A few weeks ago, my wife and I spent a few days in beautiful Lancaster, PA. On the list of planned activities was seeing the production of David at the Sight and Sound Theatre. Over the past few months, I have had some co-workers and friends tell me what a great show it was and that I should definitely go see it. They were right. I will tell you the same thing. If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, check it out. Everything about it was top notch. From the stages and sets, to the lighting, to the music, to the performances, it was Broadway quality. There were even live animals that came through the crowd and onto the stage! This particular production took 4 years to make and it certainly showed! The 2 ½ hour show chronicled all of the major events of David’s life from his childhood until his death.
Most of us are familiar with David’s life in the Bible. He is one of the most well known people mentioned and his encounter with Goliath is the greatest underdog story of all time. Throughout his life, he experienced many successes and failures. There are “feel good” stories and tragedies. It’s so easy to gloss over them because we probably heard and read about them so many times, but when you really stop and contemplate his actual life, it is quite remarkable. He had such a fervor towards God at a young age. He was the only one willing to venture out and fight a Philistine giant over 9 feet tall. And he was only a teenager! Imagine that! To have that strong of faith in God knowing you were going to win. That was David. That’s who he was. That unwavering faith carried on into his adulthood and all the way through his kingdom, in which he reigned for 40 years.
All of his amazing faithful acts and “feel good” stories didn’t come without the tragedies, however. Of course you know the story of him and Bathsheba, whom he committed adultery with and then tried to cover it up by recalling her husband from battle to get him to sleep with her so that everyone would think he was the father. Uriah, one of David’s mighty men, was too loyal to his fellow soldiers and had too much integrity to sleep with his wife while his comrades were at war. David then ordered him to the frontlines of battle to be killed. It’s very sad and very tragic.
Even though David committed these dreadful sins, God said that he was a man after His own heart.
Acts 13:21-22 (NKJV)
21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
Did you ever really wonder why God still considered David a man after His own heart despite those egregious sins? David messed up like Saul did, but yet God saw them very differently. While Saul certainly looked the part, he didn’t own up to his sinful actions. He tried to justify them. That was the major difference between the two. God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7: But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Even though David messed up badly, he eventually realized his sins, repented of them, and kept his trust in God. God knew his heart was bent towards Him. Throughout his life, David demonstrated: faith, trust, love, humility, integrity, forgiveness, and Godly worship.
Think about our own lives and how bad we mess up at times. David’s life can serve as both a reminder and an encouragement of how God views it. Always remember that God doesn’t see things like people do. He does not look at the outward appearance, but the condition of our heart. Do we have faith? Do we trust? Do we love? Do we demonstrate humility, integrity, and forgiveness? Do we worship God? We may never face a giant like David did or rule a nation, but we too can seek God’s heart everyday. That’s how we become more like Him and change the world around us. Walk in that truth today!