Over the past 6 weeks we have been concentrating on the theme of ‘Gathered and Scattered.’ We have looked at Old Testament heroes such as Jonah, Ruth, Joseph, Esther and Daniel, with our last hero this week being David.
As we have journeyed this path, we have learned a great deal about how these different heroes managed with being taken out of their comfort zones. Ruth in leaving her home and all she knew to travel with Naomi. Daniel while in exile refusing to turn his back on God, Jonah running away from God but being called back and fulfilling the purpose of that call. Esther having been made queen at such a time where he people where facing persecution. And Joseph, a man who went on a life journey from being spoilt to be the savior of his people after first becoming a slave.
Each of these people went through difficult times and had to make difficult decisions. They were often taken away from that which they knew, be this through exile, circumstance or reluctance, but each came good and was able to gather others around them to worship and celebrate God.
This week’s hero – King David, went through this pattern throughout his whole life. He was a shepherd boy, out in the hills caring for the sheep all by himself. Fighting wolves and bears in preparation for that moment when he would take on Goliath. He came through that with the help of God – a man after God’s own heart – and the people sang songs of his achievements.
David was in a place of being King, but not yet being King. He shares this trait with Joseph, if you remember. Joseph’s dreams telling him of the place of honor he would be in, however, having to wait for this to be realized. With David, it was clearer still. Samuel had anointed him King over Israel at a time when Saul was still king – and so David had to wait, had to careful, and had to scatter for safety’s sake before having others follow and gather around him in a move that would lead to the will of God being made known to the people of Israel, and the promise that David would be King being fulfilled.
We rejoice in David’s victory and his kingship, because out of this comes the line into which Jesus is born. We celebrate and worship Jesus, the Son of David. Through him we are grafted on to the vine that is Israel, the people of God. As adopted sons and daughters of the living God, we are learning that being scattered does not mean he is not with us and does not mean that he is not guiding us.
David had many hardships, and brought some of them on himself, but he didn’t lose his desire for covenant with God and his intention to worship God. There is no better summation of his desire and intention than in his writing of Psalm 23.