Every child who grew up with Sunday school in the Christian faith knows the story of David and Goliath. The young but brave shepherd boy who tended sheep became a steady hand with a stone and slingshot and he helped Israel avoid a bloody battle by killing the mighty giant warrior of the Philistines, Goliath, with a single, perfectly aimed shot. His fame grew, God favored him in stature among others and decided he should be anointed King of Israel while King Saul was still sitting on the throne. Saul was previously anointed as King but he fell out of favor with God when he repeatedly didn't follow His advice and, despite many opportunities to change his ways, repeated the same mistakes of love of power and self-adulation again and again.
The Old Testament book of Second Samuel tells a grand story of David. The first ten chapters cover his rise in favor due to his leadership and bravery in battle advancing God's wishes to see Israel as the favored nation of God. But David had two problems which caused him to sin and make major mistakes, and the final fourteen chapters of Second Samuel chronicle his errors in his ways. What were they? Well, while he was a great leader and consolidated the two portions of Israel, Judah in the South and Israel in the North, he was a bad parent. He never instilled the love of God and the willingness to sacrifice for Him in his sons. And he was also a sinner when it came to lust of a woman who he should have left alone. When he spotted the beautiful but married Bathsheba bathing from his veranda, he inquired about her and summoned her to him where he committed adultery and impregnated her quickly. What's more, Bathsheba was the wife of his best soldier at arms, Uriah the Hittite, and he attempted to cover his covetous ways by bringing his warrior home from battle, offering him a break from the horrors of war and a night with his wife. David was sure that this would keep his secret, for Uriah would assume he was the father when the child was born.
David's scheme didn't work, however, for Uriah, ever the duty-bound soldier instead slept outside the palace gates with the guards, unwilling to enjoy the comforts of home while his men were camped outside the gates of the enemy they were fighting. And it was then that David became treacherous, sending word to Joab his general to put Uriah in the most dangerous place in battle near the enemy walls and, upon retreat, leave him and his men stranded. Uriah was killed in this situation and David was complicit in his death. And while God, who had anointed him as the King, forgave him for his transgressions, He told him he would be punished for his evil ways. First, the child born of the illicit behavior died of a sudden disease which sprang up and second, David's own sons turned against him, with Absalom fomenting insurrection within the Israelites against his father, who had to flee Jerusalem for his life when the Army of the tribes of Israel marched forward against David.
So, what is the message that this sends to us? Actually it's a very simple one. When God blesses us, we are to use those blessings in a way that are pleasing to Him and that means putting him first in our lives. David's lust for another man's wife and his involvement in what amounted to murder to remove that man so that the wife could become his own was an act like spitting in God's face. And his inattention to his own family, children of many different mothers which likely caused a disjointed family anyway, resulted in his own flesh and blood lacking love and respect for him. Unlike his bravery and devotion that he displayed for his nation, it was woefully lacking with his children and the result speaks for itself. What an amazing story Second Samuel unfolds and what a wonderful lesson it teaches all of us. And that is the reason why God allowed the action to unfold as it did and if we follow His words of wisdom throughout, it will make us stronger and more devout in our willingness to serve Him as our Lord.
Dear Lord, We thank you for the wonderful story of David, both the good and the bad, which should be a wonderful example to us of why we need to live our lives for you. Help us to always remember what it means and to live our faith accordingly. In Jesus' name, Amen.