As we continue to move through the early books of the Old Testament we come to one of the stories about King David. It’s not a very flattering story and makes you wonder a bit about the character of the great King David.
Just so we remember, King David is renown as the Great King chosen by God to rule the people. He is actually the second king that the Israelites had, the first being Saul who was anointed by Samuel. Saul was a king who fought continuously and his most stubborn opponents were the Philistines.
The priest Samuel anointed the next king to follow Saul and that was David, but it wasn’t quite as easy as just stepping into Saul’s shoes. After David’s anointing, which is kept secret, we next hear of David killing the Philistine Goliath and from there on Saul is jealous of David and tries to kill him. David eventually becomes King after the death of Saul – and it’s a whole lot more complicated than just those few words!
David becomes the greatest of kings. He is victorious in many battles, is attributed to have written many of the Psalms and is the King the Israelites look to. King David, it appears, has God’s favour upon him and so he can do nothing wrong. David is also in the genealogy of Jesus.
But David is also human, he had failures and times when he turned away from God or didn’t listen. There were times when he thought only of himself and not of the people he was ruling. He had great things about his character and behaviour and some not so great things. Just like us really.
This story of David and Bathsheba is one of the times when David behaved badly and the challenge that he received from God, through the prophet Nathan, about that.
Sometimes we need to stop and take a look in the mirror at what we are doing, being and becoming. This was David’s call from God to do. David had behaved selfishly and the prophet Nathan was God’s instrument to make sure that King David realised it.
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