David is enduring great trials, possibly because of his own sin. He cries out to God and He hears him and gives comfort to David’s soul.
Something has brought David low. I wonder what it could be. It sounds like David believes it is his own sin. He isn’t crying out as to “why” this is happening but asking God to for mercy instead. “I know I deserve punishment but please be gentle with me. Restore me please instead of giving me the full measure that I deserve.”
David’s argument about God not getting praise from the grave is interesting. IF God wanted to, He could make the rocks cry out His praise. He doesn’t NEED any of us to declare His name or His works. Israel didn’t need to boast about God drying up the sea for them to have the ‘neighbors’ hear of His deeds. He made sure there were those about to witness His hand, independent of Israel. Who would believe such stories if they weren’t independently verified? The nations trembled because of the works of His hands that THEY witnessed.
But God is also not deaf to the pleas of His children. He is waiting patiently for us to call out to Him. David was usually quite quick to repent of his sin, once confronted with it. I’m pretty sure he KNEW he had sinned BEFORE Nathan called him out but he hadn’t repented until then. By that time the price of his sin was costly. I wonder what would have happened if he had repented independently. What price would God have required of him?
I don’t believe that David is calling on God during the ‘Uriah and Bathsheba’ incident. His punishment was the death of the son they conceived. God didn’t relent on that requirement. And David appears to be comforted by God’s answer to this specific prayer. David’s praise concerns God hearing his cries and accepting his prayers. Then David rejoices because his enemies will be thwarted because God’s favor rests on him again.
Having God’s favor again is enough for me, most times. Other times I REALLY want my prayer answered. Have you ever felt like your prayers hit the ceiling and bounce right back? I think David was experiencing this too. He kept calling, night after night until FINALLY he felt a break through.
David’s example is one we need to follow in those times. 1) Examine yourself and see if you can identify the ‘block’ in the relationship, 2) repent when you find it (if you can’t, include a request for its revelation to your prayers), and 3) KEEP calling out to Him. Don’t give up! Even Daniel had to pray for WEEKS before his answer was delivered.
The tide turned for David because he KEPT seeking. It also turned for those who were against him, or so it seems. David could see the defeat of his enemies then and those who stood against him.
I’m wondering about David’s plea for God not to discipline him in anger. When my children were little and misbehaved, my first reaction was usually anger. If I held off on punishment, one of two things would happen: 1) I would ruminate on the wrong and get more angry, or 2) I would think about the entire circumstances and lose some of that ‘fire’. Sometimes it was good for me to wait and other times not so much. I feel it is better with God though if He deals with my sin right away. If/When I listen right away to His correction, it remains a reproof of love. When it takes MULTIPLE times of trying to get my attention, His patience is stretched and the consequences grow. It would be like a parent chasing a child down to deal with the discipline. The more energy extended in delivering the correction, the harsher the punishment.
My mom never chased after us. And we KNEW not to run. She always said; “You have to come back eventually.” That delay in returning was as fueled by frustration as the chase would have been. Best to get it over with right away, even when it meant finding your own switch. We had a friend who routinely ran from his mother and one day, while chasing him, she broke her ankle. I don’t remember if he felt bad about it or not. I know I would have.
I’m glad God will ‘chase me’ if needed. I know it makes the ‘consequences’ more but at least I know it isn’t all up to me to ‘remember to return’. Missing His presence drives me back pretty quick at this stage in our relationship. I wonder if that is where David was, or if he was returning because of the circumstances surrounding him at the time.
Draw me SO close Father that I can’t breathe without You! I want to be surrounded by Your presence daily. To feel You in everything I do. And to IMMEDIATELY notice if something blocks the flow of our relationship. I have to admit that sometimes I do notice but am slower than I should be to remove that block. Forgive me Father for ALL my sins. Even the ones meant to spare another from worry. And especially those meant to make me ‘look better’ to others. I’m going to call them by their real name; lying. Cleanse my tongue and heart of these sins please Father. Thank You for loving me in spite of my failures and for ‘chasing me down’ to deal with them. I’m SO GLAD You hear me too!