Friday, July 8, 2011

"If that had been too little..."

"Nathan said to David, 'You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I anointed you King over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel & Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more.'"
(2 Samuel 12:7-8)

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Passion... Sex... Adultery... Deception... it's been around since the beginning.  (And unfortunately continues still today.)  In one of the great examples of "moral failure" in all of scripture, we encounter King David and his "Bathsheba incident" from 2 Samuel 11-12.  Allow me to remind you of the key components...

Instead of being with the army (as Kings usually were), David chose to stay home this particular spring.  One afternoon he saw a beautiful woman on her rooftop, bathing.  After finding out she was married to one of his soldiers, he brought her to his palace and had sex with her.  Upon discovering that he'd gotten her pregnant, David brought her husband home from war, and tried to get him to sleep with his wife.  The plan didn't work.  After trying a couple of times, David eventually sent him back to the battlefront with instructions (unbeknownst to him) to have him put in the fiercest fighting area, which, of course, got the guy killed.  After an appropriate time of mourning, David sent for Bathsheba and made her his wife.  Then their child was born.

God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David about his sin, which Nathan did dramatically through a wonderful parable/allegory.  He then reminded David of just a FEW of the blessings God had given him: the crown (as king!), safety from harm (especially when the former king, Saul, tried so hard to kill him!), a fine palace, wives (which David had multiple of!), and a united nation of Israel & Judah (for the first time ever!).  Then Nathan adds something that continues to echo in my soul: "AND IF THAT HAD BEEN TOO LITTLE, I WOULD HAVE ADDED AS MUCH MORE," says the Lord (v.8).

Like many men (& women) before (and after) him, David acted impulsively.  Bathsheba's beauty trumped any moral integrity for David.  For whatever reason, David allowed that moment to run rampant over a lifetime of faithfulness.  Sure, nobody's perfect.  But this was a pretty big "indiscretion": adultery, murder, & deception.  And what gets me is that God said, "If you wanted more, just ask me!  I'd have given you more!"  (I don't think God would have given him Bathsheba, but could have found something else to fulfill the void he was feeling in his life.)

Yah, nobody's perfect, that's for sure.  But we, as humans, have to be responsible for our actions.  We all have choices we make every day in life.  Our call is to make choices that will honor God (and each other).  And if we feel we're "missing something" in life, bring it up to the LORD!  We may not always get what we ask for... sometimes God may just need to give us a new perspective on what we think the problem is... but nevertheless, God is there to help see us through.  We have no right to take from others what is not ours.  Everyone needs to learn that lesson, from Kings down to the rest of us common folk.  (Amen to that!)

Friday, July 1, 2011


"When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold."
(2 Samuel 5:17)

David is crowned the 2nd King of Israel.  All his fellow Israelites rejoice.  All Israel's enemies seethe.  The Philistines (neighbors to the SW) launch an offensive strike to eliminate the new monarch.  David's 'intel' discovers this plot, and he's able to protect himself accordingly.  What does he do?  2 Samuel 5:17 tells us "he went down to the stronghold."

Maybe this is one of those no-brainer comments that any military expert would say, "Of course!" to.  But it struck me this morning as I was reading.  When threatened, go to your stronghold.  (It's also interesting to note that David was threatened at the height of his accomplishments - a warning to us all!)

I know David's "stronghold" was probably a city of great strength & defense... but it got me thinking about my "stronghold."  Where do I "go" to be most safe?  Church?  Family?  Small group ministry?  How do I surround myself with "protection"?  Scripture reading?  Worship?  Christian fellowship?  Love of family?  I think it's a combination of many of these above things for me.  But am I going to my strongholds in times of need, or simply trying to "go it alone"?  May I learn from David...