Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fatherhood & Forgiveness part 2

Following on from my previous post here on David's relationship with his heavenly father after his grave sin of adultery and murder; I want to show how following the writing of Psalm 51 David did not have a full assurance of who he was in his Fathers eyes. As I mentioned previously David appeared to be restored to a position of favour with God, however he did not act out of this assurance and appeared to have lost a sense of his manhood. Here are some key events in Davids life following my notes on my previous post...

2 Samuel 13:1-29
David's eldest son Amnon rapes Davids daughter and Amnon's half-sister Tamar. What does David do? nothing. He got angry at his son, but that was all. Amnon did not appear to be afraid of his father. I guess Amnon had lost respect for his dad, knowing about his murderous affair with Bathsheba.

2 Samuel 13:18
Amnon's half brother Absolom is disgusted at what he had done to his sister Tamar. And because his father did nothing, Absolom waited 2 years and had his brother killed. David again does little to stand up against this. Absolom was very close to completing a rebellion against his father.

In the midst of the rebellion as David and his army are in exile, they are making the treacherous descent to Bahurim a Saulide called Shimei appears. You can read the story here in 2 Samuel 16:5-14. He comes towards them ranting and raving and cursing the king, and if this is not enough, he starts throwing stones at him and his army. What is his response to this? He says it is God's will. Numerous places on the internet will agree with this and will tell you that behind the mans mocking voice was the voice of God chastising him for what he had done. Here is what one commentator has said "behind Shimei's curse David hears the Lord's accusation, and behind the blows he feels the hand of the Lord. This theology is a very bitter pill to swallow. The only reason we can swallow it is that it comes from the lips of David."
Davids self pity does not sound like the David of old. Would young David have sat and listened to that kind of accusations from a philistine at a perhaps deserving Saul? no. David was thinking he deserved this treatment, because again, he did not know of his blessed assurance.

The rebellion finishes with the death of Davids son Absolom. This can be read in 2 Samuel chapter 19 here. David is mourning the death of his son far beyond what he should, as he was forsaking his manhood and his calling as well as his responsiblity as King. So much so that he is rebuked by Joab. In 1 Samuel 16:1 Samuel is mourning the death of King Saul, he remembers his responsibility and stops mourning for a rebellious King and anoints David. David should be doing the same.

In 2 Samuel chapter 20 (here) David is again under rebellion, this time from a man called Sheba. Davids response is bizarre. He puts away 10 concubines till the day of their death. He looked after them but did not lay with them. Seems like David was misguided and this perhaps was somehow linked to his still suffering from the guilt of his crime against Bathsheba. What I do know, is that putting away 10 concubines is not going to help you battle a rebellion.

2 Samuel 21 talk about the Gibeonites wanting vengence as a result of their bad treatment at the hands of Saul. David's response to them, while it does talk about him praying to the Lord, is pretty tame. He says "What do you want me to do for you?". It seems like he takes no innitiative, no leadership, no authority and no confidence.

In 2 Samuel 24 David takes a census. Why does he take the census? (I'm obviously not going to get in to the difference in scripture between the accounts in 2 Samuel 24:1 and in 1 Chronicles 21:!). Why does he want to know if he has a big strong army? What is it in him that needs this reassurance as a man? What happened to his trust in God that it's not about horses or Chariots, but it's about the name of the Lord. Again, his assurance and manlyness has been robbed and he is perhaps still consumed with guilt and a lack of assurance in him being a warrior.

As can be seen - A LOT happened after David sinned against the Lord, and much more besides what I have shared. Now David, near his death did leave good instructions for his son Solomon in 1 Kings 2. This was the first time in 20 years that he had acted with strength and conviction like David of old, a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22)
I summed up where this leaves us in part 1 of this post. We are so incredibly blessed to be a part of the new covenant and to have the assurance of who our Father in heaven is and our Archegon Jesus (Acts 5:31) and the work of the Spirit solidifying that which has been revealed to us through scripture and our personal relationships with the Trinity. Ours sins are forgiven and we can approach the throne of grace with confidence (Heb 4:16) knowing our assurance of forgiveness and acceptance from the Trinity. see this previous post here for who we are in Christ.