This week the bible study I’m in wrapped up. It was a fabulous study on David by Beth Moore. And the icing on the cake was a group of fantabulous (fantastic + fabulous) women to see every Wednesday morning.
Today as we buried David in the city named after him, we were talking about what we learned from his life. There was lots of good things but the one that surprised me the most was hope. (Thanks SL for pointing it out again to us.) Why did it surprise me? Beth Moore had mentioned it in the study but for some reason on this last day, it really struck me to the point that I had to come back to it later.
I think I always thought David had it all together. Sure he did some nasty stuff on the side, but He was KING DAVID. He’s legendary. He didn’t need hope, did he? I didn’t think so.
But everyone needs hope. Even the King of Israel. As we studied his life, David needed hope because he was a man with a ton of responsibility resting on his shoulders and a lot of enemies circling around him. Hope is a rare commodity these days as typhoons and tornados destroy. Sickness comes in and robs life and families. But I think too that for David, hope could have been elusive for him too as he lived out his tumultuous life if he hadn’t been purposeful about seeking it out. Three areas of his life really stand out for me mainly because I can relate.
David had hope when he had made a huge mess of his life. He had coveted and slept with another man’s wife, who then got pregnant with his child. He had murdered that man to cover up his sin. He went two years without repenting until Nathan the prophet showed up and told him “You are the man!”
There are times when I’ve made such a mess of my life; relationships, circumstances, sins, rebellion. The more I try and fix it under my own strength, the more of a nightmare it becomes. And if I ignore it, it doesn’t make it better either. I have to own my mess. Nathan confronting David made the King open his eyes to what he had done and acknowledge it. In the owning, comes hope. By taking responsibility for what we’ve done, it opens our hearts to a God who will forgive. It brings about the hope that comes from truth. No more lies and deceit. Only truth. There are consequences. David had dire consequences. The child conceived died. His family would suffer. But David’s life was spared and he had hope in his God that not only forgave but would walk through the mess and the consequences with him. David wasn’t alone. There is hope in that. I don’t have to walk through my mess all by myself.
The second area of hope in David’s life that struck me was his family. The consequences of his sin brought about death and destruction to his family. David made a lot of mistakes as a father. The whole work vs. family thing seemed to be a struggle for him. The kingdom won that battle. Family lost. As a result, he had a kingdom’s allegiance but not some of his children’s. But praise God, at the end of his life, David got it together. He was not only a good king, but a good dad. David had hope in a God who could restore families and kingdoms.
It gives me great comfort. I need a few years that the locusts have stolen, restored. I want a do-over but there are none. I’m sure David, looking back, wanted a do-over with Absalom. But God offers the hope of restoration. That we can rewrite our endings with His help. We are not doomed to get what we deserve. Family histories can change. We don’t have to continue on in our dysfunctional, rut-studded paths. We can be the agent of change. Turn the tide for ourselves and for our children. The enemy doesn’t win here. God has a different ending for my family. The years of anxiety, fear and anger end with me. I will fight to have a new restored ending. There is hope in new beginnings. David discovered that as he prepared his son to take the throne. In Solomon was a new beginning. And all Israel flourished under him.
Finally David had hope on his deathbed. He knew where he was going. He was ready. He had finished well. As his time ended on earth, he mentored and prepared his son to take the throne and then he followed his kingly duties to make sure that Solomon took the reign of the kingdom, publicly and before God. He prepared the people of Israel for their new king. A good leader always prepares those he’s led to receive his successor. David did it well. David didn’t sit back in his old age, he actively participated in God’s will for his life and the lives of those he loved, until he breathed his last. That gives me hope. That I have purpose until there is no more oxygen in me. Purpose and hope.