So am I. So are you.
On one hand, we know David is God’s anointed king over Israel and has a heart after God. Every time he seeks God’s counsel before taking action, he is blessed beyond measure.
But on the other hand, David begins to take action without inquiring of God, and his kingdom becomes like a steamy daytime soap opera for the remainder of 2 Samuel. As is so often the case, the slime of sin flows downhill to subsequent generations.
In Chapter 13, David’s son Amnon falls in love with Tamar, the daughter of his half-brother Absalom. With a friend, Amnon plots to get Tamar alone and then rapes her even as she pleads:
“…such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing!...You will be like one of the fools in Israel…Please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you” (13:12-13).
Tamar is even willing to submit if only Amnon will follow God’s law! But Amnon overpowers her and Tamar is left rejected, ashamed, and desolate. Her full brother Absalom then murders Amnon and flees the country.
The judgment of God over David’s house that began with his ignoring God continues.
In Chapter 14, after Absalom has been in exile for three years, David’s closest advisor Joab wants to see the house of David reunited once again, because it is so important to Israel’s future. He uses a wise woman from far away. She makes the case that, since David as king is willing to mercifully pardon the woman’s son, who committed murder, David should “…remember the Lord your God… (14:11) and restore his own son Absalom to his home and family for the good of Israel. David is moved by her words and Joab’s compassion, and brings Absalom home.
Joab’s indirect message to David is, “What's done is done. The dead cannot be brought back. And the Law of Moses provides for restoration of the banished after a suitable period of time. Inquire of God!”
Whether our sin is great or small, God’s never-ending love allows and expects restoration to unity with God. Whom have we banished from our lives? Whom do we need to restore? And how may each of us be restored by those who have banished us?
What’s done is done. Or is it? While restoration comes to us through the sacrifice of Jesus, God’s judgment may continue. Only by inquiring of God as naturally and regularly as we inhale and exhale can we re-establish true unity with God. Without Jesus, we could live in judgment forever!
Inquiring of God is not a token gesture made when convenient and only when we are in deep trouble. It must be a constant life-pulse, hour to hour, day to day in order to be perceived as sincere. We are forgiven by through faith in Jesus, but constantly seeking God before taking action is the key to a marvelous quality of life.
This is what America has forgotten. But I believe repentance toward perfect unity may be stirring.
I pray that the prayer tour led by Franklin Graham to each of the 50 state capitals is at last a change toward the right direction! And just as I write these words, I learn that the Pope is to meet with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church for the first time in one thousand years!
What’s over is over. Or is it? Inquire of God! Pray for perfect unity!