Continued…..Within a very short time David rose from the champion- slayer of Goliath to the favor of King Saul. So much so that he offered his daughter, Michal, in marriage to him. Yet with this endorsement soon came an underlying fear of David’s celebrity among the Nation, along with the knowledge that David had secured God’s favor. In the end Saul would wish him dead.
In deference to this David became a kind of Robin Hood-rebel leader to distance himself from Saul. He had, as was the custom of the time, acquired a couple of dozen official concubines and wives who added greatly to his misdirection. In all of this time David continued in his respect for Saul even to the extent that he, while he could have easily slain him, David cut only a piece of Saul’s garment as he slept as proof of his forbearance and respect for Saul. Subsequently, however, Saul was to ultimately “fall upon his sword” as his favor among men had totally diminished.
Later as King, David decided to bring the Ark of the Lord into his new city of Jerusalem. The second most celebrated story was that of David, who in celebration danced wildly having shed his outer garments (some had referred to it as nude dancing). Whether nude or not, who among us can forget (if we remember) our first encounter and joy of our first skinny-dip in the lake? or, my case, a rock quarry in Kentucky. Verily, was his wife ticked off as she spied him dancing in the court under witness of God and many others. A less than glorious picture of his expressive nature.
To bring this brief accounting of “David’s Desires” to a close, comes the episode for which he is equally known. After a period of his reign of forty years, and many concubines later, David had become resigned to the fact that he was too old, even too valuable to be traipsing around defeating enemies of God and the State; so that he had retired to his palace. While in this condition he beheld from his rooftop the beautiful and married Bathsheba. He summoned her and did “lay with her” and she, within the customary period, bore a child who promptly died.
This incident was taken a the result of sin; for Bathsehba was married. In the interval of the pregnancy David has caused her husband, a soldier, to be sent to the front lines of battle, there to be killed – so that he could marry Bathsheba. The beloved servant of God, Solomon, was their first born. That he got right.
While all of this would make a good movie, and it did; no telling of biblical narrative is without lessons. Certainly many of David’s escapades would tempt the wrath of the Lord, but God’s patience was with him. Certainly as poet he gave voice, in his wonderful declarations of his love for Him. He put on the “full armor” and did conquer in the name of His Father. He symbolized every level of manliness through some seventy years of his life ( not to include his penchant for the ladies).
When he lost purpose; when his role as warrior was set aside, he lost focus and he lost the hand of God upon him. He became, as we read closely, treacherous and ignoble; behaving like a villain. From this came self doubt that is reflected in his constant pleas for forgiveness in his impassioned Psalms of the Bible.
We need not go far to see this illustrated in the many stories of how so many of the “mighty” have fallen. If we fail to realize the power and authorship of every success is in God alone. Should we surrender His purpose in any stage or circumstance – we relinquish all that was given; to be left in the wilderness that David surely experienced.
Did David then rise above this all? Tune in next week for “David’s Delivery”.