Trusting in God

By Rev. David Wilson Rogers |  December 7, 2013

            Jesse’s youngest son knew things were not going well. He had enjoyed unquestioned success and dynamic triumph in his days. Yet, at this point, there was not much left for this broken man. His rise from obscurity to unquestioned greatness was apparently now over.
            Some say that his head had grown too big as a result of his unquestionable success. Many argued that his problem was that he started making decisions by his passions rather than by prayerful consideration. Others believe that his unquenchable desire for control had finally caught up with him. Whatever the reasons, one thing was clear. For all his triumphant success and genuine greatness, Jesse’s son had also made some very serious mistakes in life—mistakes that were now coming back to haunt him in a very devastating way. It was, perhaps, the lowest point in David’s entire life. Jesse’s youngest son, the King of Israel, was totally disgraced.
            The seeds of David’s demise were sown years earlier when the young king turned his focus from God to the naked beauty of a married woman he happened to see from a distance. Possessed with lust for another man’s wife, the king arranged a private meeting in his chambers. The subsequent pregnancy resulted in a murderous cover-up and a catastrophic rift in David’s family. That rift was now coming full circle!
            The sinful events from several years earlier tore through the fabric of David’s family in devastating ways. Brothers turned against brothers as rape, incest, and murder permeated the king’s family. Eventually, one of his sons forcefully removed David from the throne and forced the once-great ruler to leave Jerusalem in shame and disgrace.
            Walking away from the city that David had personally dedicated to God’s glory and in whose majestic walls he had ruled with God’s blessing, he was now a shadow of his former self. No longer a great warrior and king, David was now a pathetic loser and disgraced failure forced to face the brutal reality of his sinful mistakes from years before.
            Out of loyalty to the king, a few of his dedicated priests saw fit to restore some of David’s dignity by bringing the Ark of the Covenant out of the city to travel into exile with the disgraced king. The move was reasonable. David was God’s anointed, not his rebellious son. With the Ark at his side, David’s dignity would be preserved and perhaps even a fleeting hope of God’s hand to restore the true king to the throne. Besides, leaving the Ark in the hands of David’s son would look as if God actually approved of his murderous rise to power over David.
            David would not have it! Out of his misery and disgrace, David rose before the priests carrying the Ark and demanded it be returned to God’s city where it belonged. David then uttered what were perhaps some of his most profound and prophetic words. David told all gathered in the presence of the Ark that if he were to find favor with God, he trusted that God would restore him to the Ark in Jerusalem. If not, David continued, he was willing to trust God’s judgment over his sins and accept his new life as one banished from God’s city and the comforting presence of the Ark in his midst.
            David’s humble surrender before the hand of God and in the midst of tremendous tumult among God’s people serves as both his lowest point, and his greatest! He had learned that trusting his own ambitions ended in death and disaster—and God restored David. With little less to lose, he made the humble decision to trust rather in God’s judgment. It is that trust, particularly when we find ourselves broken by the consequences of past mistakes, that God restores our hope, just as God did for David.