I don’t like to watch anyone mess up. Least of all David. I want David to remain clean and unsullied. Instead, we read in 2 Samuel 11 that he has changed. From a humble, astute, savvy leader he has become a corrupt, narcissistic politician.
He decided not to go to war as was in his job description. Instead he stayed home, got bored and took Bathsheba. Bathsheba belonged to another man. A man who was fighting in David’s army, by the way.
I’m disappointed. I want a happy ending for David. I want him to do the right thing all the time. I want him to use his power for good. I want him to honor God.
Yet, I know that I can’t hold myself to that high a standard any more than David could.
Psalm 14 tells us that, “The LORD looks down from heaven on humans to see if anyone is wise, to see if anyone seeks God, but all of them have turned bad. Everyone is corrupt. No one does good–not even one person!” (Psalm 14:2-3)
The psalmist asks if we’re dumb. No, it’s worse than that. We’re sinners, everyone of us. Broken with no hope of redeeming ourselves.
Our egos get in our way. We do well and it goes to our head. We receive a bit of power and we get in our own way. We see something beautiful and we want it; we may even take it.
We can’t do it alone. We know we walk with God. And most days we do a pretty good of it. With God’s help we build up and unite and create beauty. Then we get wrapped up in ourselves and forget God. Next thing we know we’re standing in front of Nathan the prophet learning about our sinful nature.
It’s a crushing blow to be found out. It brings us to our knees and crushes our soul. “I have sinned against God.” Once again, I’ve set aside what’s most important in my life and tried to make it happen on my own. How can we make it right?
In John 6 we read about Jesus feeding the multitudes. He was so successful in feeding the masses that the masses wanted to make him king. This would be the new David. The son of David will feed us and take care of us and defend us from our enemy Rome.
Thank you, Jesus, that you walked away from that demand. It must have been so tempting. As a ruler you could have accomplished “peace in our time.” But you knew it wouldn’t be peace on earth in a lasting sense. You knew that your kingdom would never be able to usher in God’s kingdom.
You took the hard way out. Your continued preaching and healing and setting people right. You loved those whom we have trouble loving.
And then you crawled up on that cross for David and me and all of us who just don’t get it right every single day of our lives.
David’s lying and cheating and sexual misconduct and stealing and killing point down through the ages to all people everywhere. Yet, out of his lineage came a real King: Jesus Christ King of the Jews.
The Messiah who came to save the world.
Thank you Jesus. Once again you’ve brought me to my knees.
Right where I belong.