Pitfalls are everywhere in our lives and especially in the life of King David. David was thirty years old when he became king. He reigned forty years over all the tribes of Israel. David was characterized as a passionate man of God. He usually followed God’s word and direction and ended living a long, full life.
This is the best, the only place to be, where you are in the middle of God’s will for your life. But unfortunately for us as for David our flesh gets puffed up and we begin to do things our own way. Even the world was beginning to recognize David as a great leader as Hiram, the king of Tyre, sends cedar trees, carpenters and masons to build David a palace.
As we look at David’s life we watch in as David takes two steps forward only to end up falling three steps back. He conquers the city of Jerusalem taking the southeastern hill and military stronghold of the Jebusites which is eventually named “The City of David”. As things begin going David’s way he begins the slow falling away from his usual connection and dependence on the Lord and begins to take more concubines and wives from Jerusalem.
David had the scrolls of Moses, and if he cared to read them he would have noted that in Deuteronomy 17:14-20 God spells out the rules for how a king should live. God said that the king should not multiply wives, horses or gold for himself. God commanded that the king should write these laws in a book and that he should read that book all the days of his life, learning to fear the lord his God, being careful to observe all the words of these laws and statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.
What I love about the Old Testament is its inspiration. God inspired men to write down the plain, bare truth no matter how painful. The writers could have sugar coated the text describing David’s life but instead God inspired them to tell the truth about what happens to men and kings when they do things their own way and do not seek out the Lord for His advice.
Multiplying horses would cause the king to trust in his own power. Marrying many wives would pull the king’s heart away towards other gods. Mountains of gold, treasure houses full to overflowing would cause the king to trust in his riches and possessions. God can see the beginning from the end and has always tried to warn us what the cost of our sin might be after all the dust settles.
Our faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God! Just like with King David if he had of been reading the scriptures he would have known what God’s will was for his own life and would have avoided much heart ache down the road. We desperately need to read our bibles, being careful not to act legalistically in “doing our devotions” but rather being devoted to the things of God. There is a difference if you think about it for awhile.
Let’s read a section of 2 Timothy 3:16 where Paul is encouraging Timothy to stay close to the basics of the Christian life and maintain a hunger for God’s word. “And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
We shall see how David, this man after God’s own heart, will willfully choose to do things his own way, ignoring the scriptures, the commands of God and where this will lead him in the end. Our God loves us so much He gave us His word that we might avoid falling into the pitfalls of life. He encourages us to live by His principles and to prosper.
We like being the captains of our own ship rather than looking into God’s word for the answers He has carefully placed there for us. Meditate on this: Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is the Logos, or the living Word. He is the source of all power in our lives. So begin to hide His word away in your hearts that you will be sure not to sin against Him!