The Bible180 challenge, week 9

It's week 9 (already?!) and I thought I'd share some thoughts on the life of David...


We spent this week in 1 & 2 Samuel - two of my favorite books of the Bible. It's hard to even narrow down the ideas that stuck out to me this week because David's entire life is such a gold mine.

I guess what really impacted me, as it always does, was the whole amazing picture that David's life is of what it means to walk with God.

We get glimpses of this same image in other characters, like Abraham and Jacob and Moses, but none so complete as that of David, the man after God's own heart. Here are a few pieces to that picture - a very few, compared to how many more are tucked into these books:

  • Walking with God means that God tells me who I am (1 Samuel 16:12) and what matters (1 Samuel 16:7).
  • Walking with God means that I see things the way He says they are, not the way they appear to my eyes or to the voices of "logic" around me (1 Samuel 17).
  • Walking with God means that I go forward in prayer and with His guidance, not just into what my judgment thinks is right (1 Samuel 23).
  • Walking with God means I fear God more than man (1 Samuel 24).
  • Walking with God means loving and living out my own calling, not lusting after someone else's (2 Samuel 7).
  • Walking with God means that my disobedience stains His reputation above all, and yet still He is gracious toward my repentance (2 Samuel 12:13-14).
  • Walking with God means that my sin and distrust hurts many more than just myself (1 Samuel 21-22, 1 Samuel 27 & 29-30, 2 Samuel 11-12, 2 Samuel 24).
  • Walking with God means that while my sin-debt is paid in full at no cost to myself, the day by day sanctification and dedication of my heart will cost me dearly (2 Samuel 24:24-25).

Maybe what is most incredible to me about all of this is that David preceded Christ by about 1,000 years, and yet his life is one of the Bible's realest examples of "Christian" living. The New Testament is filled with prescriptive doctrine for how Christians and churches should act, yes, but it is here in the rich stories of Israel's history that we find the clearest pictures of what everyday, lifelong commitment to God looks like: The ups and downs, the peaks and valleys, the euphoria of faith-powered victory and the despair of sin-strangled defeat. The wintry seasons of heart-hardening doubt and distrust that, if allowed, can give way to a new awakening - a springlike softness, a trusting repentance that somehow serves to draw us even closer to the One we just failed.

To me, that is the story of David. He's the man after God's own heart not because he's any more "God-like" than the next person, but because he walks with Him in a personal relationship, protecting that relationship with the softness of submission. When walls of fear or sin rise between David and his God, his heart is soft to conviction and ready to repent, ready to invest again in his sanctification and tear the walls down, even when the cost is high.

The intimacy that David enjoyed with God because of all this would have been more than enough reward. Yet God showers blessings even greater on him and his family: ultimately, the kingdom of David becomes the cornerstone of the kingdom of heaven through the coming of the Messiah from the line of David one thousand years later.

Walking with God means that my obedience reaches much, much further than I can even begin to fathom.

May I, too, walk as one after God's own heart.



2 Samuel: God of the Heart

Genre: Narrative
Total read time for 1 & 2 Samuel: 4 hours

1 Kings: God of Israel

Genre: Narrative
Total read time for 1 & 2 Kings: 4.25 hours

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Hallie Liening

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.