.
I remember times, hearing faint whispers echoed in the voices of others, drawing parallel to my young life and the life of the young champion David. These things were really cool in my mind. Could I have a calling like that? Could my life be something significant? Could I be raised to new heights, to visibility, to international superstardom!!???? At least those are some of the places my young mind went as I thought about the possibility of being called like David was. Some were saying this could be the case with my life. Unfortunately, I was starstruck by my own destiny.
The cold light of day finds it's way into all such imaginations, as it did into mine, as it will in all. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about how David was on the run in my early contemplations. How broken relationships and personal failure would fill in the edges of the portrait. How human fallibility and weakness would round out the corners, and bring humanity's fallen condition center stage. I did, however, come to these things in time, in personal rendezvous, both in my own life, and in the observation and interplay with the lives of others.
The persistent grace of a loving Father, God Himself, broke into such messes in the past, in the lives of His people. It also has broken into mine.
One such reminder came at a seemingly unlikely time. I had just come thru a time of personal failure where I had set a new personal record. This is not a personal best you want everyone to know about, like many are… Through the help of some friends, I was reminded again of a parallel of my life and the life of David, though I am pretty sure that it was, on their part, unknowingly. It was with these verses: http://bible.us/114/psa.89.19-37.nkjv
Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one, And said: “I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him, With whom My hand shall be established; Also My arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him, Nor the son of wickedness afflict him. I will beat down his foes before his face, And plague those who hate him. “But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, And in My name his horn shall be exalted. Also I will set his hand over the sea, And his right hand over the rivers. He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’ Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven. “If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments, If they break My statutes And do not keep My commandments, Then I will punish their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, Nor allow My faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah
But this time, I was beginning to relate to the life of David in a new way. There was more to it than the highlights I had gathered from the early days. He was a real man, with real weakness, and a real calling. So was I. These verses called to me from the place of brokenness I was in, telling me that God's calling and intent for my life had not been destroyed in the process of self destruction that I had been going through. These truths, and the voice of the Lord in these verses, restored my hope.
My takeaway was, though there may be a few more hills to climb, more battles to fight, more difficulties to endure, the Lord – My Father, My God – was with me, and His mercy to me would not fail. My courage was being restored.
Perhaps you recognize the scenery? Maybe you can relate?
If so, then this is also true for you.