Chapter 17: 18
17:18 (LBV) What else can I say? You know that I am but a dog,
yet you have decided to honor me! (LBV)
This text considers David as he reflects that despite the lowliness
of life before God, yet he is considered for blessings.
The main theme of this passage begins at verse 16 in which David considers
his unworthiness to receive rich blessings from God. He asks "Who am I
oh Lord God, and what is mine house.." Considering the wretched life that
he lived David was awed that God still loved him enough to make great blessings
available to his immediate household and his posterity. The Living Bible
paraphrase transcribes David's words this way: "What else can I say? You
know that I am but a dog, yet you have decided to honor me!"
God knew David very well. He knew him as a innocent man hunted as a
criminal for no fault of his own. He knew him as the dog hearted man who
would kill a woman's husband to claim her for his wife. But he also knew
David as a man who tired of living the dog's life of deceit, misery, violence
and disrespect and cried out in his agony "Create in me a clean heart,
O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence;
and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit." Psalm 51:10-12 God knew David as a
man after his own heart.
This passage finds David in awe of the benevolence of God to love him,
bless him, and make great promises to himself and his family despite having
been a "dog" among men. God made great promises to David and his family
because of his decision to rise above his doggish nature, repent, resist
evil and to stand firm for God.
From verse 16 to verse 22 David recounts how God has shown benevolence
to both himself and to Israel, selecting them, despite their doggish ways,
as his own. At verse 23 he rises and asks God to allow the blessings of
his grace to flow upon his family.
David experienced the reality of living the dog's life. He sinned in
the worse way. He murdered, brought shame on his family, contracted a venereal
disease, a reached a point of spiritual bankruptcy before begging God to
restore him. In repentance, he rose from a man who lived like a dog, to
a man described as being "after God's own heart."
Thanks to a forgiving God, he was not condemned to the dog's life but
was given another chance, which he used to the glory and praise of God
for the remainder of his life.
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