Alibris Secondhand Books Standard

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

because you have shed so much blood

King David was a "man after God's own heart." Granted, he wasn't perfect: He had an affair with the wife of one of his soldiers, then had the soldier murdered to cover up his sin. And there was the little indiscretion of the naked public dancing, which didn't make his wife too happy. And he served more than a year in the army of the Philistines, Israel's enemies. And when his son Absalom conspired to sieze the throne by force, David fled to the wilderness, leaving his concubines to deal with the usurper.

But David, unlike most kings of Israel and Judah, worshipped one God. And he worshipped with a fervency not seen again in the history of either kingdom. The stories of his trust in God in extreme circumstances are legendary. David's name appears on more than 70 psalms. Even his naked dancing was an offering to God. Because of his faithfulness, God promised to give David an everlasting kingdom.

David was also a warrior king. He conquered the Jebusite city of Jerusalem and made it his home. He planned to build a house there for his God. But God declined.

David said to Solomon, "My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the LORD my God. "But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. 'Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 'He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.'

1 Chronicles 22:7-10

It wasn't David's adultery, or his callous treatment of Bathsheba's husband Uriah the Hittite. It wasn't David's naked dancing, or his defection to the Philistines, or his abandonment of the throne that offended God's holiness such that God didn't want David to build the temple. It was his military success. David was not a man of peace, therefore he could not build a house for God.

Instead, the temple would be built by the brutal and idolatrous Solomon, who as a young man had earned a reputation for wisdom but later abandoned both his wisdom and his love for God. He conscripted 30,000 men -- non-citizens living within Israel -- into forced labor to build his palace and the temple, then kept them in slavery to build other projects for him. Then he married their sisters and daughters, and worshipped their gods. His foolishness split the kingdom in two.

For all his faults, Solomon was not unworthy to build the temple of God. But David -- the faithful one -- was, because David was not a man of peace.

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At 2/08/2007 4:21 PM, Blogger ~c. said...

I think that God wanted a Temple about as much as he wanted Israel to have a king. Jesus' conversation with Peter at the Transfiguration suggests as much (along with the fact that David didn't ge tot join Moses or Elijah).

Interesting and enjoyable post.

At 2/08/2007 8:17 PM, Blogger Brother Marty said...

Ya got my mind a thinkin! Actually, thinkin that I'm not so sure what to think.
Thanks for a compelling post.

At 2/09/2007 3:00 AM, Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Interesting post, Bruce. Thanks.

At 2/09/2007 10:33 PM, Blogger Roopster said...

However, didn't God also specifically order much of the bloodshed? My question would be why should David be judged for following God's commands?


At 2/13/2007 7:01 PM, Blogger R. Sherman said...


Popped in via John B.

Excellent post. I've got a bundle of thoughts, but they'd take up too much space here. Maybe I can respond in copious free time.


At 2/15/2007 5:19 PM, Blogger John said...

This is a very good post. It illustrates how God's priorities are so very different from ours. The values of our world might say that David should have built the Temple, not the idolatrous Solomon.

At 4/06/2007 10:52 AM, Anonymous OneOfMany said...

David... Soloman... neither was perfect. Both were sinners pure and simple. David was a man after God's own heart. Soloman's heart strayed after other gods. But God had a plan for David and for Soloman. I don't know that it was determined by the qualifications of either but by the heart of God. I guess God can hit a homerun with a broken bat! OOM


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