Preacher: “I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; . . .”

Seeker: [Silence]

Preacher: “I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; . . .”

Seeker: [Silence again]

Preacher: The next line is yours, Seeker.

Seeker: Oh! “. . . I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.” I am sorry, Preacher, I was lost in thought.

Preacher: About what, Seeker?

Seeker: I was just thinking that the psalmist, if this psalmist was David, was praising the Lord because he was the king, and kingship was something that Samuel warned the Israelites that they would come to regret. In the Old Testament passage, the Lord told Samuel the Israelites were not rejecting him but Yahweh. And King David was rejoicing in the Lord when there should not have been a king. And my thinking got tangles, and . . . I got lost in my thoughts.

Preacher: I can see and understand that there is a paradox there. But remember, David worshiped the Lord before he was king. If they had to be a king, David was probably one of the best choices. And maybe David would have been a poet for the Lord in any case.

Seeker: “On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.”
Yes, I guess David was the Divine’s man first, before he as Israel’s king. Once in a while though, kingship went to his head and he made some missteps. Big missteps.

Preacher: “All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth.”

Seeker: “They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.”

Preacher: It is true that many of the kings after David did in fact NOT hear the Words of the Lord. And did not proclaim and hold to the ways of the Lord. They wanted their own glory, and glory accorded to them.

Seeker: “For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.”
King David did humble himself when he needed to. And he did remember he was subject to the laws as set down by the Lord at Mount Sinai.

Preacher: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.”

Seeker: Now that I am thinking more clearly, I see that David before he was king lead a good life, an accountable life. And he did try to keep that way of living throughout his kingship. David might not have been perfect, and maybe being king shone a brighter light on his imperfections. I myself shudder to think what might be revealed in my if the spotlight of notoriety shone on me!

Preacher: I feel the same way, Seeker. But I also think about how my efforts to live according to the Divine’s laws may well have saved me from worse sins! We can see from the kings that followed David that sinning comes very easy when you have comparatively unlimited control and power over the people around you. Despite his faults, David had a good attitude. “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” (Psalm 138)

Seeker: Preacher, you have helped me see young David and King David in a new, or renewed light. May we all try to use David’s example as a stepping to greater understanding and conviction of the Christian life, so that we might take the next step to follow in the way of living that Jesus the Messiah shows all of humanity.

Preacher: Shalom & Selah, Seeker, Shalom & Selah!