Greetings in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation. (2 Samuel 22:2)
The people of Israel were God’s people. God blessed them and God was their eternal king. When they were in difficult time, God was always with them and protected them from all harms and dangers. For example, before a severe famine came, God sent his faithful servant, Joseph to Egypt. When the multi-year famine actually hit the entire land, through Joseph God sent the Israelites to Egypt to save from the famine. While they were in the foreign land of Egypt, God made them multiply and grow strong. As the preset time came, God brought them out of Egypt to the land promised to Abraham, the father of all Israel people. Then with the help of the miraculous power in the God’s hand, they entered in the Promised Land, and inherited the land.
When they arrived and lived in the Promised Land, God gave them judges to rule His people for Him. However, the Israelites were people who were prone to sinning and were filled with pride just like us. When things were good, their egos went up high like stars in heavens. Then they slowly replaced God with their pride. This surely led to sinning, and their sins led to their misery. Their pride that gave false security and satisfaction ended up slavery of their sins while being subjected to those people surrounded them. When they cried out and repented their sins, God heard their cry, and sent judges to rescue from the hands of enemies. From the rescue, with thanksgiving, they restored relationship with God in joy. However, this beautiful relationship did not last long again due to their fallen nature (as same as us). They started slowly replacing God with their own pride in their hearts. Soon they repeated the cycle again. They fell from the blessing of God to a slavery of the people around them who did not know God. They cried and God rescued them again. This cycle of blessing to slavery to rescue repeated.
After many iteration of this vicious cycle, the Israelites analyzed and searched for the answer how to avoid the pains that they experienced repetitively through the vicious cycles. Yes, first they looked around their neighbors, who did not know the true and Only One God. All of their neighbors had their own king. It looked good to their eyes like neighbor’s lawn that looks greener. Their neighbors seemed living without being captives to other nations without their pains and misery. Then the Israelites thought that the sole reason why they had gone through those pains was that they did not have their own king like their neighboring countries. Then they started demanding a king to God while telling “Give us a king to judge us. Appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” (1 Samuel 8: 4, 6)
Samuel was the prophet at that time. He was really displease. When he prayed to God, God told to Samuel, “Do everything they say to you,” God continued, “for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. (1 Samuel 5:7-8)
God was always full of mercy. He was directly under attack from His beloved people. Even so, first God comforted Samuel, who was confronted by the Israelites. God carefully explained to Samuel: “They are not rebellious to you, but me, God. It is not the first time. Ever since I brought the Israelites from Egypt, they have continually abandoned me, God, and followed other gods. Now they treat you like me.” Yes, we all know how badly the Israelites behaved in the wilderness after being brought out of Egypt. How many time did they argue with and complain to God for forty years? Countless many. For example, only three days after they experienced the miraculous crossing of Red Sea by walking on dry ground by the almighty power of God, they complained to God not having drinking water. Yes, being thirsty is not a pleasant experience, but it could not be compared with the life saving miracle. God rescued them from the mighty armies of Pharaoh that were chasing them to kill. There should be no complaint at all. IN FACT, THEY DID. This clearly reflected their fallen and sinful nature. Upon their complaint, God did bring water and make them drink. God was always merciful, gracious, and slow to anger. (This is the reason why the Israelites were able to survive throughout the forty year journey in the wilderness.)
Again upon hearing their cry for their king, God gave them Saul as their king. Before Saul became a king, he was humble and meek. For example, he hid himself while people were searching for Saul to make him their king. After he became a king, slowly and but steadily he changed. He became prideful, jealous, and was filled with evil in his heart. For example, Saul became furious when he returned from a victory of defeating the Philistine, the Israel’s archenemy. The people in Israel came out and welcome Saul and his troops. Women from all the towns of Israel also came out singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.” (1 Samuel 18:7)
This praise of the women deeply hurt Saul’s pride, and his heart was trouble. Saul became afraid of David. Then he decided to kill David. He actually tried to kill David multiple times. However, God protected David from the hand of Saul and his armies. David survived by the help of God. As time came, God abandoned Saul, who was initially humble, but later being wrapped around his own pride and fear. God replaced Saul with David, who God picked for Him, and God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do. (Acts 3:22b)
Surely this is the highest approval of God for a mere human, David. God said David was a man after God’s own heart. God also said “David will do everything that I want him to do.” What a confidence that God gave to David! (“David” name literally means “beloved.” David must have been truly loved by God.) Under the kingship of David, Israel was getting stronger and prosper in God. David subdued surrounding countries and made them pay to Israel. The entire nation of Israel truly worshipped God and served Him. God’s promise was finally fulfilled. It took 500 years after the promise was given to Abraham. The people of Israel, God’s people and the descendant of Abraham, settled in the promised land under the protection of God as a strong nation.
One day, David, the faithful and beloved Israel King, saw a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, and he sinned against God. The power of the sin was so strong to David, which is common to all of us too. After his sinning, to hide his sin, he killed her husband too by making him fight for a dangerous spot in the battle field. God, who knew every thing even deep inside of David’s heart, could not bear with these sins of David. God sent Nathan, His prophet, to expose his hidden sins.
Here is the reason why God loved David. Although David was the king, he heard Nathan as God spoke to him, David immediately repented wholeheartedly before Nathan. God forgive David. David also had to go through a hard time. (This is not God’s punishment, but God’s loving hand to teach David to know God better, and went into a deeper relationship with God.) First, David’s son became ill and died, although he fasted for his son. Then soon David had to leave Jerusalem. His beloved son rebelled against David, and his son became the king of Israel. David had to flee from his palace to save his life from his own son’s sword. He had to live in fear of his son, till God removed his son, Absalom, the rebellious son. Here is another part of David that God must have loved. When David heard that Absalom was killed at a battle with David’s army, he mourned for his death for many days. David truly loved his rebellious son, although Absalom was rebellious and tried to kill David. (This reminds us what God did to us. He loved us when we were rebellious and against Him.) David clearly demonstrated his feeble nature as a fallen human, but he also lived out what God loved to see in David – honest and faithful repentance to God, and love without limit to his own but rebellious son. After making David prove himself before God, God with full of mercy made David returned to his palace in Jerusalem. David did truly experience God after he sinned against God. Now, David’s mouth was full of praise to God, and David sang in Psalm:
I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1-2)