Like everything else about David, his love for God was big. It became the central and defining relationship of his life, from the moment Samuel anointed him and “the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.” (1 Samuel 16:13) After that, God’s will became part of his decision-making process. The Bible records many times when David “inquired of the Lord” before taking action. When things looked bleak, David turned to God and “strengthened himself in the Lord.” When he succeeded, he humbly gave credit to God, saying, “who am I God, and what is my house that you have brought me this far?” (II Samuel 7:18) When rebuked by Nathan, God’s prophet, he quickly admits, “I have sinned against the Lord”(12:13). He begs God to spare the life of his child, but when the child dies, he accepts God’s authority without bitterness. In fact, he immediately “went into the house of the Lord and worshipped.” (12:20)
As a dying man, David’s last thoughts are about the house he wanted to build for God. He assembles his officials, seasoned warriors and army commanders, stewards and sons and commends the building of the temple to his son, Solomon. He tells the people to “observe and seek out all the commandments of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and leave it as an inheritance to your children after you forever.” He advises Solomon to “know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought: (1 Chronicles 28:9). The best advice he could impart to those he was leaving was to know, obey and serve God.
David’s history depicts a man who walked and talked with God throughout his life. To David, God was not a distant authority to be appeased or obeyed out of fear. God was his rock, his deliverer, the satisfier of his soul. Read through the Psalms to get an idea of David’s enduring and personal attachment to God. More than 70 Psalms indicate in their superscriptions that David wrote them. Many mention specific occasions in his life: for example, “when he fled from Absalom” or “when the Philistines seized him in Gaza.” Others were written as a cry for mercy, or guidance; they expressed joy and despair. They recall his days as a shepherd and a king.
David’s leadership and his relationship with God were not perfect, because David was not perfect; but he had the saving faith “the ancients were commended for” in Hebrews 11. With confidence in God’s grace he could say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear?(Psalm 27) Like Abraham before him, David “believed the Lord and (God) counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)