Saturday, April 20, 2013

David and the Downward Spiral

I'm reading through 2 Samuel, and having also recently read 1 Samuel, I've been repeatedly struck by the consideration David shows for God's anointed ones, an for seeking direction from God. On multiple occasions David chooses to spare the life of Saul, the anointed King of Israel. Interesting especially in light of Saul's repeated attempts on David's life. Of course that could be interesting to, but back to David in 2 Samuel.
In 2 Samuel 1-10, the times David chooses the righteous path is downright plethoric. Or at least it seems that way at first.

  • David mourns Saul and Jonathan and avenges their deaths; Ch. 1
  • David seeks God for direction and is anointed King of Judah; Ch 2.
  • David sent Abner away and was innocent of his death; Ch. 3
  • David mourns and avenges the death of Ish-bosheth; Ch. 4
  • David follows God and defeats the Philistines; Ch. 5
  • David brings the Ark of the Covenant home and worships the Lord; Ch. 6
  • David receives a covenant of everlasting kingdom from the Lord; Ch. 7
  • David praises the Lord; Ch. 7
  • David was victorious in battle because the Lord gave him victory; Ch. 8
  • David is kind to Mephibosheth because of his covenant with Jonathan; Ch. 9
  • David defeats the Ammonites and Arameans Ch. 10
But then we begin Chapter 11 and everything changes. In the prior chapters David led his men into battle. He was there seeking direction from God and then directing the army in triumph. However chapter 11 begins with "In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the kings men." Wait a minute, David sent his army without him and stayed in Jerusalem. Maybe he was tired, maybe he wanted a break, maybe he was busy organizing the city of Jerusalem or accomplishing other kingly tasks. While it is clear that his staying home was incongruous with the norm for Kings of those days, the Bible doesn't say why David stayed home. However it speaks extensively on what happened because he stayed home.
  1. He did not lead his army into battle
  2. He saw the bathing beauty on her rooftop
  3. He sent for the beauty- she was another man's wife
  4. He slept with her
  5. He began trying to cover up his sin
  6. He continues to try and cover up his sin
  7. He has Uriah, the husband killed
And that's how it happened, one step after another deeper into sin until an innocent man lost his life because David couldn't stop his downward spiral. While I'm fairly certain there has been no innocent loss of life due to my sin, I am sadly all too familiar with downward spirals. 
  1. They ruin friendships
  2.  Destroy families
  3. Tear apart communities
However, Chapter 11 is not where the story ends. As one completes a reading of 2 Samuel, David writes Psalms to the Lord, builds altars for God and continues to do as the Lord wills. Such is that God creates a covenant with the house of David. 1 Kings 2.

And I leave you with this:
Even in the midst of trouble and sin, God is waiting for us to turn back hand him the dangerous items we are using and step into his embrace.