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What Can We Learn From
David's "Devotions"?

Posted on August 15, 2023

David is a fascinating character. He was called “the man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), and yet he made terrible mistakes and committed horrible sins. So we can relate to David. We too want to have hearts that seek after God, but we have also made mistakes and committed sins. However, there’s one thing we can learn from David: how to have devotions. Hopefully you spend time with the Lord each day in His Word. No one did this better than David. Here are several principles from David’s life that can help us today. 


David made time for the Lord

In Psalm 63:1, David said, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee…” So David would get up early in the morning to spend time with God. But later in the same psalm he said, “When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches” (v. 6). So David would often think about God at night, whether he was in bed or watching the sheep. We can see, then, that David always made time for God, both in the morning and at night. 


If you want to have profitable devotions, then you will have to make time for God. Don’t squeeze God into your morning; instead, set aside some time to spend with Him. This might mean you have to get up a little earlier, but isn’t your relationship with God worth it? It was for David. And then at night, meditate on God. Think about how good God has been to you. Think about His grace and compassion, and then praise Him for His blessings. 


David meditated on God’s Word 

All over the psalms we are reminded that David loved to meditate on God’s Word, but it was especially seen in Psalm 119. Here are a few examples: “My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes” (Psa. 119:48). “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psa. 119:97). “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word” (Psa. 119:148). 


Meditation has often been compared to cows chewing their cud. The cow will swallow the cud, but then bring it up again to chew some more, and then she will do it again. By doing this the cow is getting the most nutrients out of the food. And that’s how meditation works too! You find a wonderful truth in God’s Word, chew on it, and then later chew on it some more. Keep studying that truth, and you will find yourself growing in your Christian life. Don’t be content just to read the Word; meditate on it (also see Josh. 1:8, Psa. 1:1-3). 

David’s pursuit of God was sincere 

If there was one thing you couldn’t call David, it was a phony. He was genuine. Like you and me, David struggled at times, but he always went to the Lord. Notice what he said in Psalm 42:5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” When discouraged, David encouraged himself to hope in God, and even to praise Him! How many Christians actually do that? 


When it comes to your devotional life, it is vitally important that your pursuit of God is sincere. Do you really want to grow in your relationship with God? Do you really want to learn more about Him? David did. And if you are truly hungry to learn more of God, then He will not disappoint you (see Matt. 5:6). If your desire for God is cold, then ask the Lord to put a fire in your heart again. And maybe cut some things out of your life that are possibly taking away your desire to know God more. 


Another key aspect is confession. When David sinned with Bathsheba, the prophet Nathan told him the hard truth. David responded correctly and confessed his sin. If you read Psalm 51, you will see how sincere David was, and indeed, he never committed this sin again. Sin will ruin your relationship with God, so be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s moving in your life, and confess sin immediately. 


David never crowded God out 

I hate to say it, but we tend to crowd God out of our lives sometimes because of how busy we can get. That never happened with David (and he was the king!). When he was young, David would meditate on the Lord while watching his sheep. David’s desires didn’t change after he was anointed king. Even in times of great distress, David always went to the Lord. He sought God when he felt overwhelmed by his enemies (Psa. 3), when he felt alone (Psa. 12), when he needed clarity (Psa. 25), when he felt weak (Psa. 28), when he was afraid (Psa. 55), and the list goes on! Instead of crowding God out, David always brought God in. 


Understand that you have a relationship with God—don’t confine God to a time slot. Make God a part of every area of your life. Bring God into everything you do. Pray when you find yourself in any kind of trouble, no matter how small. Don’t forget that God is your heavenly Father, and He cares so much for you! 


I hope that at least one of these points has been a help to you. Make sure that your devotions are real—make them your top priority, as David did. 

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