Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Year: 2 Sam 10-12 for Apr 1

The chequered aspect of the career of David is indicated in these chapters (2 Sam 10-12), and not lost on later writers (Mt 1:6b).

Nathan the prophet gains his voice back as well, which had been corrected from its halting initial false start in 2 Sam 7:3; cf. 7:4-7.

The matter-of-factness of how chapter 11 (11:6-17) describes David's actions is capped by Joab's providing a way of using understatement to "the messenger" (11:19), who repeats the whole thing through 11:24. This repetition makes us ask "why are the details portrayed not once, but twice?" For emphasis! Verily, verily! Lest we miss how devious David was. Lest we idolize him.

The next chapter (2 Sam 12) not only brings the moral conclusion of the previous chapter out (11:27), but expresses what God did about this sin in David. Is this a prefigurement of the way 2 Sam 7:14-15 describes the dealings of God with the whole house of David?

What did God do about this sin in David? There were permanent consequences of this sin (12:10-12). We definitely see an outworking of 2 Sam 7:14-15 in Nathan's words in 12:13. How is the reader to understand these consequences, combined with David's reactions to them? The outworking of these consequences are over a year, covering the birth of two sons to Bathsheba.

The most surprising and unexpected and dramatic comment in this whole story of consequences is about the second son, born after the first died: "Now the Lord loved him and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the Lord's sake" (12:24-25). Not too many people know that Solomon is also named Jedidiah for the Lord's sake.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

David fasted (2 Sam 12:22) because he hoped that the Lord would be gracious to him, "that the child may live."
The child died.
Yet David got up from his fasting, and went immediately into the house of the Lord "and worshiped" (12:20).
How could he worship, in the face of his own regret, and in the face of God's absence of mercy? How did David worship?
-Jonathan

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