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The Man David

Harry Tennant

Paperback, audio book (mp3) or e-book (ePub)

192 pages

The Man David

The Christadelphian review (from February 1969)

The Man David

THE title well defines the scope of this new book by bro. Harry Tennant, a further addition to the series of Bible biographies which already includes Abraham: Father of the Faithful (H. A. Whittaker) and Moses My Servant (H. Tennant). It is David as man, and especially as man of God, who is in view in all his experiences, whether as shepherd boy, as hunted fugitive or as king. To the understanding of the man bro. Tennant brings an intimate knowledge of the Psalms, bringing them to bear where they reflect David’s response to the events and vicissitudes of his life. Meditating on this, bro. Tennant shows foreshadowings of the inner life of the greater Son of David and, with the development of the ideas in further scripture teaching, their application to the life of the believer today.

An example of the writer’s approach is to be found in the comment on David’s inquiry of Abiathar concerning his next step after Saul’s death:

“(David) sought the guidance of the One who had sustained him in his tribulations. He would give counsel in a time of joy … God was in all David’s thinking. Many men send out distress signals to God as they are driven by a wild sea towards a rocky shore. Few seek Him as they come gently into harbour under a blue sky. The dangers of blue skies are often greater to the believer than the stresses of the storm … David has set down his thoughts on these things, a confession and the divine response given under the sweet influence of the Holy Spirit:

David: ‘Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.’

God: ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye’.”

Bro. Tennant does not shirk the problems presented by the very human qualities of David, such as his apparent weakening of faith when after reconciliation he said: “I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul”, resulting in his passing over into the land of the Philistines. Nor does he soften the record of David’s great sin. Its consequences in that sword which never departed from David’s house are clearly traced, and the sorrows it brought are poignantly described:

“Nothing would be the same again in David’s kingdom. Joab, who had murdered Abner in cold blood, was henceforth immune from David’s righteous rebuke, since David had sought Joab’s service to dispose of Uriah. David’s family were deeply affected. Some of his sons were grown men whose behaviour required a restraining hand and their father had rendered himself impotent to exercise it. Above all, the evident sincerity of David’s purpose had been irremediably clouded in the eyes of his people.”

Yet from the dark hour of David’s sin “he emerged with the knowledge that salvation is by forgiveness and grace, that every man is utterly insufficient of himself and is saved only by faith in the overflowing goodness of God. Thenceforth, his life bore the marks of the consequences of his deep sin. He had learned that he was no better than his fathers and he turned in daily thankfulness and whole-hearted dependence to the God who had been merciful to him in his hour of need.”

Warmth of tone and spiritual insight thus mark this book as with all bro. Tennant’s writings. It will be valued as a helpful addition to our literature.

L.G. SARGENT

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