Bible Society of South Africa

God’s king of choice – 15 June 2021

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

13Samuel took the olive oil and anointed David in front of his brothers. Immediately the Spirit of the LORD took control of David and was with him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

1 Samuel 16:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

Was David the best known of all the biblical kings? According to the Bible, one would think so, but not according to non-biblical historical sources. It was only in 1993 that a piece of rock was found with the inscription “Beit David” meaning “Dynasty of David”. This is the only indication that there might have been a king called David in ancient times, but not necessarily that it was King David of the Bible. On the other hand, King Omri of Israel is mentioned in more than one historical document.

In spite of the fact that Omri is better known in history, the Bible only mentioned him in 10 verses in 1 Kings 16 and a single verse in Micah 6, while many chapters are dedicated to the life of David. The reason is that although Omri enlarged the Northern Kingdom of Israel by his military campaigns, there was nothing positive to say about his relationship with God. To the contrary, the Bible tells us that he did what was wrong in the eyes of the Lord and had sinned more than any of his predecessors.

David’s life was the absolute opposite. From the very beginning, he was close to God and he reaped the benefits of a life dedicated to God. This does not mean that he was perfect. He would sometimes be cruel and was constantly waging some or other war to the point that when he wanted to build a temple, God would not allow it: “But the LORD told me that I had killed too many people and fought too many wars.” (1 Chronicles 22:8) In different psalms, he would tell of his fear of enemies and in another instance (Psalm 61:2), he cried out to God in despair.

One day, he saw a beautiful woman having a bath from the roof of the palace. He was so smitten by her beauty that he devised a plan to have her husband killed in combat. When the prophet Nathan confronted him with this sin, David wrote the stirring Psalm 51 in which he pleaded to God for forgiveness. Although God punished him for what he did, God also forgave him and David served the Lord until he died at a ripe old age.

None of us can be perfect, not even David who was very close to God, but for those who live close to him in spite of their shortcomings, there will always be forgiveness.

Prayer: Please keep me very close to you, Lord, and forgive me my many trespasses. Amen

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