Tuesday, January 30

Thoughts about David

Reading the tragic part of David's reign. Man, David sure made a lot of mistakes. He shouldn't have taken Bathsheba, he shouldn't have tried to cover it up, he shouldn't have had Uriah killed.

But, interestingly, he responded with faith to the Lord's judgement. And the Lord blessed David's second son with Bathsheba, Solomon. In fact, the line of the Messiah ran through him. Crazy.

Then, David was a horrible father. He should have disciplined Amnon, maybe killed him (what did the Mosaic law call for?) after he raped Tamar. Instead, without justice, Absalom went nuts. David should have disciplined Absalom a number of times.

That's not to say Absalom wouldn't have gone bad anyway. He certainly showed a flair for it.

My reading of this story is very different at 35. At 25, I would have taken the lesson as 'We must avoid David's mistakes.' That's still an important lesson, of course. But, life isn't always that simple: Must do the right thing. Time and chance happen to all men and women. Human weakness is virtually certain. To err is human. To forgive is truly divine. The God of the Bible forgives when asked. The important human response to sin is repentance. As a response of faith to sin, David was good at repentance. In fact, that must have been a large part of the Bible calling him 'a man after God's own heart'.

I don't want to sin. But it is good to know that when I do sin, repentance brings forgiveness.

Since forgiveness is divine, repentance is somewhat counter-intuitive. We think 'Well, I've gone this far.' or 'Forgiveness can't be that simple.' or maybe "I wouldn't forgive me if I were God.' And we just keep on going.

Of course, there is much more to the dynamics of sin, faith, repentance and forgiveness. But, in itself, forgiveness really is simply available to those who ask, to those who repent. In fact, the repentance doesn't even have to be 100% sincere (since there's no such thing, according to the doctrine of Total Depravity). A guy I used to know used to say that you get as much forgiveness as you want. You get as much mercy as you want. In some ways, it really is that simple.
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