by Walter J. Chantry
ISBN #: 978-0-85151-9531
304 pages -- Clothbound
U.S. List Price: $18.00
"Only the supreme providence of God and the unfathomable depths of divine grace could have conceived and forged the life of David. God made the son of Jesse into the emblem of the kingly office which only Christ would fulfil more gloriously. He embodied all the qualities of manly nobility and charm. Everyone in his day loved David, except the most ugly and despicable figures. It is just the same for those in our day who hear the history of Samuel and Chronicles being read.
"David lived through the most diverse conditions of human experience, and this alone calls forth our deepest feelings of sympathy. For a time he enjoyed the solitude of a pastoral scene. Yet, suddenly he was transported to the royal court and called into service as a balladeer.
"This in turn was nly a setpping-stone to his becoming the champion of the armies of Israel, the subject of young women's songs and old men's toasts.
"The truth is that David never settled into one niche for long. Soon after being heralded as a hero, the young man became a hunted refugee, a dashing figure as he led a band of outlaws in the deserts. Again with suddenness David became king of Judah and a few years later of Israel as well. He vanquished all of his and his peole's foes, establishing a kingdom that would last for four hundred years. But no sooner was this accomplished than he was plunged into a foul sin, even though he had arrived at a mature age. Never again would he have peace. Thenceforth his family life proved to be filled with rebellion and murder.
"The one constant with David in every condition was expressed in Psalm 16:8: 'I have set the Lord always before .'
"In all the rapid alterations of his life David thought of the Most High God and expressed his devout feelings toward his Maker and Redeemer. When he wept in shame for his loathsome sins, his tears were poured out before the Lord. When he felt the exhilaration of triumph, he shouted to the Lord who was his strength.
"Perhaps this most of all explains the vast variety of David's life experiences. The Lord made him into the Psalmist for all the saints in all subsequent ages. In his youth he knew a peaceful, tranquil walk with God; in later years he both walked upon the heights and fell into the depths, and thus was enabled to compose prayerful songs for ever condition of life.
"No matter how high David rose above other men, his spirit was childlike toward the Lord. Therefore he did not make pretentious efforts of self-defence with others. His sorrow in confession was immediately and deeply expressed without any consideration for who might be watching. He who was equally at home holding the shepherd's staff, the warrior's sword, the poet's harp, and the ruler's sceptre, was completely transparent in the humbling of himself before the God of all the earth. This case and simplicity in worship draws out our deepest emotions as we read the life of David, King of Israel. We love this man for showing us how to pray from every point of life's compass. We love him for showing us how, in the midst of spiritual failure, we too can draw near to the Lord again in trust and devotion.
"Perfectionists will not be comfortable with David. Those who stumble often, but who always turn with melted hearts to God for pardon and help, will find in him a brother or all situations. Such people will love the sacred history of his life and find it totally engrossing."
Walter J. Chantry