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Discover the Book - Mar. 25, 2009

  • 2009 Mar 25

David-A Long Obedience in Seeking God

As we open to Palm 18, I have been praying that maybe this Psalm will become the most meaningful and precious of all the Psalms we have studied. We walked through David's life for many days; from his childhood and all its struggles, through the triumphs of the battle field to the defeats of those unguarded moments—all through the inspired record God gave to us. 

The reason I have loved this study of David's life is because of the way God’s grace is brought so visibly forward in David’s life--the grace that saves, the grace that forgives, the grace that gives new beginnings each day and every hour.  

Grace says God is committed to finishing what He started in my life; Christ says I am going to keep cleansing you as often as needed; I am going to love you no matter what you do and nothing can make me love you any more or any less. That means all of us must be… 


David’s life declares that it doesn’t take perfection to please God.  

One of the reasons that we need so long to go through David’s life is that it takes us so long to realize that God does not demand nor expect perfection.

  • You don’t have to be fearless to please God—David was often afraid and had to flee to the Lord. Remember that next time you are afraid!
  • You don’t have to be perfect to please God—David was smitten by guilt and confessed his sins to the Lord. Remember that next time you are stained by sin!
  • You don’t have to have a perfect marriage to please God—David had marriage problems he gave to the Lord. Remember that next time you are weeping inside or outside over the stress and pain that you feel at your partner!
  • You don’t have to have perfect children to please God—David has no recorded children who followed the Lord to the end of their life. Remember that next time you feel the harsh blast of their disobedience, disrespect or ingratitude!
  • You don’t have to be constantly serene to please God—David was often depressed and had to sometimes crawl back to the Lord. Remember that next time you are too discouraged to even get out of bed, or go to work, or look another person in the eye! 

But we do have to experience God’s grace to please Him.  

We gather as Christ's Body to praise God for grace—and David’s life is covered with grace. God looks upon David not always as he was but always as he would be. God saw his heart, knew his deepest desire and forgave all the rest.  

David was imperfect, sometimes failing, fearful, sad, and troubled—and through it all, in spite of it all, and in it all—David says from start to finish, all of his life--I love the Lord. 

God's Word notes that Psalm 18 contains the last recorded words of David. I hope that Psalm 18 will become a part of your long term spiritual investment strategy—a pattern for how to love the Lord, trust the Lord and seek the Lord for a long time of your life. 

So stop with me and look back over David’s life and see the life long patterns that made him such a man that God used and loved. 

This Psalm of praise to God is actually recorded twice in the Bible here and in II Samuel 22. It is repeated intentionally for emphasis. In II Samuel 22 it is set as the historical record of David’s final words. In Psalm 18 it is captured as the personal testimony of this life long, God seeking servant of the Lord.  

Look with me at just the first six words of Psalm 18.  

I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

These final words of David are his personal testimony of the love that drew him into a life long habit of seeking God.  

David begins, and his first words are where we also should always begin--a full hearted expression of love to Him who is more than life to us.   

Hebrews 11 summarizes God’s saints by saying that God loves to reward those that diligently seek Him. And that is what David did. He sought God while facing giant enemies like Goliath, through protracted battles with foreign armies, and even fleeing his own son.  

During all his personal struggles and fears—One person never left him and that was the Lord. David always knew God’s love and Presence. Seeking the Lord and loving Him was a life long pursuit for David. 

Psalm 18 contains David’s final words that distill his whole spiritual pilgrimage into one chapter. That first line of this Psalm sums up his life long habit. David explains that he had a life long habit of— 


This word used by David for love is a rare verb form of a word group that expresses tender intimacy. David’s choice of words intended to express very strong devotion, like Mary on Resurrection morning that just wanted to hug Jesus (John 20:17).  

In the Bible this Hebrew word for love (racham # 7355 used 47x) is always used in a positive sense about God and by God for His love for His people. This word speaks of love that draws someone close and hugs them. It is a love that yearns for someone, and is seen when someone has been away for a period and those who love them are so glad to see them back they hug them.  

Here in Psalm 18:1 is the sole time in the entire Bible that this term for a hugging, embracing love--is used by a person describing their love for God.  

David is the only person in the entire Old Testament to take this word for God’s love of His children and turn it around and use it for his own personal love for God. This is very much a part of the reason that God says that David had a heart for Him. 

David says I love you so much Lord that I am drawn to you, I want to run and throw my arms around you and express that love for you. That is embracing love, seeking love—and that is David’s heart after God. 

Psalm 18 records David’s last words, looking back over life. A recounting of the depth of love David confesses that he has felt for the Lord.  

We as Christians are a group of imperfect people, knit together by love for a perfect Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Psalm 18 is one long testimony to God’s great faithfulness as a shelter, a stronghold, and a sure foundation to all who would trust in Him. And I call this final aspect of David’s life his long obedience. That is what is most evident about David—he sought the Lord for almost all of his life.

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