Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions.”
Psalm 51: 1
“Why Did God Love David?” Part 1
“Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.”
Catherine of Siena
Do I really know what God’s love is all about?
Do I understand how much God loves me and desires the best for me?
“For however devoted you are to God, you may be sure that He is immeasurably more devoted to you.”
“See what an incredible quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should be permitted to be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!”
I John 3: 1
As I have shared with you in the past, there have frequently been times when a devotional or a series of devotionals have come about because of a question or comment that one of you has emailed to me.
This study of Psalms 51 had its conception in a question I was sent by one of God’s daughters. If you’ll recall, David’s history with women was not a stellar one. He deserted his first wife Michal. He sweet-talked Abigail only to inform her later that he had another wife in addition to Michal. And then, when David found out that Michal was happily married, he ordered her to leave her husband, who, if you will recall, wept profusely for he dearly loved Michal. If all this wasn’t enough, we find, in the Biblical record that David collected more wives along the way, many of whom were political assets to David in his quest for more power.
And then, we can’t skip over the dastardly deed David perpetrated upon Bathsheba and her loyal husband, Uriah the Hittite. With this despicable track record, it isn’t at all surprising that a life so plagued by folly would cause any of us to question God’s reflection that David, certainly at some point in his sordid life, had a heart “toward” God. It is this thought which was the catalyst behind the question from one of God’s girls: “Dorothy, do you think David will be saved? Do you think there was hope for him? Because if there is, then I believe there is hope for me, too!”
I must first tell you that I am not the judge (thank goodness!). God is! In His infinite wisdom and love, God not only sees all, but He also knows all. It is this unsearchable greatness of God, which David himself talks about in Psalm 145: 3 when he says, “Great is the Lord and highly to be praised: and His greatness is so vast and deep as to be unsearchable.” (Amplified Bible)
We come to understand that from this great God, who possesses unsearchable wisdom and knowledge, flows an undeserved love, showered down upon the man, David. Studying about this gracious God, only makes me more inclined to say to myself, “Why Did God Love David So Much?” And I ask this question because I agree with the person who emailed me that if God could love the flawed David, then there’s hope for all of us. And if we can learn to recognize why God loved David, it will help each of us to understand how much God loves us. Let me tell you, there’s nothing better in the whole wide world than knowing you are loved for who you are, warts and all, as they say.
As I attempted to study and find out why God loved David so much, my adventure led me straight into the book of Psalms, and more specifically, to Psalm 51, one of the most touching passages in the entire Bible. It is here in the 19 verses that make up Psalm 51 that we will find the answer to why David was so loved by God. But it will also be the place where, it is my prayer, we will be able to begin to understand more clearly, why God loves each one of us so very much. And I want to emphasize, what a difference it will make in your life and mine to know how much our Father loves us. It is the knowledge that makes it possible for us to put one foot in front of each other when the days are tough and long and we are completely worn out or feeling alone with no support around us.
I love these words penned by Karl Rahner in “God of My Life”:
“Only in love can I find you, my God. In love, the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love, my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which make me a prisoner of my own poverty and emptiness. In love, all the powers of my soul flow out toward you, wanting never more to return but to lose themselves completely in you, since by your love you are the inmost centre of my heart, closer to me than I am to myself…God of my life, incomprehensible, be my life. God of my faith, who leads me into your darkness -- God of my love, who turns your darkness into the sweet light of my life, be now the God of my hope, so that you will one day be the God of my life, the life of eternal love.”
My longing is that as we study and reflect on why God loved David so much, we will more deeply understand how much He loves you and me.
“Love bade me welcome; yet
my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed love,
observing me grow slack from
my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me,
If I lacked any thing.
A guest, I answered,
worthy to be here.
Love said, You shall be (here).
I the unkind, ungrateful?
Ah my dear, I cannot
look on thee.
Love took my hand, and
smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have
Marred them: let my
shame go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love,
Who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says
Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.”
“O taste and see that the Lord our God is good! Blessed, happy, fortunate, and to be envied is the (woman) man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.”
Psalm 34: 8
“O God, I love thee, I love thee—
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.
Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me,
And thou couldst see me sinning:
Then I, why should not I love thee,
Jesu, so much in love with me?
Not for heaven’s sake; not to be
Out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and I will love thee;
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God. Amen”
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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