We’re so inclined to believe the richness of God’s grace is granted to us by virtue of our own goodness and obedience. Divine grace is favor granted by love and not wages earned by religious work done.
I read this morning in The Daily Office readings in The Book of Common Prayer from 2 Samuel 5. After the death of Saul, Jonathan and his other son who followed in his father’s reign as king, all of Israel went to Hebron and David was anointed and recognized as king of all the nation. This sounds so victorious.
When David heard of Saul’s death in battle the messenger was murdered by David himself. Beware, barer of bad news. The two lieutenants from the nation’s army that assassinated Saul’s son who wore the crown after his father’s death and brought his head to David (as any good mafioso would do to show loyalty), David, who was obviously shocked by their actions, had them executed and hung up to dry publicly.
Now, David was obviously more willing to defend the righteous integrity of the throne and those who sat on it then he was to celebrate the demise of his opponents for the throne he was destined to occupy. That being true, he acted as brutal as any monarch would who heard bad news.
Today in 2 Samuel 5, he took the throne, attacked the Jebusites who occupied Jerusalem. His opponents trash-talked him by saying their blind and lame would turn him away. As a challenge, he led his forces through the water tunnel into the city so the blind and the lame of the city “who are hated by David’s soul (2 Samuel 5: 8)” would be defeated. It was then affirmed and remembered, “The blind or the lame shall not come into the house.” This is how traditions are established and become more powerful within a community then revelation from God. It was left unchecked by the king. I’m left to wonder if this wasn’t redeemed until Peter lifted up the lame man outside the gate Beautiful.
He, David, then renamed Zion, the City of David. As good as any king would decree. Did he ever consider renaming it after his God who raised him up out of the pasture, encountered him regularly, gave him victory over Goliath and countless other enemies, protected him from a demonic king who sought his life? Guess not. Its good to be king, even with blind spots.
Blind spots are those places in our character we refuse to view and address. We merely turn our heads and put on our blinders, ignoring the places of our weakness because our strengths are so much greater.
The king of Tyre then sent construction material to David to build him a house. David then realized the Lord had established him as king over Israel (5: 12). So many have preached and taught we’re given promises from the Lord, but such encouragement is not realized until we’re functioning in the position without noticing it by virtue of what God is doing through us. In the next verse, even with such revelation and fulfillment, he functions like any other king of his day by taking for himself concubines and wives. Yes, indeed, its good to be king.
God’s promises given to David were still true. When God declared he was a man after God’s own heart he was speaking of David’s destiny and not necessarily his character. He did well defeating the lion and the bear when no one was looking, but he never had a truly righteous example to follow as king. Neither did Saul, but it was what the people wanted, to be like other nations.
Again, grace is divine favor by virtue of love and not religious behavior, but that doesn’t necessarily do much to rectify the blind spots of weak character that lead to mishaps and difficulties as a husband and a father and a king as in David’s case.
A lesson for us? There may be blind spots we’ve ignored in our spirits or souls for most of our lives, and that’s why you haven’t advanced to where you’re promised to go. Maybe you’ve made it there, but its much harder than you expected because you keep making the same mistake over and over.
How about stopping and considering your difficulties as necessary lessons to be learned instead of rebuking the devil or blaming God? David was a really good worshiper, musician and warrior, but he didn’t handle fame well nor ruling with humility nor honoring or respecting his wife and children. He was king, after all. God said so.
God, be merciful to all of us who have been given words of encouragement and destiny. They may have gone to our heads and made us egotistical and arrogant. Forgive us and have mercy upon us. Teach us to respect the lessons we’ve received to teach us humility and to honor others in our lives more than ourselves.
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness. – Psalm 84: 10, a Psalm of David