As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:9-11)
What was it that made David such a great king? Saul was more impressive. Solomon was wiser. There was a whole line of kings that ruled in Israel and Judah for several hundred years, yet none of them matched David in the estimation of God. Was it something innate in him as a man? Is it something we can emulate?
His name gives us the clue. He was beloved by God. Actually any true greatness is the result of God's initiative in bestowing love. It is his love that crowns mankind with dignity and empowers him for accomplishments.
Did God love David more than Saul? All we know is that David was loved and knew it. Could Saul have received the same amount of favor that David received? I would think so. God's sovereignty never arbitrarily prevents one from receiving grace. But we must not confuse the issue while trying to identify sovereignty. God's choice to pour his love on David is the key to his success.
So the question for us is, can we be loved like David or do we have to assume that he got special attention and we are left to be like the other 20-plus kings of Israel? The New Testament gives us some very good news. David was a type of another who would be like David but greater. He was called the "Son of David." He too was especially loved. He has always been the fullest delight of the Father. In fact, the whole reason behind creation was that God the Father wanted to display the matchless glory of his Son. There has never been anyone loved more that Jesus the Son.
But wait! Jesus wanted some people who could share that extraordinary love with him. He wanted them to know what it's like to be overcome with being loved. So he made it possible by his life, death and resurrection for those who trust him to experience the very same love.
We have trouble believing we qualify for such favor. After all we are not perfect like Jesus and we have sinned many times. Sure, Jesus could enjoy the Father's lavish love, but we aren't Jesus. We are, however, "in Christ." Because he has included us as one in him, we get the same love he deserves. As believers our sins are forgiven and our righteousness exchanged for his. We have the exact same access to the Father's love as Jesus.
Most of the turmoil we go through is because we are seeking love. We desperately want someone to value us enough to love us. We'll take it from a dog or cat, but we want it from some higher form. When we know we are loved, we are invincible. Everything seems brighter. Loved people change the world. Those unsure can destroy society in their search. Notice what Jesus says in the text. "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." What things? That we can abide in his love as he abides in the Father's love.
Would you dare to believe?