Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Was David walking in love?

"The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming" (Psalm 37: 12,13).

If you could sit down with one character from the Bible, other than Jesus, and have a conversation with them today, who would it be?

For me, it's David. No question about it. And Psalm 37 is one of my favorite of his writings.

Take a few minutes today to read it.

There seems to be such an incredible confidence in his God during the worst of situations. Ever notice that?

That's the kind of believer I want to be. A believer that knows that God is still on the throne, no matter what, and he is worthy of our praise despite anything going on around us.

That, in a nutshell, would be a great way to summarize David's core message in the Psalms. I like this concept of God being a God of justice, like we see in Psalm 37.

Why was he so confident? Some might even call it arrogance.

No, it wasn't arrogance. David knew in whom he had believed. David also knew his God was completely faithful and able to accomplish the higher purposes for his life.

And David was a warrior, too, wasn't he? There are many times I'll read something he writes in one of the Psalms about his enemies and think, "Hey David...where's the love? You need to be loving on those people. Shame on you for wishing that ruin would overtake your enemies by surprise (Psalm 35: 8).

That's not walking in love, David. I thought it was all about love, love, love, love, love.

I guess before Jesus came along you didn't really have to love your enemies.

No, you see, David understood a very important concept. That concept is that sometimes in life, love requires taking a stand. He understood that loving others didn't mean he had to accept prolonged horse manure from those pursuing him while seeking his life and livelihood.

I guess it's kind of like when Jesus, our ultimate model of walking in love, flipped out and overturned those tables. Jesus, like David, understood that love often required standing up for what's right.

I like that about Jesus and David. I want to be like them.

That's the fear of God! When Jesus comes where I am and starts throwing stuff around and whipping the cattle, I'm afraid. I'm very afraid.

How about you today? Are the enemies in your life getting increasing difficult to love? Maybe its time to put your foot down. David did. Throw some tables over, maybe. Jesus did.

Maybe we need to take a more balanced approach to this concept of walking in love. Does it mean we let people consistently walk on us?

No, it doesn't. If you fear and respect and revere the spirit of the Living God within you, you'll only take so much of that.

And what in the world is this guy's story? I found this picture when I typed "King David" into Google images. I'm not sure what it has to do with King David, but I like the picture. He looks cooler than TobyMac.

But anyway, let's learn from David today. Let's learn from Jesus. Are there situations in your life today where loving others might require a bit more firmness on your part?

Maybe we let stuff go on for too long under the guise of "walking in love." I know I've been guilty of that. I fear the Lord too much to let that happen in my future.

Do you think David would have written some of the Psalms the same way he did if he had a copy of 1 Corinthians 13 opened up in front of him? Some of his writing definitely wouldn't fall into the category of "kind" or "keeping no record of wrongs."

Was he a man after God's own heart, or not?

Seems like David had an interesting view, that the love of God included the justice of God.

I like that. That works for me. I think the key is trusting God to exercise that justice. And stepping in and doing our part when we have to. That's what I'm going to do.

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