When we look at the life of King Saul from 1 Samuel 28, we see the end of Saul’s life. His disobedience to God cost him everything, including his sanity. When Saul dies and David becomes king, the Scripture says that David and a handful of his closest friends, tore their clothes and they wept and they mourned for Saul for a number of days because they still honored the office, even though the man who was in the office had not proven to be faithful or loyal in any sense.
Two principles from the life of King David
- David showed unwavering loyalty. No matter if things were going well or even if things were going wrong, David constantly sought guidance from the Lord and not just the principles but also the particulars.
Sometimes it's easy to trust God for the big things in our life. But in the day-to-day issues we can easily say, okay, I got this one, God, I don't need to bother you. I know what to do here. But David learned what it means to live life in a constant state of surrender. Seeking God in all things and in all ways, and understanding that it's through a life of surrender, that we actually experience supernatural strength of God.
David had a healthy fear of God. In Numbers 4:15, when God gave instructions for the Ark of the Covenant to be built the first time, he said, once it's built, don't touch it for it is holy. Whoever touches it will surely die. There's a passage of scripture here where David is is bringing the Ark of the Covenant and it's on a cart is being pulled by oxen. The Bible says that one of the oxen jumped or fell on something and the ark began to kind of shuffle a little bit. A guy named Uzzah reached out and he touched it and he died. The death of Uzzah when he touched the Ark was a shocking and vivid reminder that God is absolute in his rule, his power, and his authority. And in fact, in verse nine of that chapter, it says that David feared the Lord. Proverbs says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
A surrendered life
David knew the success of what living a surrendered life looked like. But he also knew God through His Holy Spirit. I'll put it this way–God is like the perfect gentleman. What I mean by that is God's never going to huff and puff and blow his way into your life and knock down things that you don't want to. He always waits for us to willingly surrender and lay it down before Him.
We read the story of how David celebrated the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. As David is bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the city walls, David takes off the outer garment of being a king. He offers incredible sacrifices to be delivered, and it says that he was dancing before the Lord with all of his might. The priests and the people are singing. They're worshiping like everybody is happy.
Everything is going well except for David's wife, who is in the palace watching her husband dance. You might have heard some people say, well, did he dance naked? No, he was not naked. But sometimes, that word is used in different translations. He was wearing an ephod, which is the inside garment of a priest.
David was showing that I am removing everything that says I am royalty and I'm here as a servant to worship our great God. There's a passage of scripture that describes this. It says David retorted to Michel, because the Bible just before that says that she resented David with disgust and disdain when she saw how he was behaving because she thought he was lowering himself. And David retorted Michel, he says, I was dancing before the Lord who chose me above your father and all of his family. He is the one who appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord. So I celebrate before the Lord.
So, Michel, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life. And the Bible goes on in this particular section. And it says that David had victory after victory in this season of his life and leadership. God promised David he would be victorious.
What do promises and prayers from thousands of years ago have to do with us today? In Malachi 3:6, the Lord says, I do not change. I never change. So the same promises God gives to David are those He's offering to us today. And in the same way, God provided a way for Moses and the Israelites to cross through the sea, He can provide the same way through whatever situation or life circumstance you're going through in your life and leadership.
In the same way that He comforted Mary when she got the news that she was going to be the mother of Christ, and it felt like her world was crumbling and spinning out of control, God was the one who comforted her in that specific situation. I don't know what you're going through, but I know that the same God who is faithful to all these people for all generations can do the same thing no matter what you're facing today.