Hall of Faith – David
David is certainly a rock star when it comes to Biblical characters. It starts with Goliath. The Bible tells about the attack by the Philistines and how David kills their strongest man, a giant by the name of Goliath with a few stones and a sling shot. God was pleased with David for being the only one to have the courage to stand up for God’s people in God’s name and not be frightened that God would not protect him. David is chosen king and eventually becomes king. Under David’s leadership as king of Israel the nation had more land, prosperity and success than ever before. He was known as a bold man of character, a man after God’s own heart, and a man easy to follow. But even King David had some weaknesses. David ultimately paid a high price for pride, something he seemed to struggle with his whole life, and is an example of the bottom-line for the message this week: sinful pride will cost me more than you want to pay. “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” – Proverbs 29:23
Something To Talk About:
Luther once said, “I am more afraid of self than the pope and all his cardinals…the pope of my own heart.” Pride is our great enemy. It motivates you to do things that you know are not Christ like, and it hinders you from doing what brings glory to God. It cost David a great deal and it can cost each one of us.
- Hold on when I should let go: The point is we need the wisdom to know when to let things go and when is the right time to do so. C. S. Lewis said that “The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose.”
- Depend on your self when I should depend on God: We have always been encouraged to “believe in yourself and you can do anything”, to think that “I can do it!”, to have the attitude that “I can shape my own destiny.” This often leads to pride as it did David. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Pride is leaning on our own understanding; depending on our own strength. We need to acknowledge and trust in God. And most of all, depend on Him for everything.
- Hide my faults when I should confess them: Psalm 19:12- 13 says: “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” God’s way of dealing with hidden faults is either to send somebody to point them out to you or to bring them out through some circumstance in which you are suddenly confronted with what you have done or said and you find that it is ugly and you do not like it. That is the way God cleanses us from hidden faults. He opens up the secret places. David learned that several times. What David knew, and we should as well, is that God is determined to love us no matter what. That makes our faults and fears less threatening. And we don’t have to hide behind thinking that we have it all together. The reality is, God’s love is perfect, and He wants to cover our faults with Jesus Christ.
- What are some good pride areas?
- Being open and honest, have you ever gone through a season when you struggled with pride? How did it affect your relationships with others? With God? How did God address that issue in your life?
Look at Matthew 6:33. According to this verse, what should be our first priority? How can we live that out in our day-to-day lives – for instance, at work? In our families? In our friendships? In our dreams and hopes for the future?
- Read James 4: 7-10. Is humility critical to overcoming pride?
- This week, spend some time learning what God has to say about pride. For starters, Proverbs is chock-full of warnings of the effects of pride. See how many you can find, and discuss what you observe.
- If you feel the Holy Spirit pointing out areas of pride in your life, pray that God will deal with those areas in your life this week.
Take One Thing Home with You
“ Have mercy on me, O God,according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” – Psalms 51:1-12
David’s prayer is a plea for forgiveness. He begs God to forgive his sin, “blot out my transgressions.” David was really struggling like most of us who have sinned. He was struggling so much that he begs God to “not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.” What did David fear? He feared God would reject him. He wanted forgiveness – he wanted God to love him. He was concerned he had really done it this time and did not know the outcome. He thought he had crossed the line too many times.
Have you ever been in that situation? Yes, we repent of our sin and we are genuinely sorry. And yes, we believe God forgives our sins, but have I crossed the line in this case? Am I past the point of no return? David was a broken man over his sin. He asks God to look away – to hide His face from David. He pleads for forgiveness. How did he get in this mess? The answer is in verse 6, “Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom.” David was not being honest with himself, yet he was a man after God’s heart. Romans 7:15: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
David was at the height of his power. He was no longer a poor, overlooked shepherd, he was the king, and his kingdom was large and powerful. Everyone answered to him and he answered to no one. He was an extraordinary man. But when you study the life of David, you will see how his selfish desires led him to commit many sins against God. His selfishness was rooted in pride, in the idea that his will was more important than God’s will. As much as he was extraordinary, he was also ordinary.