“David, unlike any Bible character before him, had the charisma to inspire a great nation. Yet in other ways he was a most ordinary man-often gripped by destructive passion, rocked by personal tragedy, and motivated by political gain. Yet, he is the one character the Bible describes as a “man after God’s own heart.” In this first volume of the “Great Lives” series Charles Swindoll shows how David proved his love for God many times over in an extraordinary life that left an enduring legacy of faith.”
My review: 5 stars, Charles Swindoll is an author with an excellent reputation and for good reason. The study behind his work is well done and he has an easy to absorb writing style.
I don’t agree with everything he has said, e.g. political gain in a negative sense, as David was working in line with God’s Will and the Torah. Plus, Charles hasn’t taken into account some of the psychology behind David’s story, such as the full ramifications on the family because of Absalom’s psychopathic and sociopathic traits. This has led him to simply parts of the story and make judgements which don’t stand up well when the full complexity of family breakdown is taken into account.
For example, Charles takes the standard view that David didn’t know that Absalom and Amnon hadn’t talked for two years. This is unlikely, especially as David knew to be wary of Absalom’s requests for a full family gathering. There would have been multiple relationship breakdowns around Absalom and there could have been a hard to track maze of trouble within such a large family. Add to this that both were adults and that certain facts could be hidden from a over-busy parent, and a new side to the story becomes apparent. Nothing is as simple as it seems.
When I was first researching David, this book helped me enormously. It is fair, draws on the work of other notable figures such as Charles Spurgeon and is not an onerous, heavy read. I liked this book so much, his book on the Psalms is one my Christmas list. Highly recommended.
Available just about everywhere as an ebook or paperback.
Great Lives Series by Charles R. Swindoll Thomas Nelson Inc., Copyright 1997