God Delights In Me

It’s been said that the bookends of success are starting well and finishing well. I believe that! 

David started well when he lifted up a prayer of thankfulness to God when he became king over the united nation of Israel. Prayer at the the beginning puts us on a path toward success. 

Have you ever begun to assemble a child’s toy or a piece of furniture, gotten completely stumped, and only then read the instruction manual? We’ve all been there! There are many things in life that we start on our own and then hit our knees in prayer only after we’ve exhausted all of our human resources. Fortunately, after we pray and God answers, we often end up finishing well with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. The question is: what do we do when we again get ready to start something else? Do we pause to start well with prayer, or do we dive in on our own again? 

I think one of the biggest reasons we don’t go to prayer quickly is because we feel unworthy to go into the presence of a holy, righteous God. 

One commentator said about Psalm 18 that David probably prayed this “before he committed his terrible sin” with Bathsheba and Uriah. That may be, but with very few minor changes, David prayed this exact same prayer (2 Samuel 22) at the very end of his reign. His reign as king was bookended with the same prayer. 

Between the bookend prayers of Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22, David prayed another prayer—this one was after he had sinned against God, Bathsheba, and Uriah. David truly believed that God forgave that sin and wiped the slate clean, so much so that he noted this great blessing on his life: “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. 

He rescued me because He delighted in me?! Yes! 

David knew that God had told us that He delights in those who obey Him. The example of God’s delight was seen in Jesus. Because Jesus paid the price for the forgiveness of my sins, I can be completely cleansed. Then Jesus comes in me, and takes me into Him, and takes both of us into the Father. So now when our Heavenly Father looks at a forgiven sinner, He sees only the righteousness of Jesus—something He utterly delights to see! (Check out all of the biblical passages I’m referencing by clicking here.)  

David said his sin had been washed “whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7), So now look at what he could claim—

The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I am not guilty of turning from my God. All His laws are before me; I have not turned away from His decrees. I have been blameless before Him and have kept myself from sin. The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in His sight” (2 Samuel 22:21-25). 

…according to my cleanness in His sight. 

In GOD’S sight! The devil wants to accuse me. He wants my sight to dominate. The devil doesn’t want me to see myself as God sees me. But I declare it out loud: I am clean IN HIS SIGHT! 

This cleanness allows me full, bold, confident access to Almighty God! I can take everything to God in prayer because I am clean in His sight! 

If you would like to read more of the posts in our prayer series called Be A First Responder, please click here. 

Loyalty

How would you define loyalty? All of the dictionary definitions have to do with faithfulness. It’s almost implied that there is a blindness (at worst), or a dogged persistence (at best), to remain loyal to a person or to an idea. The thinking goes, “If I’m loyal to someone, like it or not, I become their Yes-man.”

But I think…

Loyalty is not telling people what they want to hear, but what they need to hear.

For an example, take the prophet Nathan in the Bible. We don’t know how old he is when he steps on the scene, or even where he came from. There isn’t a clue as to his tribal ancestry or even his father’s name.

King David wanted to build a temple for the ark of the covenant, and he asked Nathan about this. Nathan immediately said, “Yes!” (kinda reinforces that idea of loyalty = Yes-man, doesn’t it?) But wait! That night, God speaks to Nathan and says, “Tell David he’s not the one to build the temple for Me.” So Nathan returns to David and loyally tells him no.

Later on, David steals another man’s wife and contrives a plan to have that man murdered on the battlefield. David thinks he’s gotten away with it until Nathan, the loyal friend, shows up to confront David with his sin. Nathan didn’t want to see David fail, but he wanted to give him a chance to confess and repent.

Near the end of David’s life, one of David’s sons, Adonijah, wanted to take the throne for himself. Many of the officials in David’s palace jumped on the bandwagon, but loyal Nathan did not. In fact, Nathan even got word to the King about Adonijah’s plans. As a result, David asked Nathan to anoint Solomon as king.

During David’s life, Nathan wrote David’s biography. If Nathan was just a mindless Yes-man, he could have easily left out the messy parts of David’s life. But the loyal friend wanted to show future readers that we all mess up, but God forgives and restores us when we repent.

Nathan’s name means the gift God gave or a giver. Both meanings fit this loyal man.

David was so blessed by Nathan’s loyalty that he named one of his sons after the prophet.

Loyal friends give their friends the gift of life. They don’t let friends go down a destructive path. They don’t join with others when they attack. They remain constant, always-there, friends.

What a blessing to be called a loyal friend! And what an even greater blessing to have “Nathans” in our own lives!

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