I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built like a city
That is closely compacted together.
That is where the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD,
to praise the name of the LORD
according to the statue given to Israel.
There the thrones of judgment stand,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels,”
for the sake of my brothers and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will see your prosperity.
—Song of Ascents, Psalm 122 (NIV)
This is just one of the many examples of David’s heart, a passage I return to often to encourage and evaluate myself. Some people, when they speak, you just want to listen–you just know that the things that pour out of their lips are pouring directly out of their hearts. Men like David are not men of contradictions. His actions always matched up with his words–how he truly felt about God, how he really felt about people, and how he wholly served.
He may not have been a perfect man, but he’s proven over and over that his heart belonged to God. One of his defining qualities is the spirit with which he served. He looked always to the glory and joy of the Lord. He cared for the people with only His possession in mind. It was a mindfully genuine and selfless reign. He saw the bigger picture–he looked towards the end of the race course, and he sought out that one beautiful expression of God’s love: peace.
Peace within His walls, peace among His people, not for David’s sake, so that his reign would be smoother, so he could avoid hassle, so it won’t be inconvenient to his other parallel pursuits in life, so he could “get it over with,” so it becomes some political lobby to gain votes when time nears the election of God’s council. Rather, for the sake of his brothers and friends (not his subjects or inheritance)–for the sake of the house of the Lord.
In his personal life, though, and during his reign, did he really have peace? That’s debatable. There was too much bloodshed, God said. He could not build those walls. It wasn’t going to be him. But nevertheless, even though he did not stand for personal gain, he sought the peace of the assembly and prayed it with his whole heart. It was his lifelong and final desire.
That which he possessed as a little boy, he never forgot or traded or compromised. He offered it to the Lord until the very end–his heart of gold. It is the most beautiful part of a person; the inner mettle we are made of, and what refinement will reveal when the fire has had its way with us.
It’s not a wonder why God, while He may have been disappointed now and then through the years with this willful child, He was always satisfied and pleased with this select creation, because for this servant, God’s happiness was his own –and this was functionally measurable: he loved the people of God and he sought their prosperity. This degree of commitment can only be made possible through selflessness. That’s why I am convinced: this man gave his Master his all.