Commemoration of David
The Fifth Day of Christmas
Today, we remember David, prophet and king.
David, ancestor of the Lord Jesus, was the greatest of ancient Israel’s kings. He ruled from about 1010 BC to 970 BC. When his predecessor on the throne, King Saul, disobeyed God’s word and then first lied about it and then made excuses for his sin (like Adam and Eve in the Garden), God rejected Saul as king. The Lord sent the prophet Samuel to a man named Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint a new king. From Jesse’s children, Samuel anointed the most unlikely—his youngest boy, David.
David was a shepherd and musically gifted. His experience in defending his sheep from predators and his firm trust in the God of Israel gave him courage to confront and strike down the gigantic Goliath of Gath. He entered the service of Saul, the king, and became fast friends with Jonathan, the king’s son. David’s gift of music sooth Saul’s frequent foul moods. Saul soon became jealous of David’s popularity with the people and sought numerous times to kill him, eventually driving David into exile and hiding. Though he had several opportunities to do Saul harm, David refused to lift a finger against “the Lord’s anointed.”
After Saul’s death in battle, David assumed first the kingship of Judah and finally of all Israel. He transferred his capital to Jerusalem. His greatness grew and his fame spread. When he wished to build God a house, God forbade him and told him that instead God would build him an everlasting house. A son from his body would build the house for the Lord, and God would establish that son’s kingdom forever.
Ironically, shortly after receiving this promise, David fell into grave sin. He committed adultery, impregnated another man’s wife, and subsequently arranged the murder of her husband. He then took the woman, Bathsheba, as his own wife. The prophet Nathan confronted him with his sin. David gave no excuses but simply confessed and repented (unlike Saul).
God brought temporal punishment on David and his house because of his disobedience, and yet in grace He established David’s kingdom through a son whom Bathsheba later bore to him, King Solomon. Chastened, David remained faithful to God through the difficult times that surrounded his final years of life.
David is the prime example in the Old Testament of a man who was both simultaneously justified and sinner. His great and lasting gift to the Church of all ages is his Book of Psalms (called the Psalter or the Psalms of David). The people of God have delighted to sing theses inspired words in all ages. They find in them words to address God in every conceivable circumstance.
Prayer: God of majesty, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven, we give you thanks for David who, through the Psalter, gave Your people hymns to sing with joy in our worship on earth so that we may glimpse Your beauty. Bring us to the fulfillment of that hope of perfection that will be ours as we stand before Your unveiled glory; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
William Weedon Celebrating the Saints 242-243 (altered)