Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Heart of a King

I'm reading through the account of king David in 2 Samuel right now and a couple of things really struck me.  First, a reminder that God refers to David as a man after His own heart.  Would you like God to say that of you?  "Mike?  Yeah, I know him.  He's a man after my own heart."  Well if so, it would behoove us to pay attention to David...since here we have an account of the man after God's heart, and as such, we get a really good glimpse at exactly why God calls David that.

I'm in chapters 15 & 16 of 2 Samuel today which largely chronicles the account of Absalom's attempts to take the kingdom from his father, David.  Now imagine just for a moment what David must be going through.  He is the king!  Undisputed, appointed by God, the king of the greatest nation on earth.  And yet here is his son, Absalom, who over a 6-7 year period steals the hearts of the kingdom.  David catches wind of Absalom's plan and proceeds to gather is men around him, and leave Jersualem, "The City of David" nonetheless.  It is in this context, David leaving his palace, that we read a couple of remarkable things.

"First, David makes a decision to send the ark back into the city. He says, "If I find favor in the LORD's eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, 'I am not pleased with you,' then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him." (2 Samuel 15:25-26).

A little later, David meets up with Shimei, a great guy from Saul's clan.  Shimei proceeds to shout curses upon David and throw rocks at him and his group.  This is a pretty stupid thing to do considering that 1) David is still the king, and 2) David is surrounded by his body-guard.  In fact, one of those men, Abishai, asks permission to chop off his head.  But David replies in this way;

"Leave him alone; let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today." (2 Samuel 16:11-12)

David has every right to condemn Shimei to death...but he doesn't.  He lets him live, accepts his insults, and moves on, thinking that some day, God, if He sees fit, will repay David in kind for the insults he is receiving.

What strikes me is the open-window view we get into David's heart in this passage.  We see in David a man who has refuses to stoop to the level of his adversaries.  We see a man who leaves justice in the hands of God.  We see a man who doesn't feel the need to defend himself, or to take matters into his own hands.  Remember - this is a pattern with David.  He had multiple opportunities to kill Saul, and was perfectly in his right to do so as Saul was hunting him down...but he didn't.  David took the high road, and God rewarded him for doing this.

This pattern we see in David gets at the character of his heart.  In a word, it's TRUST.  David trusts God implicitly with every facet of his life.  He trusts God to reward him, if he is worthy of reward, and trusts God to repay evils done to him.  And ultimately, I think this is what God is most wanting from us; total and complete trust.  Trust in his law, trust in his plan, trust in good times and bad, trust God to repay when we're wronged, trust God to reward us, trust God in all things.

A man after God's own heart?  I believe that a big part of that is found in this word, trust.  It's like the old song says; "trust and obey."  This is what God is after.

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