Today’s reading comes on the coattail of David’s affair with the wife of his friend Uriah, Bathsheba, after which he murder’s Uriah when he discoveres that he got his wife knocked up.
Our reading begins with Nathan confronting David of his sin and pronouncing consequences for his actions. One of those consequences is that “out of your own household I am going to bring calamity” [2 Samuel 12:11]. The rest of the days reading develops that story line from Amnon raping Tamar to Absalom murdering Amnon and then chasing David from Jerusalem and having sex with all of David’s concubines on the roof for all to see.
Odds and Ends
Did you know that the greatest King in Israel’s history in regards to wealth was also a Jedi-? Yes I did say Jedi- as in, “Luke, I am your father” Jedi. Okay, not quite. But what I discovered in Today’s reading is that while David named the son he had with Bathsheba “Solomon”, God had given him another name: “Jedidiah” (with my emphasis on Jedi-).
[Bathsheba] gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah. – 2 Samuel 12:24-25
Apparently it didn’t stick.
When Nathan pronounced God’s judgement – that the child born out of the affair would die because of David’s sin – I found David’s response fascinating:
David pleaded with God for the child. – 2 Samuel 12:16
When he was later questioned as to why he prayed so hard while his son was ill, but when the child died David cleaned himself up and did not mourn, he said:
I thought, “Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.” – 2 Samuel 12:22
Putting the question of predestination aside for the moment, this texts tells us something about David’s beliefs deep down inside. David believed that the future was not settled. He believed that his relationship with God – however momentarily tattered – was such that he could move God to act contrary to what he “decreed”.
But if supposing that when push comes to shove David may have held “an open view of the future” deep down, what he does next in this story is impressive:
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. – 2 Samuel 12:20
His child just died as a consequence of his sin and he responds to this by going to “the house of the Lord and worship”. (I am reminded of the lyrics to Matt Redman’s song, Blessed Be Your Name.)
One other thought. Again, putting theological speculating on predestination aside for a moment, we meet a women in the Absalom-Joab-David story which holds to a very commendable view which flies in the face of much-a-theology today and in fact many-a-theology held by biblical characters. She tells David:
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. – 2 Samuel 14:14
The whole grace-filled Gospel-redemptive message is embedded in the wisdom of this one verse.