Saturday, July 12, 2008

Family Life

David climbed the Mount of Olives in shame, fleeing Jerusalem. He was over 60. He is no longer king. His son Absalom has taken his kingdom by force. He is homeless. It has been 14 years since David seduced Bathsehba. 13 years since Nathan told him of God's coming punishment.

David's children. This sounds like a Jerry Springer show. His son Amnon rapes his daughter Tamar. Tamar falls apart afterwards. David's response? Nothing. He does nothing to punish Amnon and nothing to protect or comfort Tamar. So, David's other son Absalom shelters Tamar and has Amnon killed. Then David shuns Absalom. What kind of a parent is he?

The story of David really makes me wonder about human nature. I so much want people to be and act consistently throughout their lives. Yet David is a crystal clear example of completely inconsistent behavior over the course of his life. At times he is "a man after God's own heart" and at times he "displeases the Lord." David does not simply waiver a step or two over the line in either direction: his behavior swings like a pendulum from holy to horrible.

David could do so much so well, yet his family life was a disaster. This reminds me of so many politicians. How can men who can be so skilled politically lack the ability to control their own behavior? How many high ranking politicians have we seen resign in disgrace due to personal failures?

I am also relieved about the stories from David's life. God loved him despite the horrific things he has done. Therefore, I can conclude that God will love me despite the horrific things I have done. (And my "horrific things" are nothing compared to David's!)

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