Thursday, November 05, 2009

Not so good, but why no comment?

David was far from perfect. The story of Bathsheba tells us that much. But there are other things that this "man after God's own heart" did that leave me puzzled, especially when there's no commentary about how God sees the situation.

I was reading the part of the story where he goes to live in Philistine territory to stay out of Saul's way. What bothers me is that he goes off raiding this settlement and that village and then lies about it. In order to secure the lie he kills everyone in the places he raids so that nobody can report the truth to the king under whose protection he is living.

It just doesn't strike me as a particularly God-honouring thing to be doing for the future king of Israel, and yet God is silent according to the text. I don't have a neat answer for this question, I just have more questions. But perhaps the thing is simply this: godly people don't always do godly things.

Somewhere in the twists and turns of a messy life, God shows up and nudges us in the right direction. Because of his grace we can go on making mistakes, not because they don't matter, but because God's love is greater than our failure. I don't know if God ever spoke to David about what he was doing or what he did during this part of his life. But what I do know is that David didn't slip onto plan B for his life and then plan C all the way down to plan ZZ.

I don't think there is a single blueprint for our lives and that if we miss it we're doomed to a life that's basically outside of God's plan. Somehow God is able to turn our mistakes and mess-ups into something that in the end brings glory to his name. That doesn't mean I live my life as if nothing matters, but neither do I fret about dropping down the list from best to least worst plan.

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