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A Better David

A Better David

MAY 16, 2023

/ Articles / A Better David

In Psalm 26, David made bold claims about himself.

He wrote, “Vindicate me. O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering” (verse 1). In verse 11 he wrote that not only had he walked with integrity, but he would also continue to do so. “But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity…”

Was this empty boasting by David? It seems so to me. David was not always a man of integrity. Neither did he unwaveringly trust the Lord.

As we know, David took his neighbor’s wife, which resulted in her pregnancy. Then he entered a grand deception to cover the sin. When that deception failed, he had his neighbor killed, married his wife, and engaged in another deception, wanting people to think the pregnancy came after the marriage. These are not the actions of a man of integrity.

One of David’s sons raped one of David’s daughters. I would expect a man of integrity to stand up and defend his daughter. David did not. He did nothing about it.

How many times in the Psalms did David write something like, “How long Lord? Why have you abandoned us?” That doesn’t sound to me like someone who trusts the Lord without wavering. Does it to you?

Was David an empty boaster? It seems so to me. But then, so am I.

Many times, I boasted that I would be faithful to the Lord. I would never desert him. And yet, I did. I was not faithful. I did desert him. I took vows, solemn vows, to be faithful. And I broke every one of them. I have done terrible things, destructive things, things that have hurt many people. And I could do so again. I certainly have the capacity to do so.

Is there hope for me and other empty boasters who fail to walk with integrity and trust the Lord without wavering?

There is! There is hope! 

There is hope because there is another David, a better David, who did walk with integrity, who did trust God the Father without wavering. There is a better David who was tempted in every way that you or I have been tempted and yet no sin was found in him. This better David not only did not take his neighbor’s wife and then plot to kill him, he took his neighbor’s sin and gave his life for it. He gave his for your sins and for mine. Jesus is that better David.

There is hope for us unfaithful, empty boasters when we trust in Jesus the better David who gave his life for us. There is hope when we remember Jesus died our deaths so that we might live his life. There is hope when we humbly seek him and pray for the grace to walk not in our integrity but in his, when we pray that he would graciously give us his trust in God.

May it be so.

Barry Smith

Barry Smith

Barry’s aim is to prepare the Church to minister well in prisons so that prisoners are prepared to minister well in the Church. This is accomplished through service in complementary […]

Barry Smith's Full Bio
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