My Favorite Bible Character: David: Ross Haffner

My Favorite Bible Character: David: Ross Haffner

After King Saul’s reign was proven to be a disaster, by disobedience to God, he was told that it would not continue and that the, “Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). David was chosen because “the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). Four key moments from David’s life illustrate why he was a good choice.

David Chose Faith Over Fear (1 Sam. 17:1-58). When David surveyed the situation at the Valley of Elah the Philistines and Israel had gathered for war but no battle had begun. An enormous warrior from the Philistine camp named Goliath mocked the armies of the people of God and terrified them to the point that no one would accept his challenge. It is interesting to note what David knew. He knew the right thing to do was to stand up to the terrible foe. When no one would, he took the responsibility to deal with the blasphemer upon himself. Knowing the right thing to do, but not doing it would have been cowardly. Furthermore, he knew attempting to fight in a way that did not suit his skill set was folly. David did not fear the giant from Gath because he knew that his God was greater. We must know that the thought of doing the right thing can produce fear, but the faithful choose to be doers of the word, and not hearers only (Jas. 1:22).

David Chose Respect Over Revenge (1 Sam. 24:1-22; 26:1-25). After the defeat of the Philistines David became a popular figure in Israel. Saul was jealous and eventually deranged enough to make attempts to end David’s life. But David did not become bitter towards Saul. Instead of lashing out in revenge when opportunities presented themselves, David’s choice was to respect the man as God’s anointed king and spare Saul’s life. When Christians become bitter over trouble makers in the church or the culture shifting away from biblical values they end up doing more harm than good. A Christian who seeks revenge is not defending the truth, despite what he might think, and is certainly not respecting souls made in God’s image who need the gospel.

David Chose Conviction Over Confrontation (2 Sam. 12:1-15). David was a godly man who sought the Lord during his reign. He wrote many of the Psalms that instruct, challenge, and encourage us today. However, the Bible does not shy away from David’s weaknesses and mistakes. When he saw Bathsheba, another man’s wife, bathing on her rooftop, he lusted and had an adulterous relationship with her while her husband, Uriah, was away serving in David’s army. When they discovered Bathsheba was pregnant with David’s child, he attempted to cover his sin first by calling Uriah home and then by having his general leave Uriah exposed in the battle to be killed. David’s sin was not hidden from God, who sent His prophet Nathan to confront the guilty king. When David could have ignored or disposed of the prophet, he was convicted because of his sin, repented, and confessed (Ps. 51). It’s not easy to admit fault, especially when we have the power to hide it. A humble spirit will remember that God sees all that we have done, said, and thought. If we will admit our faults we can show fruit worthy of repentance and move forward in peace with others and with God.

David Chose Mercy Over Malice (2 Sam. 16:5-14). Part of David’s punishment for the sins with Bathsheba and against Uriah comes to the forefront through the king’s son Absalom. When Absalom successfully turned the heart of the people of Israel to himself, David was forced to flee Jerusalem. On the way, Shimei, of the house of Saul, took the opportunity to kick David while he was down. Shimei cursed and threw stones at the king and his servants. Though David’s mighty men were with him, he chose to move on instead of responding to the ignorant curses of Shimei with an attack (2 Sam. 16:6, 11-12). David also hoped for blessings from God for himself instead of punishment for Shimei as recompense for his evil. Patiently waiting for God’s blessings amidst the trouble is a consistent theme during the darkest days of David’s rule. 

David inspires us to trust God more deeply, leave revenge in His hands, look beyond self-interest, and make corrections where needed. He was far from perfect, but he was the best king Israel ever had until his Descendant took the throne eternally (Matt. 1:6; 28:18). David’s consistent love for God through all he faced is worthy of emulation.