"David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with Him."
II Samuel 5:10, Amplified Bible
"What's In The Heart"
"One does evil enough when one does nothing good."
If I were to look into my heart, how would I evaluate myself in relationship to "good and evil"?
When I hear the phrase "divided heart," what does it mean to me?
"Most (people) are not as good as they pretend to be, or as bad as their enemies paint them."
"The line separating good and evil passes not through states, not between classes, nor between parties either -- but right through every human heart -- through all human hearts."
Of all the questions I have been asked over the last few weeks as we've studied about David and the women in his life here at Transformation Garden, the most frequent has been, "How could a ‘man after God's own heart,' as David was called, behave so badly, especially in his treatment of women?"
This question has really plagued me, as well. As I have read everything I could find about David's behavior, I have come away, at times, feeling rather depressed that someone who once had such a close walk with his heavenly Father could turn into a monster who murdered one of his most loyal soldiers to cover his lustful behavior with the man's wife.
Thankfully, in my voracious reading, I found several authors who agreed on one very important point, and it is this -- we all have the potential for great evil and the potential for great good within our human hearts. In fact, I believe this is one of the reasons the Bible is so transparent in telling the stories of men and women like you and me.
Instead of covering up the bad deeds and highlighting the good ones, God's Word lays out the truth -- whether it's good, bad, or ugly. In the case of David, we are now getting to the bad and the ugly parts of his life and story.
Because the detailed record of David's life is laid out so clearly to us, I believe God has many lessons for us to learn. St. John of the Cross wrote that we as humans do not often understand "the distance that there is between good and evil." If there's anything David's life teaches us, it is that a good person, when holding on to a tiny bit of evil, can find their entire heart and life destroyed.
From the outset of David's life, much of what he said and did was guided by the hand of God. Heaven's blessings were showered upon him in mighty ways. Our text today says that the "Lord of Hosts was with him" (II Samuel 5: 10).
But here and there, along the way, there were warning signs -- times when David wandered. There were times when he thought he could handle life by himself. In those moments, when David looked to his own power and understanding and not to God's, are when he fell on his face. This brings me to the highlight of David's life lesson -- it's all about "Who" we learn to trust. The message of David's life is that we should distrust human power and trust in Divine power.
However, if you are like I am, it's easier to write or speak these words than to live by them daily in our own lives. Frankly, I find it tough to apply this lesson to my life and I'm certain you may struggle, too. Trusting Divine power when the road is rough and life gets tough, isn't easy -- at all! However, if you are anything like I am, I'm certain you have found that warfare against the evil that lurks in the crevices of all our hearts, is conquered only when we trust in Divine power -- wholeheartedly. As Alphonsus Liguori so beautifully penned, "(She) who trusts in (herself) is lost. (She) who trusts in God can do all things."
Before we delve into the lurid details of David and Bathsheba's affair, with its subsequent consequences which affected a host of people, I want to take a look, in a very practical way, at the good and evil behavior in David's life. And I want to apply these specific behaviors to our own lives for it will help us avoid the pitfalls that led to David's downfall.
I began this section of our devotional with the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who observed that the line separating good and evil runs through "all human hearts." It didn't take David long to realize how true this statement was and how applicable this truth was in his life.
May we learn from the inspired words of God that those whose hearts are fixed and steadfast and confident in God are those who will sing and make melody (Psalm 57:7).
"God's goodness is the root of all goodness; and our goodness, if we have any, springs out of His goodness."
"Write deeply upon our minds, O Lord God, the lesson of Thy holy word, that only the pure in heart can see Thee. Leave us not in the bondage of any sinful inclination. May we neither deceive ourselves with the thought that we have no sin, nor acquiese idle in aught of which our conscience accuses us. Strengthen us by Thy Holy Spirit to fight the good fight of faith, and grant that no day may pass without its victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Charles John Vaughn
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.