It has been a while since writing my last blog. While most of my time has been spent on printing and publishing my latest book “The Transitional Period”, during that time my thoughts would periodically shift into wondering what the next topic would be for the blog page.
I’ve learned that when I do not force any topic but allow YHWH to wonderfully lead, He truly is faithful in making evident important topics that could help all of us draw closer to Him and in just the right timing, His timing. Do you ever notice that when you force an idea or plan on your terms, it never truly works out seamlessly? Yet when we ask Him to lead us it becomes effortless and purposeful, doesn’t it?
My prayer is that the reader can glean from this series “Lessons from David”. He was described as a man after YHWH’s own heart - what a beautiful description. I’d like to examine his life based on the historical writings available to us, trusting that we can have a heart for YHWH, as David did. (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22,23)
I found 5 words in 1 Samuel quite profound in my morning studies. Like me, maybe you have read 1 Samuel and the story of David many times, however this time for me was different. There were 5 unequivocal words spoken by YHWH that jumped off the page and into my soul! These 5 words were so definite and certain that it made me long to hear them in my own life.
“For this is the one!”
Those were the words spoken by YHWH to Samuel (Shemuel) identifying the next chosen king of Yisra’el. In fact, His precise words to Shemuel were “Arise, anoint him, for this is the one!” (1 Shemuel 16:12). I imagine YHWH being so proud and elated to separate David as special and distinguish him from the crowd, knowing He had plans for him. As we know, those plans would make a huge impact with the people of Yisra’el, both then and in the future.
YHWH’s words made me examine my own life. I envisioned Yahushua separating His bride from the crowd. Pointing to those who are to be marked with the Father’s Name, a clear indication for the messengers to distinguish the righteous from the wicked on that day (Revelation 7 & 14:1-5). Imagine that feeling during the separation process. At that moment, nothing else in our lives matter. The typical daily worries become meaningless and are forgotten as a hopeful overwhelming feeling consumes our souls - having Yahushua point and say, “For this is the one!” To then gather us to a safe place until His wrath and fury on the wicked has subsided from the earth (Matthew 13:30,41-43).
I believe that most of us desire to be separated on the right side of our King (Matthew 25:31-46). Can you visualize that intense moment - the relief and ultimate liberation for those accepted as His bride?
Now rewind to the present and imagine our role for His Kingdom now, before the coming of our great King. Is YHWH choosing us out of the crowd now, to be utilized in accomplishing His plan? Is He currently saying, “For this is the one!” and if so, what have we been chosen to do?
We know from Scripture that David was chosen to be king of Yisra’el and through his descendants would come the Renewed Covenant through the promised Son and Redeemer Messiah Yahushua. Wow, David surely was truly qodesh (special/set-apart) in the eyes of YHWH. So, what lesson can we learn from David that made him so special?
Before we dive deeper into why David was chosen, let’s first examine why and who he was replacing.
Most of us have read the story of the first king of Yisra’el, Shaul. Shaul was anointed as the first king because the people of Yisra’el desired a man to rule over them rather than YHWH. This was heartbreaking to YHWH and He did warn what would come of it. But the people refused to listen replying, “No, but let a sovereign be over us. Then we shall be, we also, like all the nations, and our sovereign shall rule us and go out before us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:19,20)
While Shaul was anointed as the first king, he ultimately failed at his duties. There is no mistaking why he failed as YHWH clearly describes where he went wrong through the prophet Samuel.
“I am grieved that I have appointed Shaul as sovereign, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My Words.” 1 Samuel (Shemuel) 15:11
“Then Shemuel said, ‘Does YHWH delight in burnt offering and slaughterings, as in obeying the voice of YHWH? Look, to obey is better than offering, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of YHWH, He also rejects you as sovereign.’ And Shaul said to Shemuel, ‘I have sinned, for I have transgressed the Command of YHWH and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. And now, please pardon my sin, and return with me, and let me bow myself to YHWH.’ But Shemuel said to Shaul, ‘I do not return with you, for you have rejected the Word of YHWH, and YHWH rejects you from being sovereign over Yisra’el.’” 1 Samuel (Shemuel) 15:22-26
Notice Shaul had “turned back from following” YHWH. In other words, he first was obedient in “performing” YHWH’s Words, but then through rebellion and stubbornness of heart, he rejected YHWH’s instructions thus resulting in YHWH rejecting him as sovereign.
