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FAITH: And the “Soaps” continue

Karen Stevens

King David was said to be a “man after God’s heart” but what happened to him along the way?  By the end of David’s life, he had lost touch with Israelite society, and eventually lost political control.  This led to an attempted coup by his son, Adonijah (whose mother was Haggith, David’s fifth wife), who proclaimed himself to be king with the assistance of General Joab and Abiathar the Priest.  However, most of Israel did not support Adonijah’s claim.

The Hebrew scriptures state that the Prophet Nathan went first to Bathsheba (whose son was Solomon) to alert her to Adonijah’s usurpation of the throne, who then went to her husband, King David, to break the troubling news to him.

Eventually, the Prophet Nathan joined the two, and King David officially made Solomon his heir to the throne.

Sounds like “Peyton Place”.

For those of you who don’t know what that is (I had to look it up) – it was a soap opera in the 1960’s.  I have always used the term “Peyton Place” to describe a lot of drama, but never knew where the term came from until today.  It’s kind of like the term “sleep tight”.  It’s really a silly way to say good night, but in the old days when the beds did not have boards to support the mattress, it had ropes.  If you didn’t tighten the ropes tight enough before you went to bed, you would find yourself on the floor from the stretched ropes in the morning.  David’s initial zeal for God and for ethical integrity paved the way for his early fame and fortune, although being a man of warfare and blood (according to the scriptures), God decided that David was not suitable to be the one to build God’s Temple (that would be placed in the hands of his son, Solomon).

Moreover, David’s illicit affair and subsequent devious actions (leading to the assassination of Uriah the Hittite and its cover-up) complicated the rest of David’s reign – along with the rape of Tamar (the daughter of King David), the murder of Amnon (who was David’s oldest son, who was assassinated by his half-brother Absalom, to avenge the rape of Absalom’s sister, Tamar).

You’re probably wondering why I’m pointing out all the bad things about these great people when all others seem to just focus on the good they did.  Well, we need to know that no matter how bad we mess up, God will still love us; that is if we continue to pursue Him and ask for His forgiveness, like King David did.

I know so many people that are so hard on themselves (myself included).  We constantly remind ourselves of the wrong that we have committed, heaping guilt up on our heads.

That is Satan’s tool to make us miserable.

Despite David suffering the judgment of God, all the strife in his personal life, and the cynicism that can accompany unbridled power, David still ended his political career on a positive note.  First and Second Kings recall him as the standard by which all other kings would be judged.

Yes, David turned out to be not so great a father, husband, or human being, but the moral of this story is “Be a person after God’s heart even if a lot goes wrong along the way”.

God expects us to do our very best under all circumstances, but if we mess up – ask for forgiveness and move on.  Don’t hide under a rock and wait for His return.

Go be what God wants you to be and if you do create a few “Peyton Places”, try not to sweat it.

Oh, we must be sorry for our wrong doing, but upsetting someone doesn’t necessarily mean you did something wrong.  Treat people with love and compassion for others, making wise decisions along the way.

Karen Y. Stevens, Executive Director for Meals on Wheels