Grace: Royal faith – 24 November 2022
By Louise Gevers
David's Prayer of Thanksgiving
In Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “Little Prince”, the first planet that the Little Prince visits on his journey of discovery is inhabited by a king, whose fur robe is so long and so magnificent that it takes up the entire planet, leaving nowhere for the Little Prince to sit.
He is astonished at this, but in the course of their conversation, it becomes apparent that, although the king regards himself as an absolute monarch, and a reasonable ruler, he has no subjects, so has grossly overestimated his own importance and power.
King David presents a different picture as his words show humility and reverence as he approaches the LORD, his king. He has not easily become king, although he’d been anointed in his youth, but has managed his difficult waiting period with integrity. By grace God’s Spirit has guided him through dark and difficult situations, and he has remained faithful. Now he has heard God’s words to him through Nathan and is awestruck that God has chosen him and his house in perpetuity. “Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men on earth… When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom … and I will establish his throne forever. ” (1 Chronicles 17:8,11,13)
David receives God’s message modestly; after all, hadn’t he only been fulfilling his calling? God knew he was only a shepherd at heart.
David’s relationship with God had been in place at the time he’d tended his father’s sheep and his faith had grown each time God delivered him from the lion and the bear; (1Samuel 17:34-36) this had prepared him well to look at Goliath, the Philistine giant, and courageously take him on, armed only with a sling. With his heart for God, and incensed by the Philistine’s audacity against God’s armies, without fearing for his own safety, he’d stepped up for His honour.
David’s genuine and noble faith made him stand, metaphorically, head and shoulders above King Saul and the Israelite army, as he, alone, stood for God, and they, terrified, hid away from Goliath. Surely this faithful, noble spirit is what led God to regard him as, “a man after (his) own heart; (who) will do everything (he) wants him to do”. (Acts13:22)
God knew David’s heart and David was confident in his calling after, “Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David.” (1 Samuel 16:13) This was the first of three times he was anointed as king, before reigning for forty years, knowing and showing grace throughout.
How noble and genuine is our faith? Do we stand up to honour God in the face of wrong? God’s grace to us is endless through his Son, and He is still calling men and women “after his own heart” to faithfully serve him.
Prayer: “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever… Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise. (Psalm 145:1,3) Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands for there I find delight. (Psalm 119:34-35) Amen