Oh David! Here's David so full of his own power he forgets everything. He's grown in confidence, he's got the moral equivalent of middle age bulge where you put on a little too much fat, where you settle down a little too much, take things for granted a little too much and rest on your own laurels a little too much.
And let's not do the sly thing here of saying: it just proves David was human and therefore a foil for us all. That leaves too much unspoken in the story:
- Bathsheba who utters not one word. There isn't a sentence about how she feels.
- the murder of Uriah for that is what it is and David's utter lack of concern for what he is doing.
- the death of the child to teach David a lesson. What utter contempt for life!
David repents and asks forgiveness not out of any sense of sorrow, but because he got caught. Such is the way of the contemporary world too. I can't help but think of those beleagred bankers again who seem to be taking all the flack but well they might. It stops the spotlight falling on us for a while longer.
But then we don't exactly have a grace-filled space n our world that allows people to confess because as soon as we hear of someone doing something wrong, we seek their resignation or demission and we really appreciate a spectacular fall from grace. So we don't allow people to find a safe space to confess.
And is the church any better? Where is the safe space where people can confess and repent without everyone else wondering about the scandal and seeking some kind of dramatic fall. There is no excuse for David and the way the story is told it shows utter contempt for women and children and an insane sense of justice towards them. The story is one of repenting because David killed and cheated a man, not because he exploited a woman or a child died because of it.
So dare you suggest hymns for this story and a symbol that helps us enter the story? How do you tell this story?