What You’ve Missed…
* David starts to get old.
* David helps his son Solomon prepare to build a ridiculously ornate temple for God. Like, over-the-top-Vegas-style ornate.
* David continues to get old.
* One of David’s sons tries to take over the kingdom, but it’s pretty lame and unimaginative by Biblical standards. D+.
* David gets older.
* David hands the kingdom over to his son Solomon.
* David gets even older. I mean really old. So old that even his new, beautiful, virgin servant girl isn’t enough to “rally his spirits.” Reading this has made me realize that it’s time someone does the American public a solid, and confronted our buddy Hugh Hefner, letting him know we’ve all been way too creeped out for way too long, and that it’s time to go ahead and hang up the ol’ robe. It’s time my friend. It’s been time. For a long time.
Daily Reading: Lots of Psalms
So King David led a pretty bad ass life, full of some pretty intense war and tons of sweet hand-to-hand combat. But now I find myself in the book of Psalms, many of which he wrote, and it’s a definite change of pace. It’s like sitting down to a cup of coffee with New York’s craziest cowboy cop (clearly officer John McClane from Die Hard) and having the guy break down, crying in your lap. Sure David’s a giant-slayer, a magnificent war hero, and a king with more wealth and women than he knows what to do with (maybe David had a li’l more Hef in him after all), but at his core, he’s just a man looking for love (though, not in all the wrong places.)
David looks for, and finds, love in God. Throughout Psalms David cries out for God’s help. He also spends an ample amount of time praising God, proclaiming his loyalty to God and thanking Him again and again for His kindness and love. It’s amazing. This man of battle-hardened steel turns out to be much more of a lover than fighter. But more than that, he also turns out to be incredibly weak, and I think that’s my favorite part about what I’ve read.
This great man, great leader and great warrior, is constantly asking God for help. And he’s not just asking, the man is often at his wits’ end, begging with all that is in him for help from God. King David, Israel’s pillar of strength, is not a pillar of strength at all, but a man fully dependent on God’s strength, which he seems to trust fully and in every way. Here are just a few samples of the naked desperation this “strong” man of God reveals as he wears his heart on his sleeve.
“Return, O LORD, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love…I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.” (Psalm 6:4-6)
“O LORD, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs.” (Psalm 22:19-20)
“Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all!” (Psalm 25:16-17)
“Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” (Psalm 69:1-3)
(Clearly the man’s a crier. Which would put me in good company if he and I ever decided to watch Marley and Me, or Forest Gump, or heck, even The Care Bare Movie if I’m being honest…basically pretty much any movie really.)
And that’s just a crazy small taste of David’s desperate cry for help. In other passages he talks about how he calls on God for help constantly. How he is depending on God alone to save him. He doesn’t simply pull himself up by his bootstraps like all good tough guys, coming up with some elaborate plan to save himself. Instead, he displays his helplessness without shame, and asks for help again, and again, and again. Then again, and again. And again.
Here’s a man, not trying to be the hero, but rather, a man who knows full well he isn’t. He’s weak. Very weak. And he knows it. And it’s this guy who’s considered a biblical hero. Something to think about.