I’ve been reading through King David’s life and there is a stark contrast. He started out so strong and passionate for God but he left a mixed legacy. His disobedience cost him dearly. Firstly- he took on many wives and concubines. (my reaction is ‘ew’) This created tension and strife amongst his many children. Logically, it just isn’t fair to expect many women to share one man. How involved could David have been with all these children? He was too busy making babies to properly raise the ones he had. Plus, things get really dicey when a throne is up for grabs. His eldest son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar. Absalom killed Amnon in retaliation. David refuses to reconcile to Absalom, who subsequently attempts a violent coup against his own Father. Yet another son, Adonijah, also tries to gain the crown illicitly. It was a mess.
Why wasn’t one wife enough? Abigail seemed like a really cool chick. He should have just stuck with her, IMO. “He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray…” Deuteronomy 17:17
The kicker though, of course, was the situation with Bathsheba. Bathsheba was a married woman. Her husband, Uriah was apparently a man of great integrity. He was serving David faithfully. So how great the betrayal when David committed adultery with her. Not only that- he killed Uriah to cover up the resulting pregnancy and evidence of his crime.
As punishment for this great sin; their child dies. God did forgive David. 2 Samuel 12:13 But I think David was a broken man. He became a shell of his former self. The condemnation from his sin ate him alive. He went from being the youth that valiantly charged at the giant to a man that put up with verbal abuse. When Absalom tried to take the kingdom, David immediately took his people and ran. He should have stood his ground.
While fleeing the confrontation he allowed Shimei (a relative of Saul) to throw rocks at him and curse him out. His men wanted to kill him but David allowed the abuse. If he curses, and if the LORD has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?'” Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite?” 2 Samuel 16:10-11
I believe David was filled with shame that paralyzed him from confronting any immorality because he felt like a hypocrite. He never confronted Amnon for the rape of Tamar. He didn’t rebuke his children when they were going astray. 1 Kings 1:6
When he was on his death bed he passed on a laundry (or more like ‘hit’) list on to his son, Solomon, of people who had wronged him- whom he had failed to confront in life.
I think the greater tragedy is that he apparently never recovered from the moral failure. I don’t believe this is ever God’s will. “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 “For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.” Job 5:18
Know God as redeemer. I don’t know if David ever really got there, or if he was haunted by his sins the rest of his life.
Because of the cross we don’t have to stay stuck. We don’t have to put up with the Devil throwing stones and cursing us out.
The Bible says that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. Goodness knows we should try to live faithfully. But, we all stumble in many ways. And God is faithful, thank goodness, even when we are faithless.
Moral of the story… Don’t let Satan bully you into living paralyzed by shame. God wants to redeem it (whatever ‘it’) is; for His glory. David’s story ended on a sad note but because of the Gospel- the power of God unto salvation- ours don’t have to.
“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” Malachi 4:2