David: A Shepherd Learns from the Creation

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David

A Shepherd Learns from the Creation

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Sitting on a hilltop, surrounded by sheep, the young shepherd looked into the shimmering night heavens in wonder. Later the boy would grow up and record some of the private thoughts that came to him as he gazed into the sparkling starlit skies: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalms 8:3-4 Psalms 8:3-4 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; 4 What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?
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The boy was David—the shepherd who became a king and wrote many of the Psalms. What can we learn from this shepherd boy’s example?

David was fearless. He killed a bear, a lion and the Philistine giant Goliath. Faithful David restored God’s honor before a fearful Israel and an arrogant heathen nation. Revering God, he served paranoid, jealous King Saul, who tried to kill him.

In God’s honor David led Israel victorious through many battles. His faithfulness moved heir-apparent Prince Jonathan to help David ascend the throne in his place.

Yet David was not immune to fleshly temptations. He committed adultery with Bathsheba, then had her husband, Uriah, killed. God publicly chastised David for his sins, of which he deeply repented (Psalms 51:1-19 Psalms 51:1-19 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight: that you might be justified when you speak, and be clear when you judge. 5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part you shall make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which you have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors your ways; and sinners shall be converted to you. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, you God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open you my lips; and my mouth shall show forth your praise. 16 For you desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: you delight not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18 Do good in your good pleasure to Zion: build you the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then shall you be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks on your altar.
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God forgave David but informed him that his lack of self-control would result in continual turmoil within his own family. Later, David had to flee from his son’s attempt to usurp his kingdom. The king mourned as a true father when this rebellion cost the life of his son, Absalom. Then, when David numbered his armies before going to battle, God punished Israel for this faithless act. This was King David, righteous acts, blemishes and all.

A key to David’s success and close relationship to God is found in Psalm 51. There we find the very heart of God buried deep in the chest of a contrite sinner (Acts 13:22 Acts 13:22And when he had removed him, he raised up to them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
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). His humble attitude helped David to understand God’s purpose for mankind.

Awestruck by the magnificence of God’s creation, David asked, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalms 8:4 Psalms 8:4What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?
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).

David knew that man was the pinnacle of God’s physical creation: “For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (Psalms 8:5-6 Psalms 8:5-6 5 For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet:
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; see also Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
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The book of Hebrews records David’s words, then adds that we have not yet reached our awesome destiny: “For in that He [God] put all in subjection under him [man], He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:6-8 Hebrews 2:6-8 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? or the son of man that you visit him? 7 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands: 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
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We then read that God, through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:9-11 Hebrews 2:9-11 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,
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), will bring “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
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). The time is coming when we can truly be “crowned … with glory and honor” (Psalms 8:5 Psalms 8:5For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor.
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), when those faithful to God will reign on earth as kings and priests to God (Revelation 5:10 Revelation 5:10And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
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). The crown of glory and honor of which David spoke is part of our destiny. Be sure to request our free booklets What Is Your Destiny? and The Road to Eternal Life to discover more about your awesome future!