In my unqualified support of President Trump many unbelievers and even many Christians have claimed I am hypocritical and inconsistent in holding him up as a brother in the Lord, while I daily condemn sin on campus. They just don’t see how Trump can possibly be regarded as a Christian.
I fear that if they were actually well read in evaluating David’s reign as King, they might well question whether David was a true believer. Most Christians are familiar with the Acts 13:22, where God says, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”
However, God’s judgment of David’s character seems inconsistent at times. A less known evaluation of David says, “But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars: you shall not build a house unto my name, because you have shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.”—1 Chronicles 22:8
God considered that David had unnecessarily resorted to war, death and destruction in upholding his Kingdom.
In Gary Greenberg’s book, “The Sins of King David,” the author claims, “David was a corrupt and ambitious mercenary who committed treason against Israel by working with its enemies to seize the throne from King Saul; an ambitious and ruthless politician who initiated, sanctioned, or condoned murder and assassination as a way to eliminate political rivals, royal or otherwise; a Philistine vassal who used an army of malcontents to terrorize and conquer the Kingdom of Judah while Saul was still on the throne; a usurper who went to war against Israel after Saul’s death and imposed himself as king over the nation of Israel by military force; a cruel and unjust tyrant who used foreign mercenaries to centralize power under his direct control and who oppressed the people of Israel with high taxes and forced labor; a military imperialist who waged wars of conquest against his neighbors and exposed the peaceful Israelites to military counter-attacks that left many dead, wounded, or widowed.”
David’s many enemies would have agreed with Greenberg. On the other hand, most serious Biblical students would not be as critical of David as Greenberg is. But for those who judge according to outward appearance and do not judge righteously (John 7:24) upon learning more of King David’s monarchy would likely think he is a candidate for Hell. Many contemporary Christians would not accept King David as a man having the Spirit of Christ, if they really knew all the facts. He did not seem to exercise the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount.
On several occasions David turned the other cheek towards Saul, but with other enemies he could be quite vindictive. His many imprecatory prayers in Psalms do not measure up in the judgment of many Christians to loving your enemies or the principles of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Of course, we all know of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband, Uriah, by sending him to the front lines of the battle to be killed.
Some may be familiar with David pride, which led him to do a census of Israel, which resulted in God bringing terrible judgments on the people of Israel. The Chronicler considers this sin to have been so bad that the devil himself was behind the census.
David was a weak father, who failed to discipline his children, which resulted in the rebellion of his son, Absalom. David had multiple wives, which resulted in much conflict within his family. Yet, even those who are aware of the faults and failures of David and his sins still regard him as a heroic example of the faith as does the N.T. Book of Hebrews.
What are we to make of the evaluation of 1 Kings 15:5? The scripture says, “David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”
Notice there is no mention of David’s adultery nor of him numbering Israel. Could it be said that God had forgotten David’s failures and transgressions because of David’s deep repentance? However, his sin against Uriah was so grievous it was still on God’s mind.
After Jesus had forgiven the woman caught in adultery, he said to the Pharisees, “You judge after the flesh, I judge no man.”—John 8:15. There is too much pharisaical judgment against Trump. The pharisees judged by human standards, they did not look beneath the surface and learn to judge righteously.
David’s transgressions in his personal life, some of which carried over into his public life as is virtually inevitable with Christian rulers such as David and Constantine the Great, may not measure up to what men generally expect out of a Christian in our time, nor does President Trump’s life seem to be on the level of the Sermon on the Mount.
President Trump should be judged by a righteous judgment not by hypocrites with a self-righteous censorial spirit, whose overall lives often do not reach the standard by which they are judging others.