Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for May 12, 2 Sam 11-12, 1 Chron 20

Today's readings are 2 Sam 11-12 and 1 Chron 20. Tomorrow's are Psalms 32, 51, 86, 122. 

2 Samuel 11:1 "In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem."

Even the best of us can stumble if we allow ourselves to be in the wrong place and dwell on the wrong things. David stumbles badly. When he realizes what he's done, he is desperate to cover it up or "fix it" instead of confessing and repenting.  As is usually the case, things only get worse. People die. 

Just about when it appears that David has gotten away with it, Nathan shows up and tells David God knows and there is a price to pay. Now we see the difference between a godly man and an ungodly one, the difference between David and Saul. Unlike Saul, who reacts with rage and jealousy when confronted by his guilt, David repents. There is still an earthly price to pay, but God shows mercy and grace. 

David's baby dies. Yet, this is not a lesson that tells us we will lose our children if we stumble. There is another lesson being aught here. David, who fasted and prayed for God to spare the baby, gets up, cleans himself off and says, "I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." Many believe this means that David thinks he will see the baby again. It may not be the case. David may simply be saying, "One day I will die and join him in the grave." The real lesson being taught is one of accepting God's answer to prayer even when it is not the answer we were looking for. David will still grieve over his loss. Grief is a perfectly normal response to this kind of loss. But he will not get mired in it. 

The chronicler recounts all this, leaving the detail of David's sin out. They are common knowledge and have no place in the retelling of God's deliverance of his people back to Canaan. God's deliverance is the good news, not the  failures of His children. This is a good reminder of what our testimonies should sound like. They are not sordid tales of what we were immersed in prior to salvation. They are tales of God's redemption and love. Out testimonies, like the Bible, are about God and His unfathomable grace, not us.

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