8/26 King David–scoundrel and Israel’s greatest king!

Posted on : Aug 23rd, 2018 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Last Sunday after worship, David Gardner asked me, “Are you going to end this series with King David?  He’s got to be the baddest of the bad boys!”  I smiled and said, “Yup.  He’s up for next Sunday.”

King David is a guy with a history.  His story begins with the fact that he was almost overlooked as the one to be anointed as Israel’s second King.  Saul, Israel’s first King, had been killed in battle.  Samuel was commissioned by God to anoint the next King.  Samuel came to Jesse’s home and reviewed all his sons, but God did not select any of them.  Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”  And Jesse replied, “I have one more, David, who is my youngest, he is out tending the sheep.”  So Jesse sent for his youngest son and brought him in.  According to the bible, “he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance.”  And God said, “Rise and anoint him, for he is the one.”

David was rather small in stature but big in presence.  As tradition has it David’s the one who killed the Philistine, Goliath, with a sling shot and stone.  Soon thereafter David and his army attacked the Philistines and killed all of them including all their children.  As bad as this story is for the Philistines, it was a huge victory for the Israelites!

David became Israel’s greatest king.  In addition to being a great warrior, he united the two Kingdoms of Israel (Israel to the north; Judah in the south).  That was a feat many had dreamed about but only David was able to accomplish.  David had an intensive desire for justice.  David ruled with truth and grace and justice.  Israel prospered tremendously under his rule and celebrated one of the greatest eras in their history.  No other ruler in Israel’s history came close to David’s greatness.  In fact, for a thousand years after David’s death, Israel continued to look for the heir of David’s lineage who would once again bring peace, justice and prosperity to their way of life. That desire was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus, the heir of David’s lineage.

But this great man also had his bad side.  David liked his women and apparently was a hottie.  He had many wives.  So many, that not all of them are even named in the Scriptures.  Yet despite the many wives he had, he was always on the prowl.  So one day, while up on his roof, “it just so happened” that David saw a gorgeous young woman named Bathsheba up on her roof bathing and sunning herself.  During this time in Israel’s history, after a woman had finished her period, she went through a bathing process which was a ritual of purification.  Bathsheba had just finished that purification when David “eyed” her.

David sent two men to “get” her and bring her to him.  [Sending two men meant she was being forced to come.]  As soon as Bathsheba was brought to him, David had sex with her/raped her.  Shortly thereafter, Bathsheba sent word to David that she was pregnant with his child.  This was more than a little problematic and embarrassing because Bathsheba was already married to Uriah, the Hittite.  Uriah was a soldier in King David’s army.  So, David, as they say in the South, “bless his heart,” concocts a plan to “remove” Uriah from the picture.  He summoned one of his military leaders and ordered him: “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.”

The plan worked.  In the heat of battle, the other soldiers drew back, and Uriah was killed.

As soon as Bathsheba completed the customary grieving period, David had her brought to him and he married her.  The story ends with these words: “But this thing that David had done greatly displeased God.”

Quite a scoundrel wasn’t he!  And yet, David still is considered Israel’s greatest King.

More on Sunday.



The Story of David

 2 Samuel 11 (edited)

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful.  David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”  So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house.  The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David.

In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.  In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.”  As Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant warriors.  The men of the city came out and fought with Joab; and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite was killed as  well.  Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting.

When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him.  When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.

But the thing that David had done greatly displeased God.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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