A Woman After God
Posted by Priscilla Carr, May 16, 2023
The late Dr. Charles Stanley was the first person to introduce me to David as more than a Bible “character.” He taught me that when David was a youngster, he was probably not well-treated by his older brothers and was overlooked by his father. Notice that when the Lord sent the prophet Samuel to Jesse’s home to anoint the next king of Israel, and after Samuel had rejected all 6 of David’s older brothers, Jesse didn’t even ask Samuel to consider his youngest son, David. It was Samuel who asked, “…are these all the sons you have?” (1 Samuel 16:11).
In another example, in 1 Samuel 17, when David went to replenish supplies for three of his brothers who were fighting the Philistines and Goliath, he asked one of the soldiers there, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (v. 26). Those seem like pretty harmless questions; bold questions, but very inoffensive. But David’s brother Eliab reacted in this way, “When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, ‘Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle”. (v. 28).
I can almost feel David’s pain and exasperation, “Now what have I done?’ said David. ‘Can’t I even speak?’” (v. 29). Dr. Stanley pointed out that what David experienced at home helped to shape how he saw himself and the world around him—as it would affect any of us.
I point out King David’s humanity because he was a man of like passions as we are. And his sin with Bathsheba and against Uriah might loom too large if we don’t remind ourselves that he is like we are, as the old hymn says, “prone to wander, prone to leave the One we love.” And David did love our Lord. The Lord Himself gave David the ultimate title, “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14, Acts 13:22). David was flawed (an adulterer, murderer, not a very good father…etc.). He experienced grave consequences for his sins and had “issues,” but he loved the Lord His God and had a relationship with Him.
Relationship with God is what Jesus died to give to each of us. And although King David lived prior to the advent of God’s Spirit living within us, he did experience a relationship with our Creator. An example of this relationship caught my attention in 1 Chronicles 13. After David’s coronation as king, he decided to return the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 37) to Hebron. It had been stolen by the Philistines and returned hastily to the Israelites due to God’s judgment against the Philistines (1 Sam. 6), but during King Saul’s reign Israel “…did not inquire of Him…(1 Chron. 13:3) ‘using the Ark. So, King David inquired of his countrymen and Israel’s leaders and set out to return the Ark to Hebron. Unfortunately, although he inquired of his countrymen and the leaders of Israel, he didn’t ask the Lord. And his good intentions caused the death of one of his countrymen, Uzzah, who reached out to straighten the Ark that appeared about to fall off the cart it had been placed on. God killed Uzzah immediately, and King David “was angry” (v. 11).
King David’s intentions were honorable, but in his haste to accomplish a good deed, he did not inquire of God. But as the story continues in chapter 14, we see that David didn’t pout or remain angry long but learned and began to seek God’s direction. And in chapter 15, when he again decided to return the Ark to Hebron, he made these statements, “…no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before Him forever.” (v. 2). And he also admitted in verse 13, “For the Lord our God burst out in anger against us because you Levites were not with us the first time, for we didn’t inquire of Him about the proper procedures.” King David, in humility, grew closer to our Lord even after failure.
God offers each of us a relationship with Himself. But because of God’s holiness, we must approach Him His way—made possible only through Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. And to grow in our relationship, we must be honest with Him. We bring all of our “issues” and don’t deny our weaknesses and sins; we express our anger and disappointments and are willing to humble ourselves before Him and come to agree that His way is best; it’s best for us and for those around us. And as we go after His heart, we get to dwell more intimately with Him, just as King David did.
For this is what the high and exalted One says—
I live in a high and holy place,
But also, with the one who is contrite
And lowly in spirit
(Isaiah 57:15 NIV)
Priscilla Carr was born in NYC, but has lived in metro Atlanta since 1979. She is a Navy veteran trained in electronics which God used for a 30-year career at the FAA. She uses her training to provide audio support to Touching Hearts Ministries, and is the Editor and Producer of “A Burst of Hope” podcast. She began her adult new life in Jesus in 1990 right before leaving the Navy, and today she exudes her love for Jesus. She is the proud mama to two rambunctious fur kids, Gracie (Lab) and Faith (Pit-mix). Priscilla was encouraged by elementary teachers to write. She took creative writing courses in High School and college, but in the mid-eighties, she stopped writing. The desire to write has been recently reawakened, and she is thriving in her new writing adventure.