Read 2 Samuel 23:1-5
1 These are the last words of David:
“David,the son of Jesse,speaks-
David,the man who was raised up so high,
David,the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
David,the sweet psalmist of Israel.
2 “The Spirit of the LORD speaks through me;
his words are upon my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke.
The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The one who rules righteously,
who rules in the fear of God,
4 is like the light of morning at sunrise,
like a morning without clouds,
like the gleaming of the sun
on new grass after rain.’
5 “Is it not my family God has chosen?
Yes,he has made an everlasting covenant with me.
His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail.
He will ensure my safety and success. (NLT)
These are the last words of David. They seem to give only one side of the picture. This David who could be so merciful could also be bloodthirsty. This David who could be so considerate to others could also use his power crudely without thought of others. In response to this we might want to accuse him of rank hypocrisy and God of being blind to his failings.
There is a better response. That is to see David as an example of the typical follower of God: though he lives on a larger stage,his faults and his merits are more obvious. God is not blind to David’s faults. But he is willing to go on using him as his instrument. And he also recognises that beneath and beyond all the ambiguities of his character David has a heart for God.
We might continue to protest that this somehow is not right. Surely God can’t tolerate such flaws even though he can see beyond them. Yet God does just the same thing with each of us. If we want him to turn his back on David,we invite him to do the same to us. And besides,we from our perspective know God has dealt with the problem of human wrongdoing through the death of Jesus on the cross.
Ultimately the story of David is not the story of how life ought to be,but how God is able to work through such unpromising raw material to achieve his good and great purposes.