Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Heart of David

The Heart of David

some notable notes from a fresh reading of His story

We sense the burden,
Of the heart of David
The very same burden
The he swore to the Lord

Saying, “I will not rest in my house,
Nor will I lie on my bed
I’ll give no sleep to my eyes
Until the Lord’s heart is met"

For his dwelling place
And his holy throne
Perfect resting place
For the glory of God  
                          Dana Congdon

David served God within the kingdom of Saul for years. He had been anointed by Samuel. He has won the battle against Goliath. He knew the Kingdom was his, even that God had given him the Kingdom. He saw the evil and corruptness in the king. He saw the way people were suffering and the way God was hurt. He saw things all around him that he disagreed with and hated. There was probably much to despair about “I would have despaired” (Ps 27:13). And yet he chose to submit himself under the ruler whom God had placed on the throne. Even though the ruler was walking in the flesh. Even though He knew there was calling on his life to be king. Even though he saw things being done wrong all around him that made his heart ache. Even though his peers and those who stood with him told him to take the kingdom himself. He waited on the Lord’s timing. He never took the Kingdom himself. And he kept serving God with passion and righteousness, often fighting undercover for the Kingdom (battle at Keilah), even though a corrupt king was ruling.

His heart was pure. His passion for the Lord was so real it was almost embarrassing (and was embarrassing to his wife). His heart for righteousness is obvious, yet he is quick to show mercy.  He is passionate for the law, yet quick to extend love and receive back so many who have fallen short, and failed, or even been his enemies (Abigail, Abner, Amasa, Absalom). He looks for - even seeks out- ways to restore and show compassion (Mephiboseth, men from Jabesh-Gilead). His heart is always including those who have strayed, and desiring for them to be restored. He walks with a clear conscience before God, and when convicted or shown his error, he is quick to repent (when cutting of the hem of Saul’s robe, when confronted by Nathan), and publically acknowledge his fault, so that none would be led astray by seeing his error.  When he fails - and he does fail greatly - but when his sin is exposed, he receives God’s discipline with acceptance and humility, all the while entrusting himself to the God who he knows is so merciful to him.

Beyond all this, what is his desire? That God would have a house, a place for His glory to dwell, and a place for His name to be lifted up. He gives up a life of ease - which he could have clung to as king - and gives himself to war on every side. He takes up every battle, so that the ground could be laid and everything made ready for the Lord’s house to be built. Like Dana’s song above, (and like the scripture says)

“I will not rest in my house,
Nor will I lie on my bed
I’ll give no sleep to my eyes
Until the Lord’s heart is met”  … for his dwelling place, a resting place for the glory of God (Ps 132:4)
What a beautiful picture of passion and purity and balance. Devoted to God,  but full of care for his people. Walking in truth, yet extending mercy to those who have failed. And fighting battles on every side, all with the aim, that the Lord’s house might be built.

As I read through this anew, I just wondered if perhaps there is something here for our generation, and especially for the “2nd generation Christians” who have grown up in something of a "kingdom" that looks slightly different than what this deep cry in our hearts says it should look like. Do we lack for something more in the church? Does this fire burn deep within us for God to have a house that represents him on this earth? Are we willing to spend and be utterly spent (2 Corinthians 12:15), and deny ourselves the pleasures of this life, that the Lord might have a glorious dwelling place that represents him on this earth?   

In saying this, I don’t want to express disrespect to any church or church leaders. I’m often reminded of Rehoboam, who throws off the council of the elders and brings ruin upon himself. And I know that young and old, we’re all in this together, so I don’t want to leave the impression that I think church leadership everywhere is corrupt. Yet I know there is this longing in so many of us in the middle of all of this that says, there must be something more. The Jesus I see in the scriptures is so much more than this.

May the Lord give us the heart of David, to pursue with passion, yet stay pure in His word. To war and fight like a warrior, but have the humility of a gentle shepherd, who knows he is nothing but a dead dog.  And to stand for the truth, keeping the clearest of consciences, all the while, extending mercy and kindness to all who fall short. Our Lord is worthy of this walk. His house is worthy of this sacrifice.  

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