As we come to the close of our study of David, which we all seem to have enjoyed so much, I looked back to get some points for this devotional. I first thought of the "Top Ten Things I have learned from David." But, I had two problems. First, I couldn't put my points in order of importance and have a Number 1 point, and second I found I had eleven points and not ten.
I decided to take my title from a well known book, "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" and e-mails I have gotten, such as "Everything I need to know I learned from Noah's Ark" or "the Easter Bunny," etc. Thus the title, "A whole lot I need to know I can learn from David." Since I have 11 miscellaneous points in no particular order to make in 10 minutes we will have to hurry on.
[Points were listed on a flip chart.]
GOD CAN TAKE ME WHERE I AM
If God could take David and make him a shepherd of a nation and the apostles and make them fishers of men, I had to ask what can God make me. Maybe a mother to many. My children are all gone but mothering is needed everywhere we turn.
I CAN FACE BIG THINGS WITH GOD'S HELP
This is probably the first lesson any of us learned about David as children. We learned how he killed Goliath. Against all visible odds he killed the giant defending the Name of his God. I need to learn to stand up for God without fear and not let people defame His Name.
THERE IS A TIME TO RUN AND A TIME TO REIGN
David knew that it would not serve God's purpose to fight Saul. He needed to wait for God to show him when to reign. Sometimes we need to step back or even run away from a bad situation when our staying will cause more harm for God than good. David didn't want to cause trouble for God's kingdom and neither should we. God will give me a way to serve but it may not include proving my point or having my way.
LOVE DOES NOT END WITH DEATH
We can see this with David's love for Jonathan and Absalom. He loved both and mourned both when they died.
LOVE ME, LOVE MY CHILDREN (warts and all)
One of the ways David showed his love for Jonathan and honored him after his death was by honoring his son. Jonathan's son was lame and would not have been seen fit to sit at a king's table, but David honored him, loved him and treated him as a son because he loved his father. My dearest friends are the ones who have loved my children through very difficult times in their lives. They have accepted them even at times when they have been "spiritually lame."
THERE IS TRUTH OR THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES
Since we have all studied David, I think we would only have to say the word "Bathsheba" to understand this point. This is something we need to remember ourselves, remind each other and teach our children. We also need reminders that consequences are not just for us but hurt others we love.
KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG IS NOT ENOUGH
David knew right from wrong but applied it to others easier than himself. He understood Nathan's story about the little ewe lamb but not his sin with Bathsheba. He understood the lady who wanted mercy for her son but not his mistreatment of Absalom. We need to apply what we know to our own lives not just others. The New Testament says don't try to get the speck out of someone else's eye when there is a beam in your own. That ewe lamb was just a speck compared to David's adultery, murder and cover up, but David quickly said, "Kill the man." How harsh we can be on others with our knowledge of the truth and how dense we can be in our own lives.
I CAN BEG FOR MY WAY BUT MUST SURRENDER TO HIS
We see this as David pleads with God to save his baby son even though God has already said he would die. Yet when the child died, David accepted God's way and worshiped. We also have an example of this in the life of Jesus. He knew that he was to die. He told others he would die but he begged God to find another way. Yet he yielded to God's way. We don't have to fear telling God what we want, even begging for it, but we have to surrender to His way.
IT'S OKAY TO BE AN IDEA PERSON
Some of my best ideas come between 4 and 6 am. Now my husband doesn't want to hear them at that time of morning so I always wonder if they will sound as good to me when daylight comes. Some do and some don't. I used to have a friend who could take an idea that I had for a bulletin board, a lesson plan or most anything and do a much better job than the picture in my head. I really wanted my hands to be able to actually do what my mind could see though I appreciated her efforts very much. David had this wonderful idea for a temple and had to let someone else do it. When he knew he couldn't do it he was happy to gather materials and get things ready. Maybe some of us are idea people. Solomon got credit for building the temple. (It was called Solomon's temple.) I wonder if many times he looked at it and said to himself, "This was Dad's idea." It doesn't matter who has the idea or who does the work as long as God is glorified.
THE MORE YOU LOVE THE MORE YOU HURT
I have a friend who often calls when she has been hurt by something her daughter has done. She will ask, "Why does it hurt so much?" and I will tell her that it is because she loves so much. David saw many, many men die in battle, but the deaths of Jonathan and Absalom hurt him so much because he loved them so much. David had a son who was physically perfect. I'm sure he was so proud of him and then so hurt by him. But his love for him never stopped. He said he wished he could have died for him. Many of us have had really cute, and in our own eyes, perfect babies who have grown up to hurt us very much. But just like David, we hurt so much because we love them to the point of dying for them if it would help. The more we love the more we hurt.
I CAN BARE MY SOUL TO THE LORD
The last thing I have learned from David is what he wrote in Psalms. He could bear his soul to God. He could tell God his real feelings, his real doubts, his real struggles, his real sins and his real love. Let's learn to be honest with God like David was and then we can be a woman after God's own heart.
David knew he was king but he knew God was God. We need to always be aware of who we are and who God is.
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