April 23 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far… For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.” ~David, 2 Samuel 7:18, 21

At last, the worshipping community has a king to whom they can look for protection and inspiration. David is portrayed as the ideal king, and indeed, he has many qualities worthy of our admiration. First and foremost, David is zealous for God’s glory. He seeks to honor God in everything he does. In today’s reading, he dreams of building a permanent place of worship in Jerusalem, the new capital city. (While he is commended for his desire, the task will fall to his son.)

Second, David is a person of genuine humility. Notice how he acknowledges God as the giver of all that he has and declares himself unworthy of the rich blessings. He does not say to himself, “I deserve this; I’ve worked hard and put up with a lot.” (Although, indeed he had!) David’s heart is revealed in his prayer of praise in 2 Samuel 7:18 (written above). He also asked God to continue to bless him (v. 7:29).

Third, David’s courage is worthy of our admiration. The giant slayer seated on the throne uses his power to protect the people he serves and to put down wicked nations who corrupt the land. (Remember the wicked practices of the Canaanites? David finally deals with them!) David is not depicted as a petty tyrant stirring up trouble, but rather he is a warrior-king unafraid of petty tyrants who stir up trouble! It is not revenge he administers; it is justice. David is praised for his courage, and he is feared by the surrounding nations.

Finally, today’s reading shows that David is a man of kindness. While he certainly does not tolerate injustice, he is not one to hold a grudge. Having enjoyed so much of God’s blessing, he looks for ways to show kindness to Saul’s family. Imagine a powerful president honoring the legacy of the man who lied, cheated, and stole to defeat him in the last election! In essence, this is what David does by elevating Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth. He does not need to be kind. He wants to be.

What do you admire most about David? If it’s his passion for God, how can you emulate his devotion in your own life? Worship was this king’s greatest priority. If it’s his humility, how can you follow his example? David acknowledged God as the source of all his blessings. How about his courage? You don’t have to be a king to stand up to a bully, defend a weaker person, speak up for what is right, or to tell a gossip to shut his pie hole! (Yes, doing any of these things involves risk, but that’s the point!) Is it his kindness that most inspires you? The man could have eliminated the entire house of his former enemy with one word, a common practice in ancient politics! Instead, he showed kindness to those who had wronged him. How can YOU do that in your life?

David is not perfect, as we shall see, but he is held up to as someone who pleased God. Here is a hero we are encouraged to emulate.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.