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Strength and Weakness

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Photo Credit: Heidi McNeil

November 16, 2022

Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. God values and attends to every prayer. It is one of His ways of reminding us of His love.

The story of David carries over from 1 Samuel into 2 Samuel. In 1 Samuel, he is anointed by God, honored by the people, rejected, and hunted by the king. 2 Samuel is the narrative of his reign.

The 2 Books of Samuel are classified as one book in the Jewish canon and can be considered as such. “The division was first made in the Septuagint translation, where they are reckoned as belonging to the Books of the Kings, and are called ‘the books of the kingdoms’” (The Preachers Homiletical Commentary).

The first section of the book highlights his life of faith and victory. The second section records a number of defeats in David’s life when he made decisions marked by unbelief; it also includes his times of repentance and restorations. He was a man of great strength and also weakness.

It is quite traceable that the success of David’s life hinged on dependance upon God. His strength came from the Lord. This is the case with all of us!

On the other hand, the struggles to which David succumbed to came as a result of his lack of faith in God. His downfall and failure came when he got his eyes off the Lord. This, too, is true in each of our lives.

As we consider a few areas of his life, you will notice this dualistic characteristic that often defined him. The song, Two Hands, by Jars of Clay, comes to mind. One stanza says,

I use one hand to pull closer

The other to push you away

If I had two hands doing the same thing

Lifted high, lifted high.

David’s rise to power was honorable. He didn’t circumvent the purposes of God. He knew he was anointed king but he didn’t push to move into that position. There was a certain humility that David had, as he recognized that it was God who raised him up and not himself.

He had learned in those difficult days of running from King Saul that God’s good hand was upon him. God was protecting him from danger. God was giving him direction as to where to go, and God was enabling him to do His will. While in one of those dark caves, he said, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by” (Psalm 57:1).

May each of us learn to take refuge in our God!

David’s battles were commendable. When David became king, He brought God into his battle plans. For example, when the Philistines heard that he was king, they mobilized their forces against him. This is what David did: “And David inquired of the LORD, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?’ And the LORD said to David, ‘Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand’” (2 Samuel 5:19).

When we turn to the Lord in our distress, He will answer!

David’s sin with Bathsheba was awful. This is where his life took a spiral downward. The sad story is found in 2 Samuel 11. He saw. He lusted. He acted. He hid. He lied. And he murdered.

We learn from this incident that God is gracious, but sin has dire consequences.

David’s treatment of his family was negligent. He was a good man for leading a nation and a good man for fighting battles, but he sadly was a poor family man. In some ways, he sacrificed his family for these other pursuits, and that was unacceptable.

Allow me to highlight a few: David had many wives. While God tolerated this in the Old Testament, it was far from His ideal. David didn’t properly discipline his son Amnon for his wicked deeds (2 Samuel 13). He was pressured to forgive his son Absalom, but never pursued true reconciliation (2 Samuel 14).

Despite his sin and shortcomings, David had a heart for God, as his recorded words reflect. David’s psalm was beautiful. It was a song of deliverance, and it can be read in 2 Samuel 22 or in Psalm 18.

He saw the LORD for who He was. He loved the Lord and sought to follow Him.

As we consider the life of this notable king, may each of us seek our God with all our being.

Love in Christ,

Bryan and Rachel


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