August 6-12

Week 3 – David, The Heart of Worship

“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.” - (Psalm 51:15)

I have been very fortunate in matters of the heart. In fact, God has blessed me with a devoted spouse and lengthy marriage. Our relationship has never been threatened by infidelity. So in pondering this week’s Scriptures, I questioned how I could relate to the story of David’s adultery. But then, I understood. David’s path to adultery originated in his discontent and arrogance. He was not satisfied with the many treasures God had given him. Instead, he was covetous. In his arrogance, David may have even thought he “deserved” to take Bathsheba as his own since God had anointed him king. David made the terrible choice to act on his sinful desires. He then committed far graver sins in an effort to cover up his first sinful act.

When I consider the story of David’s adultery in that context, I see myself at the heart of it:  my sinful desires … my arrogance … my dissatisfaction with the incredible life God has given me … my envy … my deception … my sense of entitlement … my preoccupation with my own needs and desires … my excuses for hurting others … my unclean heart. But thankfully, David’s story is much more than a story of sin and its terrible consequences. It is also a tale of repentance, forgiveness, and renewal. Our God is merciful and compassionate. Although our sin is always before us, God forgives those who repent and turn to Him. Out of His unfailing love, He renews our hearts and minds and enables us to follow Him and grow in His likeness each day. He draws us near to Himself and holds us close. He keeps His promises and never, ever lets us go.

This week, think about the condition of your heart. Do you feel trapped in an endless cycle of sin? Are you consumed with guilt, bitterness, and regret? The answer is clear:  turn away from your sin and toward God! Give Him your broken and contrite heart. Seek His forgiveness. He will cleanse your heart and make you whole, and you will experience the complete joy that comes only from knowing Him.

 

Sunday, August 6

Read: 2 Samuel 11

While David demonstrated great faith and trust in the Lord when he fought and killed Goliath, he demonstrated depravity, sinfulness, and an appetite for personal gratification when he entered into an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and arranged for the murder of her husband. Scripture says, “The thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” In the same way that David’s sin grieved the Lord, our sin grieves Him, too.

Reflect: Tell God about your sinful desires and think of specific ways you can avoid acting on them. Ask God to help you, and thank Him for all He has given you!

For the Family: Where had Uriah been when David asked that Uriah be sent to him? Why did Uriah stay at the king’s door and refuse to go home? Why is that important?

 

Monday, August 7

Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-14

It is easy for us to see the sin of another person and not the sin in our own hearts. God sent the prophet, Nathan, to David to point out his sin and bring David to a point of repentance. God sends His Holy Spirit to us to convict us of sin and bring us to repent and seek His forgiveness.

Reflect: Consider a time when you reacted poorly in response to a valid rebuke. How can you respond in a God-honoring way the next time someone justly criticizes your actions?

For the Family: What made David angry? What had David done that was “evil in God’s eyes?” Do you do anything that makes God angry? Ask for His forgiveness.

 

Tuesday, August 8

Read: Psalm 51

David acknowledges his sin and accepts full responsibility for what he has done. He acknowledges he has sinned against the Lord and earnestly seeks restoration in his relationship with God. In His grace, God completely forgives the sins of those who come to Him with hearts broken over their sin … brokenness that leads to confession and repentance.

Reflect: Reflect on God’s unfailing love for you. Ask Him to purify your heart and strengthen your faith in Him.

For the Family: What did David ask of God in verses 1-4? What did David ask of God in verses 10-12? What do you ask of God when you have done something wrong?

 

Wednesday, August 9

Read: 2 Samuel 12:15-25

“Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.” (Robert Louis Stevenson). That is easy to read and hear but not always as easy to accept. God is a righteous judge. Even though David confessed his sins before God and was restored to a right relationship with Him, there were still consequences for his sin. One consequence was that the infant son conceived when he lay with Bathsheba died. There are consequences for our sin, too. We can become so desensitized to sin, that it does not provoke any feelings in us at all, God is keenly aware of our sin, however. Sin offends Him and provokes His wrath. Still, He is merciful, and by His grace He forgives all our sins and restores us to a right relationship with Him through Jesus.

Reflect: When have you suffered painful consequences as a result of your sin? How did God show you compassion and mercy? 

For the Family: How did David respond when he found out his child was very sick? How did the Lord answer David’s prayer? Think of a time when God answered your prayer. Thank Him for His answer.

 

Thursday, August 10

Read: 2 Samuel 15:1-12

More consequences of sin! God says you will reap what you sow. David sowed sinful seeds that included lust, adultery, murder, and deceit. The consequences of his sin left his family divided and alienated because of sexual sin, murder, and rebellion.

Reflect: David’s son, Absalom, conspired against his father by undermining David’s authority and exalting himself. In what area of your life are you refusing to submit to authority? How can you correct your disloyalty and rebellion?

For the Family: What would Absalom say to people who came to King David with a problem? Why do you think Absalom said these things to people? Why are our words important?

 

Friday, August 11

Read: 2 Samuel 18:7-19:8 

Instead of rejoicing over victory in battle, David cries out in anguish over the death of his son, Absalom. Undoubtedly, David’s anguish was made more bitter by the knowledge that his son’s death was part of God’s judgment for David’s own sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. Sin, broken relationships, and death are still very much part of our world today, but we have hope in the knowledge that one day there will be no more sin or broken relationships or death because of Jesus.

Reflect: Think about someone in your family for whom you mourn. Turn to God in your grief, and ask Him to comfort and restore you.

For the Family: What happened to Absalom when he was riding through the forest? Why did David’s servant spare Absalom’s life during the battle?

 

Saturday, August 12

Read: 1 Kings 2:1-9

David is about to die and pass the throne on to his son, Solomon. David knew that in order to rule well, Solomon would need to be in close fellowship with God. So, before his death, David encouraged Solomon with strong words: “Walk in obedience to God and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses.” David also shared God’s promise … God’s promise of a successor on the throne of Israel for as long as David’s descendants walked faithfully before the Lord.

Reflect: As he instructs Solomon, David recalls a specific promise that God made. What did God promise David? How has God made a similar promise to you? 

For the Family: God made a promise to David. What was it? Think about some other promises God has made. Say a prayer with your family and thank God for always keeping His promises.