I can't remember what prayer meeting, was it a Friday or a Tuesday night? The message was I recall from DC but it was repeated so it could also be attributed to other leaders as well.
The crux went like this: David "A man after Gods own heart" was a leader and a sinner too so even though "leadership" has transgressed, you need to be Christ-like and forgive us. I was feeling ironic on the inside, the first time I heard this message and that feeling led to cynicism every time it was repeated. While I agree wholeheartedly with the concept, Hey guys in leadership I forgive you. There was my brain saying something was missing. Like the rest of the story... did they think we didn't read our bibles? What about the consequences of Davids sin? One shouldn't just cover the highlights of "Hey we are human like this great hero of faith, God forgave him with all his flaws, so forgive us," all the while ignoring that God also chastens those whom He loves.
Lets dive into Davids life by taking a look at 2 Samuel 11 -12 where we see Davids humanity so clearly. Oh and for the record I'm not teaching with "authority" so all you males can also read this, this. Remember this blog is my journal, my journey, what the Lord is showing me. You can read it if you want to, be forewarned it is from a female perspective.
It's spring and love is in the air, well actually war is, so David hangs out at the castle and sends of Joab off to war. I wonder was David tired of fighting? Maybe he was bored. They have already sang songs about his killing 10 thousands... maybe he was resting on his laurels, I don't know. What I do see is David is not at the head of his army, he's delegated an underling to lead. Further on Joab is so devoted to David when he actually gets to the point of breaking the siege, wait I digress, we will get there...
We all know the story, David is not content with one wife already has more than one, not to mention a bunch of concubines, over looks Bathsheba on the roof while she is bathing, lusts after her... and has her brought up to him. The text also mentions she was ritually clean... *Gross alert* this means she had her period for 5-7 days. Then she was "ritually unclean for an additional 7 days." Only after she's had her bath is it safe for a man to have sex with her. (If the neighbors find out you have been having whoopee while your wife is on the rag the poor husband can get flogged... what fun!) The author has to put it in to save David from even more condemnation than mere adultery and conspiring to murder. Oh and lets point out a womans most fertile days are days 13-18 counting from the first day of her period. Can you add? yeah so can I... David David David... didn't anyone teach you family planning.
Now there are rules concerning adultery and I'd like to point out the text mentions nothing about Bathsheba yelling. If a woman in the city doesn't yell "rape" then it's considered consensual sex and both of them should get stones thrown at them... really think about the Context here... Is Bathsheba a victim and felt she had to obey the king? Was she afraid? Was she unhappy being married to a Hittite? All she had to do is yell real loud and David would be in trouble. Aren't all his servants and loyal guards off fighting... or was she in a loveless marriage? Seriously, later on when Uriah comes home and deny's himself the pleasure of his wife attentions, because his buddies weren't getting any it seems sad. Ever get the feeling he was a bit honor bound, (a Hittite among Jews), and determined not to have special favors? Did he know Bathsheba was up to something and suspected? So much food for thought but sadly I have no answers, just speculation.
David and Bathsheba "hook up "It was only a one night stand!" right??? Don't you wish you could be a fly on the wall when David got that fated message "I'm late." Do you think the ladies got the family planning lessons? If it was a few weeks that passed... but maybe it was months, anyway they try to get out of the unexpected pregnancy by bringing home the Man... but as we have covered he didn't go hang with her... I wonder was he outraged at his king? "No, I won't go home to the little woman, when everyone else but you my king is off fighting a war!"
Then look what happens David gets the man drunk... isn't there something in the bible that says drunkenness is sinful... the king is leading him into sin! Drinks him under the table so to speak... and the back up plan, backfires... Uriah sleeps it off in the servant quarters. Ugh, David must be so frustrated. He sends a message to his loyal Joab basically making sure Uriah gets killed. Joab seems to be a yes man. He's also a shrewd man knowing David would get angry over Abimelech's death. He makes sure the messenger knows to tell David, "Uriah is dead." when he reports the loss of this other guy so important he gets a mention in the bible.
Creepy! Look at the ripple effect this hook up is causing: a HUGE amount of grief. What happened to Abimelech's family? Did he have family, a wife, or a girlfriend, a baby at home?? So sad other unintended victims are being caught in the need to coverup and do damage control! Nobody can find out about the bun in the oven. David doesn't freak out over Abimelech's death once he finds out Uriah's not coming home, instead he sends encouragement to Joab. Creepy! Is that the kind of well done good and faithful servant message you want to get?
