David is a Coram Deo man. He interprets life—circumstances and relationships—before the face of God.
David is a Coram Deo man in every circumstance:
When offered the opportunity to defend himself from Saul’s threats by taking Saul’s life, he responds: “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed” (1 Samuel 24:5-6). David surrenders that role instead to the LORD. Those who live before the face of God yield their right to defend themselves to God.
When fleeing from King Saul as he seeks to kill David, he writes: “Strangers have risen up against me. And oppressors have sought after my life; they have not set God before them” (Psalm 54:3, emphasis added). Those who live before the face of God view their enemies as those living outside of God’s presence.
When Nabal responds negatively to David’s request to feed his men he heeds Abigail’s advice, “For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal” (1 Samuel 25:34). Those who live before the face of God recognize and listen to wise counsel.
When David has another opportunity to kill Saul he appeals to the king, “So now, do not let my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD” (26:20, emphasis added); “And indeed, as your life was valued much this day in my eyes, so let my life be valued much in the eyes of the LORD, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation” (26:24). Those who live before the face of God adjure others to live before the face of God.
Instead of rejoicing over the death of King Saul David grieves Israel’s loss, “The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen”; “Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives”; “O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with luxury; who put ornaments of gold on your apparel” (2 Samuel 1:19; 23-24). Those who live before the face of God grieve over those whose who fail to recognize their accountability before God.
Following the death of King Saul David seeks guidance from the LORD, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?” (2 Samuel 2:1). Those who live before the face of God recognize their need for God’s guidance and seek His guidance regularly.
The contrast between these two mindsets is illustrated most vividly in the lives of David and Saul. While David’s response to life situations is to seek the LORD, Saul consults a medium when he finds himself between a rock and a hard place, “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the world of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).
Few men, like David, surrender their headstrong, independent, and wild hearts to the Lord. Few men rein in or discipline themselves emotionally, psychologically and spiritually to God. Few men live before the face of God.