Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reflections on David

Lately I have really enjoyed reading the scriptures. We read from the Book of Mormon every night as a family, but recently I felt like I should have some personal study and read the story of David in the old testament. Then I decided that to really understand it, I should start with Saul. And then I figured that the book of Ruth was so close to all that Saul stuff that I might as well start there... but I digress. I've just finished reading about David's fall.

David was walking around on the roof one day and saw the beautiful, but married, Bath-sheba. Being a heroic, successful and popular king, perhaps he figured he could have what he wanted. He wanted her. In 2 Samuel 10:4 it says,

"And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned to her house."

Bath-sheba learns that she is pregnant, and she sends word to David. To summarize briefly, David decides to hide his sins instead of repenting. So, he has his servant Joab send Uriah, Bath-sheba's husband, off to a particularly dangerous war zone so that he will be conveniently killed.

In the Bible Dictionary we read this about David:

"Like Saul he was guilty of grave crimes; but unlike Saul, he was capable of true contrition and was therefore able to find forgiveness, except in the murder of Uriah. As a consequence David is still unforgiven, but he received a promise that the Lord would not leave his soul in hell. He will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium. Because of his transgressions, he has fallen from his exaltation."

David lost his exaltation forever. I find that a particularly tragic tale. Here was a man who lead what many consider to be the golden age of Israel. He united the tribes of the region into 1 nation and was recognized as the king throughout the country. His government was based upon religious principles, and, again quoting the Bible Dictionary he had "developed that conscious dependence upon God which was the secret of his strength throughout his life."

David is again mentioned in D&C 132:39.

"...and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord."

In Alma 42:18-19 we read:

"18 Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.

19 Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?"

I believe that David suffered a spiritual death for his sins.

The man who slayed Goliath has fallen! The Lord's annointed to lead Israel! All the wonderful, righteous, heroic deeds that David performed throughout his life cannot erase his fall from exaltation. This is truly a very tragic cautionary tale.

In closing, I'll quote once again from the Bible Dictionary:

"David's life illustrates the need for all persons to endure in righteousness to the end. As a youth he is characterized as being a man after the Lord's "own heart" (1 Sam. 13:14); as a man he spoke by the Spirit and had many revelations. But he paid, and is paying, a heavy price for his disobedience to the commandments of God."

No comments: