David in the Old Testament has always brought me comfort.
After he committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband (2 Samuel 11), God used David’s marriage to Bathsheba to be the family that would lead to Jesus. Beautiful grace that makes me want to cry.
But this week, as I read through 1 Samuel, I realized David is even more my hero, because he was always just a man.
In 1 Samuel 17, he argued with his brother.
David wept bitterly in chapter 20 when he knew Saul wanted to kill him.
In chapter 21, as he fled, he lied to the priest, saying he was on a special mission for Saul, and he begged for the consecrated bread.
In chapter 22, Saul learned the priest helped David, and he had all the priests and their town killed. One lived, Abiathar, son of the priest who helped David. Abiathar fled to David, and David spoke some of the kindest words I’ve found from him: “Then David said to Abiathar, ‘That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.’” 1 Samuel 22:22-23.
In chapter 24 David cut off a piece of Saul’s robe, to show he could have killed him. Then he was sorry and told Saul he could not kill him because he, Saul, was God’s anointed.
David asked Nabal for food for his men in chapter 25, because David and his men had protected Nabal’s shepherds when they were near them. Nabal refused to help David, and David was so mad he intended to kill every man with Nabal.
When Nabal’s wife Abigail brought David food and asked him not to be violent, he listened to her wisdom and thanked God for sending her to keep him from killing unnecessarily.
David showed sinfulness, sorrow, great anger, justice, trickery, kindness. He was a normal man. But in his weakness, he turned to God and begged for forgiveness and help. He is a hero to me.
Psalm 51: 12: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”