A book review: A Heart Like His-by Beth Moore: my perceptions of David, from the book and the Bible.
The Book of Psalms
My thoughts go to King David and Psalms. The Hebrew name of Psalms is Tehillim, which signifies “Praise.” This portion of the Jewish Scriptures was the liturgical hymnbook that was regularly used in the temple.
The Hebrews divided the Old Testament into The Law, The Prophets, and The Writings. Some manuscripts place the Psalms first in the writings, while in others Job is place first, as in our Bible. The Psalter is the prayer book of the Church. In its range and scope, it is the most comprehensive book of the Bible. Historically, it extends from the time of Moses to the Exile. It is an epitome of the Bible and contains something of all of the elements of the Biblical system.
In the historical section of the Bible, we are acquainted with David, the King of Israel, and it is in Psalms that we see the real David. It is in Psalms that we see him on his knees pouring out his soul to God, in penitence, in thanksgiving, in faith, assurance, for strength, deliverance, and instruction. He stays on His knees a lot. This might be a lesson we should take note of.
This book is where the soul in its devotional attitudes naturally turn. It seems that we find here what the heart seeks in coming into the secret place of the Most High. It finds the soul at the greatest depths of its being, in its deepest emotions, its yearnings, and aspirations after God. The Psalms it seems is where the soul rises to the Infinite, it sings praises to God, it speaks its fears, pours out its grief, expresses its abiding faith, and seeks spiritual nourishment in the pastures of the Divine Shepherd.
In the book of Psalms, we meet the heart and soul of another, as we would know him in his essential self. It is here we find ourselves in the same manner because we recognize in these utterances our own deepest desires, our searching after God, those longings that only God can satisfy and those voices of the soul that are answered in God alone.
As stated in the book, In Job, we see the suffering of humanity, but in the Psalms, we see ourselves in that far greater range of our spiritual nature. We see the struggling of David’s misgivings, and fears, beset by temptations, harassed by foes, scorned and despised and from the pit of sin, humiliation and defeat, then rise to heights of triumph by the power of the grace of God.
David in His Pitiful state of prayer and pleading God’s mercy …
David- A Man After God’s Own Heart
David was a man after God’s own heart. God let him rise to stardom so to speak, and he let him fall into deep sin; yet He knew the depth of David’s desires and supplications and let him rise out of sin into kingship. God knew the depth of David’s love for Him. David being a man not ashamed to call upon the Lord in pitiful measures; was sought deliverance in the only one who could give it.
We find in the first few scriptures of Psalms; David prays several prayers, (of course, we know that the entire Psalms is made up of many prayers). One of these was when he fled from Absalom, his son. In this prayer, David seemed afraid about the Lord’s help.
Some of His prayer:
“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me, many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God. Selah. Psalms 3: 1, 2. He is concerned about the security of God’s protection.
However, he then begins to offer up prayer with thanksgiving to the Lord and says in V3:
“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory and the lifter up of mine head.” V 4: “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hills.” Selah. Then in the fourth chapter, David prays for an audience and prays that man’s happiness is in God’s favor. He prays of knowledge of being able to sleep in peace for the Lord lets him dwell in safety.
I am reminded when reading the latter scripture of the many times that the Lord has lifted me up and let me sleep a sound sleep to satisfy the body’s need of rest when I was worn with pain or confusion. He has said that He will never forsake us or leave us alone. It is true, but He will let us go on a path that is not guided by Him if we choose. He does not take away our free will and we see that David went on his own path, as we will see later in the scripture.
What Did David Pray About
David prayed for everything, he did not leave anything out. I wonder if we do that, I think that sometimes we limit our prayers to things that we think are the possible rather than the impossible. He prayed for his sickness, he prayed against the malice of his enemies but he always “praised” the Lord. He praised God for executing of judgment and he partitioned others to praise the Lord. I think we sometimes forget to “praise” God enough and only go to Him in need. It is important that we always remember to praise the Lord for all His goodness in the midst of our prayers. He will then know we are thankful for what He has already done and what He does every day in our life.
This is David’s prayer of confidence in God’s grace and he stood firm in his belief of God’s power to rescue him, even though it was not in his own time but God’s time.
The Lord is My Shepherd
Psalms 23, – most of us know this from memory.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths
of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff
They comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou
anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and
I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
David Was a Humble Man
We find in Chapter 25 that David again prayed for remission of sins and for help in affliction. He was humble in that he did not take God’s mercy for granted and in V7, he asked the Lord not to remember the sins of his youth nor his transgressions. V9, he acknowledged that the meek will He guide in judgment and the meek will He teach His ways. In this Chapter, he begs God to deliver him from his affliction and desolation. He does not demand anything of God, or get weary that God has forgotten him and in V 18, he simply asked God to look at his affliction and his pain and to forgive all his sins.
“Shew me they ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou are the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”
To me this clearly states that we should pray to keep learning and if we do not understand the truth; we seek it and He will teach us things we do not quite get.
Psalms 27: 11:
“Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in the plain path, because of mine enemies.
V 13- 14: I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
The latter is one of my favorite because when we are in a lot of trouble we are not like David, we want it now, immediately and yes, it is often hard to wait upon the Lord. However, we know He knows what is best and if He prolongs our situation, it is somehow to our advantage, and we must learn to trust His judgment. Nothing else will work, we do not know better than He.
David’s story will continue….
There is no way to get the whole life of David into one post, or should I say, even the highlights, so I will continue with this work on David, at some point. His rise and his fall and the in-between to show how it is when God chooses someone. God’s mercy and love for David out-ruled the bad. God knew his heart as He knows our heart.
People look at us and think they know us; they usually do not. God ponders the heart, not the outward appearance or even how we act sometimes…He still knows what our intentions are and how much we love Him. He does expect us to trust but He also knows that the human side loses sight of sometimes of what is best for us.
I hope you join me again with David’s journey; I studied his life some time ago when reading a book entitled “A Heart Like His.” It was truly inspiring to me to see his human nature but his heart’s desire was always something good. These thoughts are truly my thoughts with scripture and the Bible as reference.
Enjoy, and God Bless,