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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Today’s Reading | 2 Samuel 23:1–5

Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel: The spirit of the Lord speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. Is not my house like this with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. Will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? (NRSV)

The final words of King David are written here. People’s last words often highlight the essential meaning they have gleaned from their life story or the legacy they want to pass on. David claims that his words come from God. What God reveals is that leaders who fulfill their role by ruling with justice and ruling in the fear of God are a great gift, like the brightness of dawn on a new day. David feels that his own reign as king has been such a blessing.

David did not always do things that pleased God. Prophet Nathan had to wake David up to the fact that he had committed a terrible sin (2 Samuel 12). When David laid eyes on Bathsheba while she was bathing, he decided that he wanted her. Knowing she was married, he nevertheless sent for her and—probably not through mutual consent—she became pregnant by him. David tries to cover this up by getting Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to come home from his duties as a soldier to be with her so the pregnancy would appear to be theirs. That didn’t work. So David ordered Uriah to serve on the front lines, hoping he would die in battle. Uriah was killed. David took Bathsheba as his wife. There were consequences for his adultery, his probable rape, his murder. And David also repented. His sin did not overshadow everything else about him. God put away David’s sin. David ruled justly, in honor of God, and David knew the fruitfulness of being God’s servant.

Gracious God, help me recognize how forgiving and loving you have been in my life’s journey. Thank you for using me as your instrument in spite of, and even through, my weaknesses. Amen.

Written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission

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