This lesson in and of itself is quite telling and eye-opening. It is a lesson we should take to heart in examining our lives. Do we do our utmost to stay on the righteous path and follow YHWH’s set instructions for our lives? When YHWH examines our hearts, does He see rebellion and stubbornness or humility, love, and the desire to please Him?
A better choice
Now this is where it gets quite interesting. Shemuel goes on to explain to Shaul the following:
“YHWH has torn the reign of Yisra’el from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, better than you.” 1 Samuel (Shemuel) 15:28
It’s noteworthy that Shemuel does not simply state that the reign has been given to someone else, he elaborates by describing that it is someone “better” than Shaul. So, what defines better?
The Hebrew word for better is tob and is defined in Strongs H2896 as good, pleasant, best, ready and well favored. What made David better, good and well favored by YHWH? We can find that answer in a couple verses.
“…YHWH shall seek for Himself a man after His own heart, and YHWH shall command him to be leader over His people…” 1 Samuel (Shemuel) 13:14
“And having removed him (Shaul), He raised up for them David as sovereign, to whom also He gave witness and said ‘I have found David the son of Jesse (Yishai), a man after My own heart, who shall do all My desires…’” Acts 13:22
We can see what made David “better” (tob) in YHWH’s eyes – his heart and doing YHWH’s desires i.e., following His instructions/Word.
“For a man looks at the eyes, but YHWH looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel (Shemuel) 16:7
David had a consuming fire within his heart to love and please YHWH. This is quite clear in the Psalms (Tehillim) and particularly in chapter 119. I encourage the reader to read Psalms 119 with this in mind. It is unquestionably David’s life aspiration to please YHWH.
In the Psalms, David gives an account for why the children of Yisra’el failed YHWH in the wilderness. It ultimately was based on the condition of the heart and the lack of willingness and fervency to please YHWH.
“And place their trust in Elohim, and not forget the works of El, but watch over His Commands, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn (sarar) and rebellious (marah) generation, a generation which did not prepare its heart, whose spirit was not steadfast to El… They did not guard the Covenant of Elohim, and they refused to walk in His Torah, and they forgot His deeds.” Psalms (Tehillim) 78:7-11
“But they flattered Him with their mouth, and they lied to Him with their tongues, for their heart was not steadfast (aman) with Him, and they were not true to His Covenant.” Psalms (Tehillim) 78:36,37
Notice the descriptions of stubbornness, rebelliousness, and the lack of a steadfast (aman) heart toward Elohim is followed by the failure to guard His Covenant and obey His Commands. It sounds very similar to what happened with Shaul. In fact, Shaul was described by YHWH as both stubborn and rebellious because he no longer followed YHWH’s instructions.
How do we show YHWH our heart?
We are probably all familiar with the saying “It’s one thing to say you love me, it’s another to show me.” Or “Actions speak louder than words.” Or “Love is a verb.” All these famous quotes are embraced in society when we connect them to our personal lives. We all desire to feel loved through the actions of others, not just words. Kind deeds, communication, affection and even a listening ear are wonderful attributes of a person with a sincere and steadfast (aman) heart toward another.
I continue to include the Hebrew word for the English “steadfast”, aman. Aman is more defined as: to render firm or faithful of long continuance, to be true or certain, sure.
After reading Psalms 119, we can clearly see David’s eagerness to show YHWH his steadfast (aman) heart by His deeds, communication, affection and always having a listening ear. This does not mean that David was always perfect, however he strove for it, and he yearned to be tzedech (righteous) and qodesh (clean and set-apart) before His eyes.
