Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Vision (1.8.15): David's Life Verse: 2 Samuel 4:9

Note:  The devotion is taken from last Sunday’s sermon Out of All Adversity (2 Samuel 4).

In this series we have already taken occasion to draw parallels between David and Christ, but in this passage I think we can draw parallels between David and the Christian.  Here we might say that David is a type or model for every believer.  Every believer can say as David does:  “As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity” (2 Samuel 4:9).

This statement is, of course, particularly compelling when we consider the life of David.  One might even say that 2 Samuel 4:9 was David’s “life verse.”  It is expressed here at the start of David’s reign as king and it is stated at the very end of his life and service as king.  Compare:

1 Kings 1:29 And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,

In his commentary on 2 Samuel, Dale Ralph Davis observes:  “David and distress walked together his whole life” (p. 9).

Consider the distresses which David had faced up to the time when he made this statement in 2 Samuel 4:9:

·        He had had to face Goliath on the field of battle (1 Sam 17).
·        His own brothers had accused him of “pride and naughtiness [insolence] of heart” (1 Sam 17:28).
·        He had endured the irrational envy and hatred of Saul.
·        Though he played his harp to soothe Saul’s distemper, Saul cast a spear at him attempting to pin him to the wall (1 Sam 18:10).
·        Saul required him to deliver 100 Philistine foreskins (hoping he would die in the process) to marry Michal (1 Sam 18).
·        Again, Saul tried to pin him to the wall with a spear and then to arrest him in his home and he had to escape through a window (1 Sam 19).
·        Saul’s hatred for him meant he had to flee to the wilderness.
·        When he was given bread from the priest of Nob, Saul accused those innocent men of conspiracy and slaughtered them (1 Sam 21-22).
·        David had to flee to the Philistines, Israel’s enemy, for safety and he had to pretend to be mad before the King of Gath, scrabbling and scratching at the doors of the gate and letting spittle fall down on his beard (1 Sam 21:13).
·        Even when David twice spared Saul’s life, Saul continued vigorously to pursue him.
·        He had to endure the scorn of the fool Nabal who taunted him saying, “Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master” (1 Sam 25:10).
·        He had his home at Ziklag burned by the Amalekites and his family and possessions carried away which he had to fight to recapture.
·        He received news of the death of his king and of his dearest friend, the king’s son, Jonathan.

David’s life brings to mind the book “Unbroken” which has now been made into a popular film about the life of Louie Zamperini who went from being a juvenile delinquent to a boxer to a soldier shot down in the ocean to a prisoner of war.  Perhaps the title over David should be “unbroken” because the LORD liveth and he redeemed his soul out of all adversity.

We are also to consider that the God of David is the Shepherd of our souls, and he will be faithful to deliver us even as he did David.

Of course, there is an ultimate spiritual fulfillment of David’s words.  Not only can the Lord redeem his people out of the realm of temporal difficulties and adversity, but he has already saved us from our sin and from being crushed by the just wrath of God.  “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9).

This is his ultimate saving act.  We are unbroken because he was broken for us.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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