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It’s disappointing to learn our heroes have feet of clay. David, considered to be Israel’s greatest king, was no exception. Identified as the nation’s future king when he was a boy of ten or eleven, he quickly demonstrated competence, character, and devotion to God until, after twenty years of waiting, he finally got his shot.
After Saul’s final failure as Israel’s first king, David was then made king, but of just half the nation. For the next seven years, he reluctantly fought a civil war against forces loyal to Saul.
When the rebel forces collapsed, David was made
Now a man in his early fifties, David then stumbled into his greatest personal and professional failure; an abuse of power so egregious that we cannot think of him without recalling his sexual assault of a beautiful young woman, and the subsequent murder of her loyal husband. As great as David is, this episode remains a stain on his reputation, the consequences of which plagued him for the remainder of his life.
This makes David a complicated figure. Revered by later generations for his competence and piety, he was also a man with great flaws. But before we point fingers and throw stones, are we not also equal parts virtue and vice?
During the next few weeks, we will look at this part of David’s biography, learning what we can from his virtues and how to avoid repeating his failures.
John Sommerville - City Church senior pastor