This week, we’re going to read about the high point and the low point of David’s reign over Israel.
First, the high point. In 2 Samuel 7, God makes a covenant with David. After David asks to build God a temple, God responds by promising a descendent of King David would reign on the throne of Israel forever. This marks the achievement of the second promise God made to Abraham – that of a royal dynasty (Genesis 17), and sets the stage for that King and descendent of David who will reign over not only Israel… but the whole world, Jesus Christ. The sign of this covenant is the throne and Temple which Solomon, David’s son, will build – and the nation has now become a holy Kingdom.
Only four chapters later, we come across the low point. In 2 Samuel 11, we read that David SHOULD hav gone off to battle but chose instead to stay home. You can imagine that he got bored, and while walking on the palace roof, he notices a beautiful woman bathing across town (not abnormal given the construction of houses in Israel at that time). On a good day, David would have respected her dignity and averted his gaze… but he’s bored and lonely, so he continues to watch. Then he sends for her, sleeps with her (conceiving a baby), and eventually tries to cover the whole affair up by bringing her husband – one of his loyal soldiers – home from battle. Uriah’s honour requires him not to be with his wife while his fellow soldiers are in battle, but this foils David’s plan to cover up his sin… so David has him killed.
What we see here is a progression of sin: David didn’t begin with the intention to murder a man – he began feeling a bit lazy, which led him to lust, to commit adultery, to lie, and eventually to murder. This is not David being after God’s heart – and God would go to great lengths to correct him (2 Samuel 12:1-23).
David’s failure stands as a reminder to us of the ways in which any one of us might screw up: smaller sins can lead to bigger ones. Though we may pay a price (consequence) for our actions, God doesn’t abandon us either – but we do need to return and reconcile ourselves to Him.
With all of that in mind, here are the readings for this week: