Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2 Samuel 1-3: David the King - sort of

I started to blog yesterday about King David.
My first thought was that he had a pretty significant life journey to even become king.
We know Samuel anointed him, but apparently that didn't make much difference to most of the people.  It definitely didn't make a difference to Saul or Saul's family.

My second thought was that he's pretty brutal, killing people all the time, driving swords through their bodies so that they come out the back and such.  Hardly the "Lord is my shepherd" type of guy.

Even after he became king, for a long time he was only the king of some of the people, not all of them.  And even then he traveled around a lot to avoid getting killed.

Some years ago I was getting my hair colored and saw an article in a magazine that said King David was nothing more than a tribal king.  And Solomon wasn't "all that" either.

At least as far as David was concerned, I don't think the article contradicted Scripture.  When we think of "king," we think of castles and thrones and sovereignty and lots of gold and jewels.  I'm not reading a lot about that in David's life just yet.

So then yesterday I started trying to find that article because it really bothered me at the time and I thought it might help me write this blog.  That sent me on a rabbit chase and I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did get distracted and found a lot of articles that indicated that David was nothing more than a tribal king.

Whatever David was or was not, we know he was God's servant.
He played a role in the God's story of love and redemption.

And the prophecies about his greatness mostly referred to his lineage.
Apparently not Solomon or the ones who came after them.  If you've been doing the From Garden to City reading plan, you know they weren't all that admirable.

I'm rambling, and I really want to get out of this blog neatly.
So I'll draw two conclusions that have some application to our lives.

First, even though Samuel anointed David as king when he was just a kid, it took years and years and many battles before David actually became king.  The waiting years taught him to battle, taught him to depend on the Lord, taught him to surrender his life and his future to God.

Sometimes we know where we're headed.  Sometimes we don't.
It doesn't matter.
We have to live out our lives, the good parts and the bad parts.

As in the life of David, the journey of life is as valuable than the ultimate destination or goal.

Second conclusion, and this one draws on yesterday's post.
We tend to draw conclusions about the Bible based on stories told over and over.  When we read the stories in context, we often get a very different picture.

The Israelites weren't always faithful to the one true God.  In fact, most of the time they weren't.
Gideon wasn't really a mighty warrior--until God got a hold of him.
Samson was pretty messed up.
David was incredibly violent.

Our view of these people changes as we spend time in Scripture, getting a handle of God's big picture story.

And one final thought-reading about archaeology that potentially contradicted Scripture really freaked me out a few years ago.  After a closer reading of Scripture, I don't know that it does.

But it doesn't matter.
We believe by faith.
Science and scientific conclusions shift over time.
God's love, his plan, his redemption never does.

No comments: