Human Songbird of Israel
August 12th 2008 01:58
He was very human.
I doubt that he had heard of Jesus, the Christ. Still, somehow he knew of Him and loved Him. How do I know? When I study the life of David, I see the love he had for God and for the Son of God, Whom he referred to in his own writings.
Davy was a very human kid.
The writer of this article easily identifies with David in his childhood. He was raised in a farming family, just as I was. He learned a lot about animals by working with them, just as I did. His mind was busy as he watched his animals. He began to think about eternal-type thoughts as a young child. He rationalized that, just as his flock of sheep needed a shepherd, he as a human needed Someone to watch over him though his life.
Davy’s thoughts led him to write a song about sheep, a song in which he compares his own existence with the existence of sheep, his own weaknesses and need of an Overseer with the weaknesses of sheep. He realized that sheep are not the most intelligent animals on the planet. He also realized that he, as a human shepherd boy, was not big enough or wise enough to be the master of his own fate. He wrote the shepherd’s psalm, a song about sheep and their relationship with the shepherd and compared his own existence with theirs. An English translation of the song is below.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He (the Lord) makes me to lie
down in green pastures: He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His
Yes, although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and staff bring comfort to me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies (such as
snakes and eagles); You anoint my head with oil (of gladness), making
my cup to run over.
Undoubtedly, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
That simple song, penned by a boy in Israel many centuries ago has become one of the favorites in the Holy Bible. Such a simple message of comparison of sheep and boys who trust in God.
Davy was a human teenager.
He did not see himself as a superhuman adolescent. He was a simple and obedient son with several older brothers. The fact that his older brothers had to go to war and leave him with the humdrum life of caring for those boring sheep was something that he accepted. It was a fact of life for a kid in his circumstance.
Then, when his father wanted him to take some food to his brothers in the army, Davy did it. While there, he witnessed the gigantic Goliath defying not only the armies of Israel but the God of Israel. David loved the God of Israel so much that he took personal offense at this ungodly man’s challenge to God. We all know the story about the shepherd boy who took five smooth stones and a slingshot instead of the armor that was offered to him. He had already had experience with protecting his father’s sheep as a younger kid so he knew well how to use the sling. In spite of mocking from his brothers and in spite of the size of the man who was mocking God and the armies of Israel, he went to meet the enemy.
Of course, Davy was apprehensive. He had killed large animals before but never a man. He took five stones, possibly thinking he may need all five of them to rid Israel of the giant who was mocking God. He was intelligent enough to realise that the first stone he slung may not be effective; he was prepared. Undoubtedly, he remembered the line he had written earlier, “yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me’.
We realize the victory of Davy and his first stone, how he toppled the giant and used the giant’s own sword to decapitate him.
Davy, the teen boy, was quite human.
David was a very human grownup.
As teenagers do, Davy grew into a man, married and had a family. The fact that he became a military leader and king notwithstanding, he became a family man, a quite human father and husband.
He had always been inclined to be religious. His religion tended to sometimes cause him to do things which others saw as exaggerations. He was scolded for dancing before God. His own wife, as wives sometimes tend to do, told him he was foolish for his outlandish actions. Still, David loved God and his emotions were used to express that love.
He had family problems, unruly children. Although it hurt him, one of his sons rebelled to the point of wanting to kill his own father. The son died on one of his escapades against David.
He had temptations as we all do. Although he knew that resisting temptation would help to lessen its effect, David sometimes yielded to temptation. It caused him great problems, even leading him to order the murder of a man. Maybe David again recalled a line from his shepherd’s psalm, “You restore my soul”.
David walked with the Lord all the days of his life.
Many songs (psalms) in the Holy Bible were written by David. Many of them reveal his love for God, for the Lord (Whom he had not seen), for God’s house and for the need to praise God. Some of the psalms make reference to Jesus, Who had not yet come to Earth as a human.
Among the many psalms which reveal David’s love for God, one of this author’s favorite is the one which begins:
“As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, O
God.” Psalm 42
David loved God’s Word also. In fact, Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, has reference to God’s word in every verse.
David loved God’s house of worship. He declared that he would build a house for God, so that worship would no longer be in a rag top tent.
Whether we like it or not, David is declared to be a ‘man after God’s own heart’.
David’s long life ended, as human lives nearly always do, with death. His son took the throne that King David had used for such a long time.
I doubt that any eulogy for David included his temptations, his yielding to temptations, his sins against his family and against his soldiers or the times he did things within the tabernacle or temple which were illegal. The eulogizing was undoubtedly about his victory over the Philistine giant, his times of winning battles and his building of the temple in which they worshipped.
David’s sins included rape of a woman who was married to one of David’s military leaders, the murder of the military leader, eating of showbread which was not supposed to be used for food for him, having several wives, and a number of other miscreant activities.
Why would God call David a “man after my own heart”? God does not commit sins. God does not condone sins. In fact, He condemns sin.
Perhaps it is because David dealt with the sin in his life appropriately. In one of the psalms (Psalm 51), David repents and writes of his heartfelt inner pain for having sinned against the Lord he loved.
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness;
according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my
transgressions. Wash me completely from my iniquity, and cleanse me
from my sin. I acknowledge my sin.”
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
David realized that he was very human and that God was very God.
A man is made of the dust of the Earth. He is no stronger than the elements which make up his being.
David seemed to realize that the gap between God and fallen man is too great to cross by ourselves. He wrote in Psalm 2 about the coming Lord Jesus, not by name but by His virtues. This psalm tells of some of the results of the coming of Jesus, including the redemption of all willing people, even us who are not Israelites by blood. This psalm instructs us to rejoice in the prospect of being redeemed but to be fearful of insulting the God who paid such a price for our salvation.
David, the former shepherd boy, did not dream that two triangles would form a six-sided ‘star’ which would be called the “Star of David” or that the Jesus Whom he had predicted would be born in the “City of David”. David simply lived a lifetime of loving the God of deliverance and enjoying as many of the blessings as God sent to him.
In Psalm 108, David wrote, “O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory….I will praise Thee, O God, among the people, and I will sing praises unto Thee among the nations.”
This very human David did just that and is still doing it.
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