Sunday, October 22, 2023

Posted on Oct 20 2023

Bible Background: David is a central figure in the story of Israel. If Moses was somewhat the ‘founder’ of the nation, David was seen as its ‘savior’. David (great-grandson of Ruth & Boaz) was a shepherd boy, who loved music and played the harp (many of the Psalms are attributed to him.) He was a military hero. He was “a man after God’s own heart”. He was the one who ruled over a united kingdom. He was also a flawed figure. God’s promise to David and the world, is that one from David’s line would rule forever, leading us to the hoped for Messiah, and the person of Jesus!

Digging Deeper: 1. First and Second Samuel are really one book (that was too large to fit on one scroll). 2nd Samuel picks up with the death of King Saul and his sons and a bloody civil war in the ensuing power struggle. David emerges as the ‘winner’. Though chosen by God to be king as a young man, it takes years for his chance to ascend to the throne. When have been times when you had to wait to get to where you wanted to be in life? How have those times tested your trust in God? Have times of waiting made you be a better person?

2. David consolidates power, and makes a ‘neutral’ city (Jerusalem) his capitol city. Did you know that Jerusalem today, though under Israeli control, is a shared city? It’s always identified as “Jerusalem,” and not as “Jerusalem, Israel.” There are tensions and violence in Israel and Gaza this week.. Do remember to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122.6). It’s a city that is sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and belongs to all!

3. In 2 Samuel 6, David has the Ark of the Covenant (a fancy wooden chest, containing the Ten Commandments and other religious artifacts, which was the symbolic ‘throne’ of God’s presence in the midst of the people) brought to Jerusalem. David is mixing religion and politics (nothing new), but hopefully, he is reminding himself and the people, that God is to be at the center of their life as a nation. David pulls out all the stops in worshipping and dancing before the Ark of God. What do you think of David’s worship preferences? Do we need the reminder there is more than one way to worship God faithfully? What is the appropriate way to mix religion and politics-or is there one? How do we put God at the center of our lives?

4. David’s personal and public life are fraught with difficulty. Yet he is remembered as Israel’s favorite king. How does this story remind us that God can and does used flawed human beings to govern/shepherd God’s people? We often have unrealistic expectations (or hopes) for our leaders.
What do you think God expects of a President, Governor, or legislator? Will you pray for our elected leaders on a daily basis?