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By Heart or By Sword?
by Cate Russell-Cole
6/19/2015 / Christian Living
I always thought of King David as a warrior who wouldn't hesitate to cut down
enemy. I was stunned when I found out how wrong about him I was!
There are a great many events in his life which are pure gold, but which I have never heard preached about. One of them is the number of times his Generals wanted to assassinate a direct threat to his life and kingship. Each time, David said no, for righteous reasons, even though his refusal flew in the face of military common sense. (In saying that, the time his son Absalom attempted to overthrow his father is the exception. What father could readily assassinate his child; especially considering the guilt he felt towards Absalom?)
During each of these threats, David looked to the Lord for protection. Then what happened? The General, who could only see one way forward, that of the sword, killed when he shouldn't have. Each time David was furious and bereaved. It illustrates the battle between faith and flesh, peace and violence. David's attitude when threatened, is outlined in his own words below from Psalm 11.
"I trust in the LORD for protection.
So why do you say to me,
"Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety!
The wicked are stringing their bows
and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings.
They shoot from the shadows
at those whose hearts are right.
The foundations of law and order have collapsed.
What can the righteous do?"
But the LORD is in his holy Temple;
the LORD still rules from heaven.
He watches everyone closely,
examining every person on earth.
The LORD examines both the righteous and the wicked.
He hates those who love violence.
He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulphur on the wicked,
punishing them with scorching winds.
For the righteous LORD loves justice.
The virtuous will see his face."
If you would like to read more to further understand Davids actions as a ruler and the intricacies of power in the ancient world, you are welcome to read these articles.
- How Gentle Kings Become Killers
- Does Absolute Power Absolutely Corrupt?
- Was King David a Megalomaniac?
- Law and Disorder in the Life of King David
For more information on King David, please have a meander through the King David Project Facebook page, our web site and our blog, Masada Rain. The blog houses many useful resources on studying, David plus bits and pieces of information which dont neatly fit into article form. Please ignore dates and use the search feature to find what you want. The web site has resources on Davids family tree, life and the Psalms. All content is creative commons and non-profit. Sharing of the projects work would be deeply appreciated.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fromdespairtodeliverance
Masada Rain Blog: https://masadarain.wordpress.com
The project web site: http://cateartios.wix.com/kingdavidproject
This article by Cate Russell-Cole is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Written in Australian English.
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