There’s an unusual approach to the subject called David in the Bible. First, he’s one of an elite crop of individuals with a full biographical layout in the Bible. Isaac belongs to that group, as does our Lord Jesus Christ. Moses too. The people in the group are not many. They’re unique in the sense that we know everything about their lives from start to finish. It’s all laid out. Abraham wasn’t given that kind of treatment. We barely knew about his existence till he turned 75. We don’t know anything about Elijah’s youth either. He was abruptly introduced to us in 1 Kings 17 – “Now Elijah the Tishbite…” Though the introduction fits his personality. God was being creative. Elijah was an abrupt sort of fellow. He wasn’t exactly known for civility or respect for dignitaries. Very much like his successor, Elisha. Ask General Naaman, the Syrian army commander. Elijah was very rude to him. 2 Kings 5: 9-12. The irony was, Naaman’s name comes from the Hebrew verb “naem” meaning “be pleasant.”
What sets David apart from everyone else is the fact we not only get to read his history but also get to read his thoughts. His history is presented in the two books named after Prophet Samuel, as well as the official record known as Chronicles. David’s thoughts on the other hand are captured in the Book of Psalms. That was his blog. In Psalms he laid everything bare – his emotions, his fears, his passions, his feelings, his mistakes… That man blogged everything. He’s the epitome of this social media generation of selfie addicts who pour everything out on Twitter and Facebook. David is a 21st century cultural fit.
A combined reading of the Psalms and 1st & 2nd Samuel creates a simulation of the life of David in real time. The book of Psalms is like a running commentary of his subconscious on his life, like the subtitles of a movie. But of course we can see his personality in those biographies. There are also perception portraits. To Eliab his oldest brother, David was a brash and impudent young man who mistook foolishness for God’s insurance. Eliab felt David had no idea of reality – the gruesomeness of war for example; he felt he saw war as some video game. This was why he kept on monitoring his interactions with the infantry battalion as David went about making enquiries about Goliath. He felt his brother lived too much in the faith fantasy realm, probably read too many comics about Israeli military heroes – Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Barak, Gideon, Jephthah… And he’s been known to display recklessness by going after bears and lions to recover sheep.
But the number one love of David’s life was God, and the paradigm of the relationship was sometimes military. They are both military generals. God is the God of the Angel Armies, or shall we say Lord of Hosts. They were incredibly close – David and God. David once had a tiff with God over the death of a guy named Uzzah. What happened was David had organised a huge reception for God, threw a big party to bring the Ark of the Covenant from Baalah to Jerusalem. Two sons of Abinadab guided the Ark – Uzzah and Ahio. Unfortunately the oxen transporter stumbled and Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark. That was a huge mistake. Uzzah was struck dead, died on the spot. You don’t touch the Ark. It’s why the Ark had long poles. You carry it by the poles to avoid touching it. Exodus 25:14-15. David was angry God attacked Uzzah. The guy meant well after all. The death marred the festivity and at that moment David became afraid of God. For the first time he realised who he was dealing with. He saw a side of God he never knew. And he realised God compartmentalises stuff – that there’s all that socials and partying, but there’s also officialdom and protocol. The officialdom is what we call reverence.
We all make Uzzah’s mistake. We regularly breach protocol, trivialise God’s eminence. Just listen to our conversations. We forget God is a governmental entity. He has state power. He is the state. He kills righteously. There are things we can’t imagine God will do which he does. Especially in his capacity as sovereign. When that happens we begin to question God’s ethics. How can a good God do this we ask. To temper his anger God initiated a prerogative of mercy, a longsuffering device. He called it “grace”. Grace tempers God’s anger.
It would seem from the Bible that God expects some people to know better. He evidently expected Uzzah to know better. Which explains why some people get away with stuff and others don’t. Look at how he disciplined Moses. The man didn’t step into the Promised Land. Moses didn’t even bother to argue with God or appeal the sentence. He didn’t try to make God see reason, didn’t beg. He just accepted his fate. He knew who he was dealing with. But the thing about God is that he’s also gracious. He would later relent and allow Moses to visit the Promised Land. But that was in the afterlife. He came with Elijah to discuss some stuff with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Matthew 17.
You should fear God. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31.
Because David was annoyed with God he terminated the transportation of the Ark to Jerusalem. He left the Ark in the house of a guy named Obed-Edom. Note that despite the sound of his name Obed-Edom is not from Akwa Ibom. For three months the Ark was in Obed-Edom’s house. You know what God did? He began to pay rent to Obed-Edom. He blessed him for hosting the sign of his power, blessed his entire family. The guy became a millionaire, all just to provoke David. When David was told about Obed-Edom’s fortune David said, “I’ll get the fortune for myself.” 2 Samuel 6:12-16 MSG. And that was how David eventually brought the Ark to Jerusalem.
Perhaps what God enjoyed the most about David was his realness. David was very real with God. You should be real with God. Forget all the religious stuff just be real. Be sincere and honest. Jesus said God is looking for real dudes. John 4:23-24.
God wants authenticity. He’s looking for people he can trust, guys to confide in. When you do crazy stuff all he wants is that you own up to it and volunteer the information, after all he knows already. It’s about character. If only we can drop all the pretentious religious stuff and just be real with God. What a wonderful relationship we’ll have.
You can start by praying this prayer: “Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Father please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.”
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org.What sets David apart from everyone else is the fact we not only get to read his history but also get to read his thoughts. Click To Tweet David’s thoughts are captured in the Book of Psalms. That was his blog. Click To Tweet That man blogged everything. He’s the epitome of this social media generation of selfie addicts who pour everything out on Twitter and Facebook. Click To Tweet David is a 21st century cultural fit. Click To Tweet God wants authenticity. He’s looking for people he can trust, guys to confide in. Click To Tweet David was very real with God. You should be real with God. Click To Tweet Forget all the religious stuff just be real. Be sincere and honest. Jesus said God is looking for real dudes. Click To Tweet