Last week I asked how David could violate the law of Moses by simply putting the Ark of the Covenant in an open tent and dance before it and worship, and not be executed by the Lord. Today, the answer.
We are told in I Samuel 13: 14 that God had found David, a 'man after His own heart', to be king. Yet this man, David, was as flawed as he was anointed.
Flawed, like us...
Consider that he took another man's wife, then had her husband killed, then hid both acts. He was such a horrible father that his son took command of the kingdom, exiling him and even seeking the life of his father, among other serious flaws.
Yet in his heart, he was a man after God's own heart. His Psalms which were published by him for the public, are transparent and honest and raw insights into his emotions and heart. This gives us hope, for we too are full of flaws and errors in judgement, wrong decisions and raw emotions over mistakes made even within our own families, yet we love God and we would consider ourselves to be a person after God's own heart. (Consider for instance, Psalm 51, written as a consequence of God confronting him about his adultery with Bathsheba)
His outward actions and decisions didn't always reflect it, but in his heart, he was a man after God's heart.
Jesus tells us why
Another sin of David was eating the 'show bread', which is the bread dedicated to God that was placed within the first veil with the menorah and altar of incense. It takes place in I Samuel 21: 1-6, and is mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 12: 1-8:
"About that time, Jesus was walking one day through some grainfields with his disciples. It was on the Sabbath, the Jewish day of worship, and his disciples were hungry; so they began breaking off heads of wheat and eating the grain. 2 But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, “Your disciples are breaking the law. They are harvesting on the Sabbath.”
3 But Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what King David did when he and his friends were hungry? 4 He went into the Temple and they ate the special bread permitted to the priests alone. That was breaking the law too. 5 And haven’t you ever read in the law of Moses how the priests on duty in the Temple may work on the Sabbath? 6 And truly, one is here who is greater than the Temple!7 But if you had known the meaning of this Scripture verse, ‘I want you to be merciful more than I want your offerings,**’ you would not have condemned those who aren’t guilty! 8 For I, the Messiah, am master even of the Sabbath.” (**Hosea 6: 6)
This is where we have hope for those we love, who aren't walking with God but retain Him in their hearts
He ate the consecrated bread though it was unlawful to do so, and brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem, set it in a simple tent and danced and worshipped before it, which was also against the law of Moses. Yet he lived. Yet he prospered. Yet he wrote at least half the Psalms we have in our Bible. Yet he and Bathsheba produced Solomon. Yet he remains the head of the whole line of kings, including 'The Son of David', Jesus the Messiah. So terribly flawed that he required grace, that the glory is to God and not him and his own ability or holiness. God honored his heart more than his actions. Doesn't He often do the same in our lives?
It shows us the Lord sees our hearts, helps us deal with our flaws, and works by grace to weave His way in our lives and those we love.
Mercy triumphs (rejoices) over judgment - Hosea 6:6, James 2: 13
The law of Moses allowed the poor to walk through fields of ripe grain/grapes and eat whatever they could as they passed through. They were not allowed to carry a bag to put extra grain/grapes into, but only what they could eat. (Deuteronomy 23: 24-25)
So what the disciples were doing was legal according to the Law of Moses, but the issue the Pharisees had was it was against their law to do so on the Sabbath. The law of Moses didn't say not to eat like that on the Sabbath, but the Pharisees had made their own law saying it was illegal to do so. That is the issue Jesus always had with the religious leaders; it was never about God's Word, but about their rules they had added to and exalted above God's law.
Jesus in His argument, referred them to David who ate the holy bread and God didn't judge him - asking the Pharisees to consider why that was. He then brought up the fact that on the Sabbath when people are making sacrifices to God in the temple, it is the priests who are working in the offering of those sacrifices, yet God doesn't judge them.
Then He made this statement: "If you had known the meaning of the verse; I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you wold not have condemned the innocent. For I, the Messiah, am Lord even of the Sabbath."
Come boldly to receive mercy and grace to help in time of need
David and his men were running for their lives from King Saul and very hungry when they ate the holy bread, so mercy was shown by the Lord. David was zealous in pure worship when he brought up the Ark of the Covenant, so was shown mercy.
When you get so down on yourself for your flaws, remember the Lord has already invested in you for the ages to come - Ephesians 2:7 says in the ages to come the Father will continue to show the riches of His grace towards us. We are flawed, but He is able to work grace through our flaws, and in spite of them.
David was a man after God's own heart. That statement doesn't say he didn't have issues, for we know he did. But in his heart, he loved God, wanted the best for his family even after he and some of them had made horrible decisions - yet the mercy and grace of the Lord was upon him and them.
For all our mistakes and all the guilt and condemnation we heap on ourselves, never forget that in your heart, you are a person after God's own heart - and that is what He sees. It was on that basis the God of Israel chose this most flawed of men to be King of Israel, and leader of the line of Kings that brought us Jesus. Give thanks for His mercy and grace, and look for Him at work in your heart and family.
New subject next week, until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org