“Be qodesh, for I YHWH your Elohim am qodesh.” Leviticus (Wayyiqra) 19:2
“Therefore, be perfect (teleios), as your Father in the heavens is perfect.” Matthew (Mattithyahu) 5:48
The Greek teleios comes from the root telos meaning: the point aimed at as a limit, conclusion of an act or state, finally, uttermost.
Interestingly, we can connect both uttermost and steadfast with a common thread of unwavering, firmly established and the greatest and highest degree.
So, this seems to be exactly what YHWH is looking for. This is the start of our journey in knowing Him and pleasing Him. How can we obey if we do not have the heart to obey? The answer is, we cannot. We would probably come up with “stubborn” (sarar) or “rebellious” (marah) excuses like His Commandments are too hard or are burdensome. Maybe even that they are inconvenient and get in the way of our daily lives. We could dangerously choose to conduct our lives as we see fit, rather than submitting our will to His and trusting Him to take the lead. Again, this all boils down to the condition of our hearts.
On the subject of “love is a verb” - notice the conversation between Yahushua and Peter. Yahushua asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter gives an astounding yes, all three times. Yahushua then follows with directives to show Him that Peter loves Him. Let’s read the conversation.
“When therefore, they had eaten breakfast, Yahushua said to Simon Peter (Shim’on Kepha), ‘Simon, of Yonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him ‘Yes, Adonai, You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’ He said to him again, the second time, ‘Simon, of Yonah, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Adonai, You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Shepherd My sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, of Yonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was sad because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Adonai, You know all, You know that I love You.’ Yahushua said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.’” John (Yohanan) 21:15-17
So, what actions do we do to prove we love Him? Thankfully there is no guessing. His Word/instructions are very clear – it is up to us to read the “manual” we have been given to learn The Way. The Way to love and The Way to live.
We should eagerly long to have our hearts ready and aman – in hopes to hear “for this is the one!” Whether he uses us to help someone in need, to share a verse that can help point a person to Him, to be a good friend, to be a loving spouse, to shout from the rooftops proclaiming the good news and even to pull people from the flames. Following His instructions for living (Torah) shows Him our desire to be good and faithful servants (Matthew 25:23), and a hopeful bride who has prepared herself for His return (Revelation 19:7).
It seems that David had this aman heart, who would then be lead on YHWH’s path. He would be a significant individual in accomplishing YHWH’s plans. That plan is the redemption of mankind back to paradise with Him.
Those who have a heart to please their Elohim will be guided toward righteousness and perfection in Him. Let’s read the following verses from our Savior Yahushua, from His disciples, and ending with David - emphasizing this theme and how we can show Him are hearts are ready to live for Him.
“If you love Me, you shall guard My Commands” John (Yohanan) 14:15
“He who possesses My Commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him” John (Yohanan) 14:21
“But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” 1 John (Yohanan) 2:5
“For this reason, brothers, all the more do your utmost to make firm your calling and choosing, for if you are doing these you shall never stumble at all, for in this way an entrance into the everlasting reign of our Adoni and Savior Yahushua ha’Mashiach shall be richly supplied to you.” 2 Peter (Kepha) 1:10,11
“…as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, instead, as the One who called you is qodesh, so you also should become qodesh in all behavior, because it has been written, ‘Be qodesh, for I am qodesh.” 1 Peter (Kepha) 1:14,15
“Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has been proved, he shall receive the crown of life which the Adoni has promised to those who love Him.” James (Ya’aqob) 1:12
“Listen, my beloved brothers: Has Elohim not chosen the poor of this world, rich in belief and heirs of the reign which He promised to those who love Him? James (Ya’aqob) 2:5
“Blessed are the perfect in the Way, who walk in the Torah (instructions) of YHWH! Blessed are those who observe His Witnesses, who seek Him with all the heart!” Psalms (Tehillim) 119:1,2
May we all strive to hear… “For this is the one!”