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The Rector's Lookout

Elisabeth Sinclair

Jul 29, 2021

“Where Did Our David Go?”

The quick, biblical unfolding of King David’s series of destructive decisions with Bathsheba can shock and overwhelm us. The David we knew rescued sheep from wolves and lions, confronted Goliath with just a few stones, comforted Saul’s distressed heart with beautiful music, danced before God with all his might, united disparate federations of Jewish people under one kingdom, and wanted to build a house for God. He was handsome and strong and good. What in the world happened to the David we had grown to love?

Even though the story of David’s sin catches us by surprise, there were some telltale signs that David was losing his moral compass. He had amassed wealth, wives, concubines, and renown. He had named a city after himself and had attempted to confine God. He had traveled a great distance down the road of self-gratification and entitlement. The leap to claiming Bathsheba as his own was not so great as it might have been earlier in his life.

It grieves and disappoints us profoundly when someone we admire and respect, especially someone with power and authority from God, reveals an inner ugliness. When a person we love and trust, especially a person representing God in some formal capacity, betrays our trust, our spiritual foundations can be shaken and cracked. Such spiritual trauma is one of the awful social consequences of what people often assume to be private sin. There is no perfect antidote to hurt resulting from a leader’s moral failures. Every occasion is a sobering reminder that there truly is no one without sin and no one worthy of our absolute trust, except our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every occasion is also a sobering reminder David is us. We are complicated. We are beautiful, and we are ugly. We have enormous capacity for light and love but also incredible vulnerability to temptation. This is why we need a Savior… and a community of faith.

*Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis via Flickr

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