David – The Greatest King of Israel
King David is the second most mentioned person in the Scripture. Much of the record is devoted to his military battles. David’s disgrace didn’t wipe his great success as a ruler which had never been equaled by another king before him. It is written of him that he “executed judgment and justice unto all his people” (2 Samuel 8:15).
David was a brave and mighty warrior for God (1 Samuel 18:5). He was so successful in conquering Israel’s enemies that the Israelites rejoiced greatly in being delivered from their enemies and sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7).
However, David gave all the glory of his success to God: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence” (2 Samuel 22:2-3).
In addition to His greatness as a ruler, he had a deep sense of justice and mercy. The Bible said that he was a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). He was a man of great faith, affection, and outstanding charity (2 Samuel 1:19–27; 3:33, 34). Under his wise and kind leadership, Israel flourished. His knowledge of the law, his experience in the school of hardship, his years of intimate fellowship with God, equipped as the shepherd-king of Israel.
David’s Disgrace and Repentance
When David’s full reliance on God, was weakened, he fell into sin. Then, God sent His prophet Nathan to deliver His divine message of rebuke and judgment: ”Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house. . . . Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor. . . For thou didst it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun” (2 Samuel 12).
The king felt deep remorse and sorrow for his sin. And with all humility he confessed and repented of his sin ( (Psalm 32:1-4). And it was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity and cleansing of heart (Psalm 51:1-14). David’s repentance was honest and sincere (Psalm 51:16,17). And God forgave him. The king was now more fully in harmony with God and in sympathy with his fellow men than before (Psalm 32:5-7).
Yet, justice must be maintained. The sentence of death was given to his child. The history of David gives no excuse for sin. God declared, “The thing that David had done was evil in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Samuel 11:27). And though he repented of his sin and was forgiven and accepted by the Lord, he had to reap the terrible harvest of the seed he himself had sown. The judgments upon him and upon his house testify to God’s hate for sin.
The story of David’s fall and repentance is of great significance to the repentant sinner. Many of God’s children, who have fallen into sin and were ready to give up to despair have remembered how his sincere repentance and confession were accepted by God, nonetheless he still had to suffer for his transgression. The faithful obtained courage to repent and try again to keep God’s commandments. Thus, through the story of David, God offers hope, salvation, and cleansing to all that faithfully seek repentance (Isaiah 27:5; Isaiah 55:7).
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In His service,