Hi friends, bad news...as many of you I bulk record these on Monday's and Fridays and edit them all at once. Unfortunately I was having a critical audio problem and was not able to catch it until the editing phase came around. There is an awful, truly awful scratching sound that persisted throughout the video. I did not believe you could benefit from listening to such poor audio so I have made the sad decision to scrap the files. I'm working on diagnosing the problem but you won't see any audio until Saturdays lesson this week. I'm sorry that's the case. If I have time in my schedule I will re-record, but this close to Christmas that might prove difficult. I appreciate your understanding, I hope that you will continue to read the scripture on your own time.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What about David's final speech was moving to you?
What can you say you collectively learned from 2 Samuel? How will it help you?
- My Thoughts -
At the time of this writing the electoral college is officially voting on our candidates to finally elect (or reelect if democracy is truly as dead as it seems) our next president. So, naturally, my head is caught up in following those updates as I read today's scripture. Keep that in mind if you decide to proceed.
The end of any presidential era brings about a reflection on what went well and what didn't go well in the last 4 years. I think the final section of 2 Samuel is effectively doing the same thing for David, in a very sly and subtle way. What did David do well? Well, he was a great military leader. They talk about his battles and the times he and his best warriors won against great odds. Then it lists some of David's "cabinet" so to say, his best and most trusted warriors and friends. I'm not sure if you noticed who the very last name was but it made me smile when recording. Uriah the Hittite. Uriah was not some random solider, and Bathsheba was not some random woman bathing on the roof. She was one of his closet friends and inner circles wives. He knew her well before that night. He knew what he was doing. He didn't just covet another person's spouse, he coveted his friends spouse. So, like our president, David's lust and misogynistic behaviors led him into...bad situations. David continues to upset God by doing sinful actions even though he is the annointed leader. (I'm not sure at all why the census was upsetting.)
But then something kinda magical happens. David all of a sudden begins to feel remorse for his leadership and his actions. God gives him a chance to choose his punishment and one of the choices was a plague upon the land. Talk about chills when reading the scripture today ya'll. The plague kills 77,000 people before David cries out to God saying "why punish the innocent when it should be me and my family!" David, the great warrior, the fearless one, shows humbleness and weakness in his final moments as King.
One of the biggest criticism of the Trump administration this last year was their handling of the COVID-19 epidemic. I'm not going to rehash the 100000's of talking points brought up about how/why they failed the country in this regard, but they did, and it sucked. I'm also not going to put 100% of the blame on him though, as congress was useless as usual with passing any type of help and Americans are just naturally stubborn and distrustful of authority figures. No matter who was in charge, we as a country would have screwed up.
But I can't help but wonder how calming, how healing it would be for the country for President Trump to take responsibility for some of the lives lost to the pandemic. Like David, to personify the numbers as if they were his own family. To show some sign of humanity might be the very thing that this angry country needs to see. I know for myself, seeing David this way helps to shine a different light on him that I never allowed myself to feel before.
On the winter solstice many churches hold a "blue christmas" service for those mourning a family member that died this past year. I suspect the need for a blue christmas will be larger than ever before. Hundreds of thousands of people will be without someone else this Christmas. It's the most wonderful gift we could ever imagine seeing those UPS trucks carrying the vaccine out from Pfzier today. I can only hope everyone takes it and we make strides to return to not just normal, but greater than we've ever been.
God, we pray for our nation today. For our leaders who anxiously watch the news. For our represented leaders who strive to make our country the best it can be for it's citizens, and for the researchers that tirelessly worked to make this vaccine a reality. Like David's final speech, we are mixed with bittersweet emotion as we move on to normal this next year while never forgetting the lives lost along the way. We pray in your most holy name. Amen.