David and Bathsheba do the the whole shotgun wedding routine (avoid the possible stoning) and the child is born safely within the bounds of marriage. I wonder if she likes the whole sister wives thing?
But the last verse of chapter 11 is ominous. God is not pleased.
Next on the scene is Nathan, basically exposing Davids sin to him. Yes, he wrapped it up in a pretty analogy, got David pretty angry at this man taking a poor mans sheep. I think God also gives us insight into Uriah's character. The sheep owner cherished his sheep. David basically declares a death sentence on himself. Nathan speaks up for God and points out Davids wrongs... and some pretty hefty promises no one wants applied to their life:
1. The sword will never be taken from your house, you have despised the Lord.
Oh the humanity of it all, don't we make mistakes because we put our selfishness over Gods' ideal?
2. Someone from your own house (one of his 10 sons) will openly lie with your (many) wives in the light of day... Everyone will be in on this juicy gossip.
That bit got David's attention, He admits "I have sinned against the Lord."
But no I have sinned against any of the other players in this tragedy.
3. Then Nathan takes away Davids' judgment on himself, and says your not going die, but your child will. The child is ill for a week and David fasts, prays, and hopes God will be merciful to his child, it's so sad. David the man after Gods own heart, knows how good and merciful God is, begs and fasts for the life of his son.
His behavior when he finds out the child has died shows acceptance? callousness? practicality? or sheer numbness that he stops being upset? I'm not sure, But David eats and moves on with his life assured he will see his son in the afterlife. David and Bathsheba have some "comfort sex" and Little Solomon is conceived. But let's face it, NO parent wants to outlive their child. Such pain, so sad it is a tragedy! David is hurt, Bathsheba is hurt, and their child is DEAD.
Meanwhile back at the Ranch... I mean the city of Rabbah. Joab is about to break the siege and sends for David to come in "last minute" and get all the glory and honor of defeating the city... Wait what??? Yup it's in there. *shakes my head to clear the fog* Yup Joab the Yes Man brings in the
Lets not forget the many sons of David, if you read on you will see Gods word through Nathan come to pass, it's not pretty, in fact his sons get down right icky, ugly, and even more creepiness happens if you choose to keep on reading. Davids sins were forgiven but his kingdom will be in chaos for a quite a while.
I wonder when GFA leaders were tossing these examples of Davids humanity at us. To help us along in the "right thinking" of forgive and maybe hopefully forget the indiscretion of sending tours with envelopes full of money, of personal hurts we experienced because of coverup fallout. The mystery of the 19.8 million Gift I mean er um "Loan", when KP said "We will never take out a loan for the property," anyone catching the weird parallel here? David could say "I didn't killed Uriah, an arrow did." But it was his actions and Joabs blind obedience that caused Uriahs death. KP can stand there and say "Believers church wanted to help us, to give back after so many years of support." But is it possible KP actions as Metropolitan especially if you have surrounded yourself with Yes Men could influence the decision, all the while saying he didn't make it.
I remember KP saying he went to fast and pray on the mountain retreat after the diaspora letter. How he said "I repented on the mountain top with God" I look back and think did we see real repentance? Can we even judge? Though the Tuesday Gayle was at GFA "investigating" there was lots of crying on KP's part. Maybe I had become cynical at the time? I felt, this is just for show because Gayle is here. It felt wrong, like tears my daughter produces when she thinks they are appropriate, and will get the response from Mom she desires. Not repentant tears but rather manipulative ones. It was hard to watch, I wanted to give the man the benefit of the doubt, yet his actions in the weeks following reflected an unchanged heart.
Is it any surprise to GFA leadership that people are jumping ship? When we dig in deep to the word and really look at scripture, this story of David Is So Heart Breaking. Showing us, coverups have unintended victims, ruin families, puts cities in chaos, and eww, his sons become abusers just one chapter over (this is not a threat or even a suggestion GFA has the kinds of abuse mentioned in the next chapter), and one of the sons kills the the other. Tho I kinda feel like he deserved it. Eeeeeeeeeep runaway! All that messiness and ugliness out in the open for the whole world to see, still happened.
So yes David repented he was forgiven, but what a price he paid for his sin. I repeat it's heart breaking.