Scripture

1 Kings 15:3-4 (NIV)

3 He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been.

4 Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong.

Observation

When you read through Kings and Chronicles you will notice very often we get a measure of a king right away. Anything from “committed all the sins” of a preceding king to “did evil” in the eyes of the Lord. Something else you may notice is how often a king’s conviction to the Lord is measured against that of King David. David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

When we think of King David I think that there are two or three instances in David’s life that usually come to mind. David going up against Goliath (1 Samuel 17), the incident with Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11) and the plague brought on as a result of the census (2 Samuel 24). Out of the many events of King David’s life, I believe that more people who are not Christians are familiar with the story of David and Goliath than any other story of David. I know that I had never heard of any of the other stories of King David before my conversion.

There’s something to be said about the stories that transcend the Bible and permeate the world. Off the top of my head, I think of Moses, parting the Red Sea, Noah, building the Ark, David, slaying Goliath, Jonah, and the whale, Judas betraying Jesus, and of course, the death of Jesus on the cross. These are all Biblical figures that I knew of before I was a Christian. With the obvious exception of Judas, most of these people were men who committed great acts of faith.

We know that every one of us will stand before God one day and have to answer for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:10). We also know that God doesn’t hold us accountable for anyone’s sins but our own (Deuteronomy 24:16). Have you ever thought about how your obedience to God blesses other people? There are obvious ways in which our obedience to God blesses other people. When we love people and are kind to them that’s a blessing. Some people may realize it and some may not, but loving other people is in obedience to God.

The best ways that we can be obedient to God are to love Him and to love other people. There are myriad ways to show love to God. Proverbs 3:5-6 comes to mind:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. (NIV)

Whenever you show God that you trust Him then you are showing Him that you love Him. Whenever you choose to say something that edifies someone else rather than what you might want to say then you’re showing love to that person and God. We can show love to both God and people when we just listen. We all have that person who tells us the same stories, over and over again. If you can’t think of them then perhaps you’re that person. When we listen, we’re showing love. Love is a choice. When you choose to love then you’re being obedient to God.

Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us that God shows His mercy to 1,000 generations of those who obey Him so when you’re obedient to God, He may look upon your family and show mercy on them for your sake.