"My mercy and loving-kindness shall not depart from him (David)."
II Samuel 7: 15, Amplified Bible
"Great (women) and men are little (women) and men expanded; great lives are ordinary lives intensified."
Wilford A. Peterson
If I looked at my life, what expectations have others had when they met me?
What are the expectations I have of myself?
"If you are pleased with what you are, you have stopped already. If you say, ‘It is enough,' you are lost. Keep on walking, moving forward, trying for the goal. Don't try to stop on the way, or to go back, or to deviate from it."
Augustine of Hippo
"All growth that is not towards God is growing to decay."
As we consider the life of David, I'd be remiss if I completely skipped over two chapters in II Samuel - 8 and 9. In these chapters, there are interesting stories that reflect a conversation David had with God, his heavenly Father, in II Samuel 7. Reflecting upon the overwhelming outpouring of God's gifts upon His life, David graciously expressed gratitude to his Father for bestowing upon him so many blessings. In return, God promised David He would show him mercy and loving-kindness throughout his life. However, God also told David that, "When he commits iniquity, I will chasen him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the sons of men." (II Samuel 7: 14 Amplified Bible).
God had high expectations for David - a man so blessed by heaven. And you know something, your heavenly Father has high expectations for you, also. Listen to how David describes God's thoughts toward His children, "Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in your book all the days of my life were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them" (Psalm 139: 16, 17 Amplified Bible).
I don't know about you, but this kind of talk takes my breath away. To think that my Father has "weighty," "important," "transcendent," thoughts toward me, a mere mortal, overwhelms me!
To say that our heavenly Father has exceptional expectations toward each of His children would be a complete and total understatement. This is why we will spend several days looking at the expectations God had for David's life and how, when David was in harmony with his Father, he lived a life in tune with all his Father wanted him to be.
The reason this is such a critical point for us to reflect on is that David's family, as well as the people of Israel in the kingdom he led, had expectations of David, too. As they watched God shower David with "showers of blessings," they began to form an opinion of who David was and how he should act. Even more critical, as they watched David walk in the way of "the Lord," they came to expect that his life would reflect the Father of whom he wrote and spoke.
The qualities that filled David's life were heavenly characteristics. He became a man of mercy, compassion, generosity, and justice. He was never wavering in his fortitude to God. And as the subjects in his kingdom witnessed the behavior of their earthly king, they began to long for the same qualities in their own lives. Their treatment of one another became more heaven-like. As we will see, the glory that filled their hearts and lives was a glory that had God as its source. This was no man-made or woman-made expression of authority or power, but a beauty that radiated heaven's love.
This exceptional expectation, as we find in II Samuel 8, led the other nations to recognize that the God of Israel was not only with His children, but provided in every way for His children.
Our realization of this important lesson is vital to our studies over the next few weeks. And here again, this lesson is applicable to life in the 21st century, for when David was looked-up to, and honored by God for the purity and single-mindedness of his life, what a witness he gave to everyone he touched, especially his own household. But when one who was so exceptional fell in moral humiliation, it not only proved disastrous to his family, but also to the people of Israel, as well as the other nations who mockingly decried not only David, but his God. What a warning to each of us. As someone once said, "There is a high cost for low living," and I might add, that when high expectations are unmet they bring the walls of belief crashing down.
I never want to forget the "weighty" thoughts and life-long plans my Father has for me, for it is in His exceptional expectations where the purpose for my life and yours will be truly fulfilled.
"Don't go through life, grow through life."
"Sometimes we must be hurt in order to grow,
We must fail in order to know,
We must lose in order to gain,
Some lessons are learned best only through pain.
Sometimes our vision clears,
Only after our eyes are washed with tears.
Sometimes we have to be broken,
So we can be tender;
Sick, so we can rest and think better
On things more important than work or fun;
Trip near death, so we can assess how we've run.
Sometimes we have to suffer lack,
So we can know God's provisions.
Feel another's pain,
So we can have a sense of mission.
So take heart, my friend,
If you don't understand today,
Instead of grumbling, ask God what He means to say,
In order to learn, you must endure
and learn to see the bigger picture.
In order to grow, you must stand.
Look beyond the hurt, to God's loving hand
that takes what is good and gives what is best
And on this blessed thought: rest.
As your anxious heart, with questions: wait
God's hand only gives, what His loving heart dictates."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.