This week we see the fall of Saul, the reign of David, and the ascension of Solomon. In reading through the reign of David, one of Israel’s most revered kings and a “man after God’s own heart,” (Acts 13:22) we still see a man who is broken and in need of redemption. We see God bestow favor on David, even after David falls short. Throughout the book of 2 Samuel we see not only David, but also his sons Absolom and Adonijah fall into the trap of pride. In these moments they rely on their earthly merit and “wisdom” as they put their desires before God’s. Yet in the middle of what can seem like a tumultuous period in Israel’s history, the one constant is God.
s – “And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.” (2 Samuel 5:10, ESV)
“So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people.” (2 Samuel 8:15, ESV)
“David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13, ESV)
“But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” (1 Samuel 24:10, ESV)
“And the king also said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has granted someone to sit on my throne this day, my own eyes seeing it.’” (1 Kings 1:48)
o – After the death of Saul we see David finally become king. After years living on the run from Saul, God shows David favor as he is anointed king. God leads David to victory as he takes on Israel’s enemies in battle. Every step of the way David seeks God’s direction and gives glory to God with each victory. However, as time passes, David settles into his role as a powerful earthly king. David believes his power gives him a free pass to take another man’s wife and order that man’s murder. Later David orders a census to be taken because he does not trust that God will provide and grow His people. In both of these moments we see God discipline David and David repent. It would be easy to think that after these failures David would be disqualified from God’s favor, but God continues to give David a second chance. The reading this week ends with Solomon, the son of Bathsheba, being anointed king. God redeems a relationship that began in sin to show His faithfulness to David, allowing David to see the throne pass to his chosen son.
a – So much of the sin we struggle with can be traced back to pride. We think we know better than God, that our own way is best. Rather than seek God’s direction and wisdom, we are wise in our own eyes. It’s easy enough to fall into. David, one the “greats” of the Bible fell into this pattern time after time. In his pride he believed it was acceptable to take Bathsheba and order the murder of Uriah. In his pride David decided he needed to know the exact number of fighting men, rather than trust that God would provide. If someone as godly as David is prone to pride, what can we do?
The direct antidote to pride is humility. While we don’t have armies to command or kingdoms to lead like David, we can follow his example from 2 Samuel 5 and 8: give credit to God and actively seek His will. In times that we fail we can humbly come before God in repentance, knowing that our God is the God of second chances.
p – God, thank you for the way You love us. Help us to trust that Your plans are good and that You desire what’s best for us. Forgive us for the times that we allow our pride to distract us from You. Help us to grow in humility as we seek to move closer to You. Amen.