Then David took more wives at Jerusalem, and David became the father of more sons and daughters.
1 Chronicles 14:3
I had thought to consider chapter fourteen as a whole, but there are really two separate thoughts in this chapter. The first thought is in verses one through seven. The second is the remainder of the chapter.
It would be a simple thing for me to read over the first seven verses of the chapter and think that the whole thing is about God establishing David as king and exalting that kingdom (v. 2). But that would be to miss verse three entirely. Verse three tells me that David took more wives and had more children.
Deuteronomy 17:17 says that the king shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself. I notice that it is when the king multiplies wives and greatly increases silver and gold that his heart turns away. It is the excess that is inherently dangerous.
David knew this. He wrote in Psalm 19:7-8 that The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; / The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. / The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; / The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. David was familiar with God’s Law and probably knew that he was not supposed to have multiple wives.
Since polygamy is not legal in the United States and since the thought of it is not attractive, that is not the application for me this morning. My application lies elsewhere. My application: Obey the command I know.
David knew not to multiply wives, but he did anyway. There are things that God has told me TO DO and things He has told me NOT TO DO. Before I start tying myself up in knots about particulars, let me do the things and cease from doing the things that God has given instruction about. Has God told me to trust in Him and not lean on my own understanding (Hint: He has)? Then let me trust Him and not seek to understand every detail of the thing He is doing. Has God told me to be anxious for nothing? Then let me cease from worry. I have more than enough instruction in both the DO THIS and DO NOT DO THIS category to keep me occupied for quite a while.
There are plenty of things that God did not address specifically in The Bible, but I will invest my time well if I use it to do the things I know to do and ask God about everything else.
Father, thank You for the reminder that David, though a man after Your heart, was not perfect. Thank You for the reminder to do the things I know to do and cease from the things I know not to do. Please give me the eyes to see both for what they are, the strength to begin rightly, and the endurance to see obedience through until it becomes my regular pattern of behavior.