Summary: David is a mix of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but he understands God’s grace.
David the paradox
The good the bad and the ugly
David – a great hero of the faith
Passionate worship – Psalms
2 Samuel 22 – placed at the end of the story – written early in the story
speaks of a Passionate relationship with God.
You might feel uncomfortable with the military imagery – David was a warrior
By this point in the story, verses 21-25 are no longer true
Amnon & Tamar
Taking the roll of fighting men
Right at the end of his life, he tells Salomon to break his vow & make sure Shimie & Joab do not die of old age. Now they both show them selves up as traitors for Solomon, so his father’s wishes are justified. But it also shows that David doesn’t go to his grave without some bitterness.
David ends up looking more like Tony Soprano than Mother Theresa
David, this mixture of great goodness and great evil, (with some plan old ambivalence thrown in) is called “A man after Gods heart.” He is called this in 1 Samuel 13 when God takes the kingdom from Saul, and then in the New Testament, Paul refers to David as a man after God’s own heart in a sermon at Antioch. Acts 13:22
Although David has to deal with some of the consequences of his actions later in life, God never takes his promise away that David’s dynasty will last forever. It is a foreshadowing of the coming King whose reign will never end. Neither does God remove His Spirit from David. And David’s name is always held in honor in scripture and tradition.
What is up with that? God rejects Saul because he doesn’t do exactly as told, and he steps outside of his kingly role into a priestly role. David’s sin trumps Saul’s all over the place! How come David gets to be the man after God’s own heart?
The simple answer is that David “got” God’s grace.
He got it in that he received his grace
He got it in that he understood it.
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him.
Blessed are those
who make the LORD their trust,
who do not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods. [b]
Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened —
burnt offerings and sin offerings] you did not require.
Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—
with the scroll written for me.
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart."
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, LORD,
as you know.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, LORD;
come quickly, LORD, to help me.
May all who seek to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!"
be appalled at their own shame.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
"The LORD is great!"
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
This psalm, written obviously later in David’s life, doesn’t rely a bit in his own ability to be good –gone is the talk of God treating him well because of his own righteousness - he relies completely on the grace of God to take away the sins that have piled up so high that he can’t see.
David gets God’s grace, because when he sins, he comes around, sees the evil that he has done, and he repents.