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Rock, Fortress and Deliverer

David wrote a grand psalm summarizing the work of God in his life (2 Samuel 22, Psalms 18). This psalm pictures God’s great acts in rescuing David. But as we look at David’s life, it does not always look so victorious. He spends many years running from Saul. He finally makes it into the kingship and receives a covenant from God. Things are going well; then he blows it spiritually. He commits adultery and murder and ends up paying a heavy price for it. He spends a good part of the rest of his life dealing with rebellious sons. God brings him through it, but it is a hard path. How do these two pictures fit together?

David and His Sons

How do you deal with people behaving badly? Particularly if you are the one in charge? We see examples, good and bad, in the relationship of David to his sons. Now David’s problems were ultimately the result of his sin with Bathsheba; they were God’s discipline for that sin. But they still had particular causes. So while the main point is, be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23), it is still worthwhile to look at the specifics. David’s oldest son Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar. Absalom, Tamar’s full brother, kills Amnon and goes into exile. When he is finally allowed to return, he ends up leading a rebellion to claim the throne. David is forced to flee, but ultimately there is a pitched battle and Absalom is slain. What does this show us about how we should deal with such situations?


David's Sin and Repentance

What constitutes genuine repentance? King David and King Saul both committed sins. David‘s were the more serious, adultery and murder. But God rejected Saul’s repentance (1 Samuel 15:20-31) and accepted the repentance of David, though there were consequences (2 Samuel 12:13-15). Why? Now God knows the heart and can see things we cannot. But can we tell why there was a difference?


The Davidic Covenant

God keeps His promises. But He keeps them on His timetable, not ours. God anointed David to be king (1 Samuel 16:12,13). But it was many years before he obtained this. God promised David a Son whose kingdom would last forever (2 Samuel 7:12-16). The world waited about a thousand years for the One who would ultimately fulfill this promise. And we are still waiting, after about two thousand years, for Him to come back. But this is part of a larger pattern that goes back much earlier.


Tale of Two Kings

What is witchcraft? Is it something we should worry about today? King Saul’s final downfall came from consulting a witch (1 Chronicles 10:13,14; 1 Samuel 28:7-10). Now Saul wanted to hear a message from God but did not receive it (1 Samuel 28:6). David, at about the same time, inquired of the Lord and got an answer (1 Samuel 30:8). Saul also got an answer, but it was not one he wanted (1 Samuel 28:11-19). Does understanding witchcraft have anything to say about how we should approach God?


David on the Run

Christians are commanded to put others before ourselves (Philippians 2:1-4; Romans 12:10; James 2:8,9). But this is not an easy thing to do. Take the example of King Saul and his son Jonathan. They had very different reactions to David. Saul hated David, a man who had done him no wrong, because David had greater fame. In his jealousy and fear that David might replace him as king, Saul tried to kill him and ended up driving him into exile. But Jonathan, though Saul’s heir and the next in line to be king, befriended David and helped him. He even expressed the anticipation that David would one day be king and he would serve at David’s side (1 Samuel 23:17). How can we more like Jonathan than Saul?


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