Tag Archives: King David

The Desires of Our Hearts

For the Lord has chosen Jerusalem;
he has desired it for his home.
Psalm 132:13, NLT*

Remember King David’s plan to build a place of worship for God? This psalm starts there, reminds the people how excited they were to come into God’s presence in celebration, and then it finishes with God.

God chose Israel out of the nations, and He chose where he wanted to “dwell” among them. God, who needs nothing that we can make for Him, wanted to establish His presence with His people.

It makes me think of the verse that says God gives us the desires of our hearts. He planted the desire in David, and in Solomon who actually built the Temple. It was their desire, but it was God’s first.

That reminds me how important it is to listen to God, to take time alone with Him in quiet. What dream or vision might He want to plant?

It also means we need to remember that any desire He may give us is ultimately His. We don’t dare re-shape it or get possessive over it. David’s role wasn’t to build the Temple but to gather the resources and prepare his son Solomon to be the builder.

Knowing a longing like this comes from God releases us to trust that He’ll accomplish it as He fully envisions. This may be different from what we expect, since we may see only a portion of the whole.

Do you have a longing that wells up from such a deep place inside that sometimes it hurts? Stay close to God, listen to Him and wait for His timing. He knows what He’s doing.

Our God, Your ways and thoughts are beyond what we can comprehend, and yet You choose to involve us in accomplishing Your purposes. Thank You for the desires You plant in our hearts, the ways You draw us into Your work. Help us to listen and to follow You, not turning aside and not running ahead. Help us remember that this is for Your glory, and not our own.

As we listen to God’s heart, we can echo this song from Jonny Diaz: “Use Me Too.”

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Free from Fear

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4, NLT*

Anointed as the future king of Israel, as a young man David spent years on the run from the current king, Saul. When he first fled from Saul’s palace, leaving behind his wife and his best friend, David went to the enemy Philistines for refuge.

The Philistines recognized him, and David realized his life was still in danger. He pretended to be insane, and the Philistine king sent him away. (You can read the story in 1 Samuel 21:10-14.)

Psalm 34 looks back on that experience. The introductory note uses a different name for the king (Abimilech instead of Achish) but according to the Geneva Bible, “Abimilech” was a term used for all the Philistine kings.

In that context, today’s verse makes me stop and think. David said “He freed me from all my fears.”

God kept David safe and got him out of the Philistines’ clutches, but David knew Saul still wanted to kill him. And David had an honourable streak that wouldn’t let him kill Saul first.

David’s reason for fear—Saul—was very much alive and well. But David declared that he’d been set free from all his fears.

To me, that suggests an important distinction. Maybe it echoes another David-psalm where he rejoices that his Shepherd is even with him in the dark valley under death’s shadow. (Psalm 23)

The danger hadn’t changed, but David had. Fear didn’t own him anymore.

This wasn’t David’s first experience with God’s trustworthiness. Growing up, he faced down lions and other predators. Then he acted in faith to kill the giant, Goliath. (1 Samuel 17)

I think he fled from Saul in disappointment, discouragement and panic. And somehow, his experience with the Philistines reminded him where he needed to put his trust.

Even when we can’t change our circumstances, we can change how we respond. We don’t have to act insane like David did, but we can choose to rely on our strong God.

My theme message in my novel, Heaven’s Prey, is “Whatever happens, Jesus will be there.” I think that’s what David remembered in his moment of Philistine-induced terror. It’s what I need to remember every time fear or anxiety start to whisper.

It isn’t easy, and it’s not a one-time deal for most of us. It often starts with bringing God our fears, and saying “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:14-29)

He will.

We will still feel fear. But we don’t need to be afraid, bound by that fear. Our God is bigger.

God, our strong and mighty refuge, You promised to never leave us, and to shepherd and shield us. Whether you lead us through easy terrain or dangerous paths, help us remember that You are with us. Help us trust Your love. We know that doesn’t mean we’ll live pain-free, happy lives, but whatever  happens, You will be with us to carry us through, to Your glory and ultimately for our good.

Let these words from Jeremy Camp sink into our spirits today: “Trust in You (I Will Not Be Afraid).”

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.