Welcome to our continuing summer worship series, “Anointed.” Each week we’ll draw insight and inspiration from the lives of three figures from the Hebrew scriptures—Samuel, Saul, and David—and examine more closely the persistent love of God for an often rebellious people.
In this week’s reading the “holy city” Jerusalem is now stable and prosperous, the renowned shepherd boy David has grown into a mighty King, and his place as leader of his people is well established. From the secure warmth of his palace David envisioned a final piece for his legacy: He would build a permanent resting place for the Ark of the Covenant in the form of a magnificent temple that glorified God!
But God would have it otherwise—the blood-stained hands of a battle-chief like David would not be the hands to build a temple for God. David the campaigner now settled into a new role: David the ruler. Whether what came next was spiritual restlessness, boredom with routine, or a prideful sense that God’s anointed leaders are “above the law” and able to do whatever they want, David decided to do his own thing instead of listening to God. He stayed behind when the armies went out to battle, saw a woman bathing, sent for her, lay with her, and then tried to send her away...with increasingly dire consequences. In his attempt to exploit the power God had given him, David was thrust into the most critical battle of his life.