What do you do when your best isn’t good enough? Do you start over? Do you give up? Well in this week’s lesson, God’s best just wasn’t good enough.
Saul was told that God had found a better king but who did He choose? David. A teenager lugging a severed head around the camp. A man who would go on to sleep with his friend’s wife among other dastardly deeds. Yet in spite of all this, God famously called him ‘a man after my own heart’. How could God reject a king whose only crimes were sacrificing (at the point of desperation) when he was meant to wait for Samuel and keeping a few animals alive? How could reject Saul and opt for a perfidious murderer?
David was God’s best but he wasn’t good enough… or so it seems! A closer look at David and Goliath’s face off reveals not a tale of overcoming great odds but a tale of a boy passionate about God and country while a king cowered in fear in his tent. Saul failed when a heathen challenged his God but David stepped up to the plate. His methods were gory to say the least but within what he knew, David could not but stand up for God. That is precisely what God was looking for: someone who could look through sin’s hazy fog and see a God worth standing up for.
As spectacular as his fall before Bathsheba’s bathing form was, David’s confession as recorded in Psalm 51 shines ever brighter. In this confession, David offers no excuse for his failure. No mention of bathing women is ever heard throughout the hymn. Unlike Saul, David did not try to bribe God with sacrifices in place of obedience. He did not reduce God to a transaction but yearned for restoration. Unlike Adam, who blamed his wife and God (by extension), David realized that sin is not an accounting discrepancy to be balanced by blood but an inner loss of communion with God. He felt the chasm between him and God and longed for reconciliation. After reading Psalm 51, it is clear that David loves God for who He is and not for what he can give.
Yet despite David’s breathtaking comebacks, a longing fills my soul. A longing for One who will not fail. One who will never misrepresent God by failing when he is at the pinnacle of his life. This is the same King of Peace promised to David by God. This One will be God’s true best and He will be good enough!