Note: At North Baptist Church we are currently on a 31 week journey through the entire Bible. Called The Story, this journey finds us discussing the same Bible passage in our personal reading time, the sermon, Adult Bible Fellowships, and Small Groups. I figured I would post a few thoughts each week as I go through my lesson prep.
This Sunday we return to The Story by looking at the reign of David as king. As we saw two weeks ago, David was chosen by God to be king because he sought after God. And the narrative of David’s rule seems to promote that. In 2 Samuel, David becomes king and has a long string of successes: he defeats armies, conquers cities, and brings the Ark of the Covenant to his new capital in Jerusalem. In 2 Samuel 7, God promises his blessing on David and his sons.
Yet everything fell apart after his sins with Bathsheba. The baby she was carrying died, and great turmoil developed between several of David’s other children. One raped his half-sister and was killed by her brother. Another son—Absalom—came thisclose to stealing the throne from David, forcing David and his family to flee Jerusalem for their lives. This is not the life we expect from a man chosen to replace Saul. In fact, it sounds almost like Saul!
In the Lower Story, we see the failures of a man and his family on full display. David’s sins, which he desperately wanted to cover up and keep private, were never hidden from God and publicly affected David and his whole family. But in the Upper Story, and in the rest of the Bible, we see David as a man after God’s heart. He is a man broken and repentant before God (Psalm 51). His life becomes a guide for evaluating future kings, determining whether they were faithful or unfaithful to God. In the New Testament, he is considered an example of a faithful man to God (Hebrews 11). Most importantly, in the Upper Story we see that God used his promise to David and his sons to bring about the final Messiah, the one who would reign forever.
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