The Example of David

–Pastor Caleb Adams, September 22, 2021. In my daily Bible reading plan, I’m currently in 1 Chronicles. The book starts off a little slowly, with genealogy after genealogy for chapter after chapter. But in chapter 10 the action begins with the death of Saul and his sons in a battle against the Philistines. In chapter 11, David is anointed king and we’re off to the races. 

This time through these opening chapters, what stood out to me the most was the stark difference between David and Saul, something the book seems at pains to point out. While he starts off strong, Saul’s reign and his relationship with the LORD quickly go downhill. Saul repeatedly chooses not to follow in His ways. Rather than seeking God’s direction, Saul relies on his own wisdom (and on one occasion even the occult) to guide him. For all of this, the LORD takes His Spirit away from Saul and gives the kingdom to another.

But David is different. One of David’s first priorities is to restore the ark of the covenant to Israel: “Let us bring the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul” (1 Chronicles 13:3). Rather than relying on his own wisdom or strategy, David seeks the LORD before engaging in battle: “And David inquired of God, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines?’” (1 Chronicles 14:9). He reinstates the proper role of the Levites, restores the priesthood so that God’s law can be followed once again, and appoints musicians to worship the LORD (1 Chronicles 15). David places the ark in a tent where Israel can again offer their offerings to God and he gives Yahweh praise in a song of thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 16). Though his reign is not without sin, David follows after Yahweh and is blessed and rewarded greatly.

It struck me as I was reading all of this that the Red Letter Challenge gives us new opportunity to seek after Yahweh like David did. As we read through the words of Jesus spoken in the gospels, we are hearing God’s commands. We are seeking His guidance and direction in our lives instead of relying on our own wisdom or strategy. As we meditate on what He has to say to us about Being, Forgiving, Serving, Giving, and Going, we are better equipped to honor and worship and praise Him for His goodness. Let’s embrace this Challenge with the zeal of David, and, like that king after God’s own heart, may God bless us as we seek to listen to and follow Him!