We’re just finishing the life of King David as we make our way thru the “Bible In A Year” with Fr. Mike Schmitz; in truth it may end up being the Bible in two or three years. King David is such a compelling character… certainly one of my favorites.
We follow the simple shepherd boy who becomes the young man who kills the giant Goliath with a sling shot… to the warrior fleeing King Saul for his life… to finally the King of Israel….MAGNIFICENT. But then there is the FLAWED adulterer and murderer of his servant Uriah. Yikes.
And yet in his “ups and downs”, David is describes as a man after God’s own heart. He bounces from one great act of courage and love to another act of sin and stupidity. If you take away the magnitude of his acts, we are a lot like David…we also bounce back and forth between love and sin.
I found the passages describing the end of David’s life (2 Sam. 22-23) as riveting and captivating as those earlier adventures. David has now reigned for 40 years as King; he is old and ready to die. David again prays Psalm 18, as he did years earlier as a new and powerful king. He has lived a life of magnificent victories and terrible sin and tragedy. As he looks back on these 40 years, he praises God and recounts all the time God saved him in his battles, how God’s grace and goodness and gentleness made him great. David is not bitter and corrupted; he is not resentful over his tragedies. He is grateful and gives praise to the Lord. He also thanks God for all the mighty men who stood with him in his trials.
Fr. Mike uses David as a barometer for us as we come to the end of our life, or even the end of a season of our life …are we bitter and resentful of the tragedies we’ve experienced and complain about our crosses , or do we raise our hands in praise to God for a good life, for all the blessings we’ve received, all the wonderful brothers and sisters we’ve known who have helped us in our struggles. Let’s pray Psalm 18, thanking God for our life and the many blessings …. not resentful, but grateful. It’s a great reminder for all of us as we age. (Look up Day 140 in the Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz)
May we end our life and the various stages of our life with Psalm 18 on our lips…. recounting the goodness of God and how he has saved us and blessed us.
“Yea, thou dost light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness.Yea, by thee I can crush a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God–his way is perfect; the promise of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?–the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe.He made my feet like hinds’ feet, and set me secure on the heights.He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. Thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation, and thy right hand supported me, and thy help made me great.Thou didst give a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.… The LORD lives; and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation,the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me;who delivered me from my enemies … for this I will extol thee, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to thy name.(Ps. 18:28-49)