David's Bildungsroman part 1

Psalm 27 is a wonderful expression by David of complete confidence in God. He sees God as parent (verse 10), as provider (v. 4), as strength (v. 1) and refuge (v. 5).

The life of David is somewhat of an enigma to me. I'll explain. David lived before Jesus in a time when anyone who was Jewish was expected—commanded—to live under the law of Moses. A strict regiment of outward proofs of inward allegiance. Yet David exhibited something deeper and more profound. Namely, the grace of God. And he communicated through his Psalms an understanding of Him that was light years ahead of his peers. This isn't to say he was without his flaws but in my opinion that's neither here nor there. To a degree, it doesn't make sense to me why the positive lessons inherent in the character of the biblical characters need always be tempered with a negative. Yes, we need lessons in what to do and what not to do, but a person's sin and shortcomings are never mentioned in their eulogy. If one feels the need to tack on mention of David's sins to every lesson from his life, why don't they deal with their own instead? I've heard people naively dismiss their own while condemning him. And the cycle will repeat itself in others with whom they come into contact. I have a whole book entitled THE SINS OF KING DAVID. Okay, the title's not in all caps but it may as well be. The cover sports a renaissance painting of David lecherously luring Bathsheba into adultery. How hypocritical. As an aside, this is why anyone who dies we think may not have been Christian should still be treated with respect and honor as creations of God. The best of someone should still be believed.

I suppose the reason David experienced God in this way throughout his life is because he did just that. He believed the best of God through all of the times in which circumstances might dictate God's character as something other than what David encountered as a child while tending sheep and composing hymns in the pasture.

When I consciously met God at 17, life became beautiful and wondrous and full of exciting encounters with Him in unexpected places. But it also lacked the stability and temperance and wisdom of a life that had stuck with Him when things were hard. We can't live on the mountaintop all the time. Yet there are pastures on mountains and in the valleys. Anywhere we are—high or low—we can sing to God.

A bildungsroman is a story (usually fiction, in this case non) detailing the spiritual development of its main character. Asaph wrote of David in Psalm 78 (verses 70-72):

"He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So He fed them according to the integrity of His heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands."

Over the next few days, I'm going to flesh out this passage and see how it applies to the ups and downs that we all face in some way shape or form—for today.

David's Bildungsroman part 2

Making It Happen