#40 - Not What It Looks Like: 2 Samuel 1112
You're listening to knowing faith a podcast of the village church. This is worthy. Joined by my coach Jin Wilkin JT English on today's episode. We are discussing the story of David invest Sheba and some of the dominant ways the story is misunderstood in contemporary conversations. This is a really fruitful profitable discussion. One fun thing you can play along with if you're listening to the podcast JT. And I both had secret words that Jin did not know about that. We threw out in the context of the show if you can catch those you can tag your guesses, hashtag knowing faith podcast. We hope you enjoyed the discussion. Okay. Or in another episode of knowing faith, and yeah. Hold on. Hold on. I'm not film myself right now, I don't know where this is going with that. Yeah. We're just gonna. Like somebody just tended to knowing faith, and we're laughing, and the reason why is because there's a lot of stuff that you don't hear that happens off air. And I you know, what there's like there's a lot. Sometimes I really wish were recording that stuff. And sometimes I'm really glad well did is hoping they never get mad. He's looking right now, he's got everything. Bloopers for the staff our dinner going to be honest. I was telling Jen I'm not feeling super great right now. And I feel like like I feel like I ate something bad. And she and she wasn't really comfort. Now, she told me are you going to throw up and are you contagious? And then you ask what if the Wham Len's? She says, yes, she said, I don't have time to get what you have. I'll be honest. I feel like I ate like bad marinara ours. Like, I just feel like sick. Well, we ate lunch at this. Didn't you order the same thing? I ordered. I hope it was you ordered sausage and I ordered bake. And I hope it was a sausage took. Wishing ill. I don't unders-. You literally compound. We'll give you the walk back to be more merciful. And you're just driving that nail for their home. Okay. Well, here we are. We're going to talk about this story of David in by the Shihb lady tonight second Samuel eleven through thirteen as if not feeling well was already not good enough. Now, we've got to sit here and talk through a pretty serious story about David about sheep in one that honestly, the three of us to talk that length about this. But one that is often if not miss understood, certainly the emphasis is wrongly placed. Yeah. In the story of David mash, Sheba and so just cracking right into it. This is one of the more well known stories like if somebody knows who stories about David they probably know the story of David and Goliath and the story of David invest Sheba. Wouldn't you say, yeah? Yeah. So pretty popular stories in second Samuel eleven through thirteen. So this is kind of retail the story up to this point what's been happening when we get to second Samuel eleven the story of David mesh out really kicks off. What's really been happening point? Well, we've gone through the death of Saul. And then. David's rise to the throne. We've seen the house of David growing stronger and stronger, the house assault growing weaker and weaker and then you get to chapter seven, and it's this pivotal moment. Where you have the covenant given David has promised a line that is going to endure forever. His son is going to rain on the throne forever. And so then you're wondering who is the son who is the son who is the son. Meanwhile, we've seen him multiplying wives and concubines throughout the whole story, which was something that he was told not to do he wasn't that's one of the ways in particular that he's displaying tendency to behave as a king like the nation's instead of king. Unlike the nation's when we get to the end of chapter ten we are in a place where it looks pretty good things. Look pretty like like everything has happened that we would want to happen David is raining. They have subdued their enemies. There's been a lot of positive fulfillment of the word of the Lord. And then you just. It's like don't turn the page guys. Just don't turn the page. So it does look like the anointing promises that were given to David those have come to pass, but we have seen all along these little hints that were being dropped into the Tex particularly with the way that David was relating to his wives specifically having more than one, right? And also concubines that these were supposed to be red flags thrown for us in the tax, and they are red flags just to kind of place in with a larger narrative there red flags for a lot of Israel king. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So like, these are some of the character flaws of David show up in a lot of the other leaders, right, especially Israel's kings Solomon, his son is certainly going to repeat he is a lot of these problems. And yeah, as we're going to see even probably during this discussion, the sins of the father are amplified in the sins of the sons, so let's just JT. Gee, read second Samuel chapter eleven verses one through five, and then kind of kick off an opportunity for us to talk through this story and some understandings around about this is second Samuel, seven seconds. Samuel eleven one through five in the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they ravaged the ammonites in besieged Raba, but David remained in Jerusalem. It happened late afternoon when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the kings house, and he saw from the roof a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful and David sent an inquired about the woman, and one said is not this Bethsheba the daughter of Elliot the wife of your eye of the Hittite so David sent messengers and took her and she came to him, and he lay with her now, she had been purifying herself from her uncleaned cleanness than she returned to her house and the woman conceived, and she sent until David I am pregnant. Okay. So David Jerusalem. His armies are out at battle David goes up to his roof. He sees a woman bathing and a lot of times particularly in sermons on this passage, and we're in talk more about this. How this passage it's preached in a little while. But what happens here most most people are going to stop right here and their first points gonna be this woman is flaunting her business. Okay. Is that really what's going on here? Well, actually, I think what we're seeing here is that she says she had been purifying herself from her unclean nece, and so it's interesting. Why is that in there in this parenthetical statement, and obviously it's going to establish for us? This means that she's completed her menstrual cycle. And so she is she is actually demonstrating righteousness in that she is abiding by the requirements of the law, but it also stablishment that she is not currently pregnant, and so, but but the fact is the first thing that we see a best Sheba is this. She is observed. Int- of Israel's law, but why? But like some okay, I'm sorry. I'm playing devil's advocate here. I want to be really really clear. Sometimes these questions people are like man just seems to be really attack mystic. But why is she not in her private bathroom like mini bedroomed house? We we aren't told we don't know why this is taking place on the roof. But you know, the thing that is interesting is many of the commentators will acknowledge this. I think it's pretty obvious in the text the language of how this plays out is very much the language of Genesis chapter three. There is a seeing. And then there is a desiring. And then there is a taking that are happening here in the text. And so I think that should inform the way that we read this portion of the story and also the way that Nathan is going to confront David about this moment. And what we don't say. When we read the Genesis account is that eve saw the fruit on the tree. And the tree was real through was really trying to sell itself. You know, like the fruit was turning this way. And that to make sure that if it and the fruit was, you know, the fruit was tempting eat it is not the fruit. That is tempting eve it's the the fruit is. Is is passive the fruit is acted upon in the story. JT widen. What invest she would just say just say no at the row at the risk of sounding crass. Yeah. Because I've heard I've heard a literally appreciably the righteous for bashing. But what would have been just say no at that point. I mean the power dynamic between somebody who's bathing in the king's sitting on his roof is universes apart. She's not an position to say. No, she's in a position to be taken advantage of. And that's exactly what's happening. There's injustice objectification dehumanisation. She's just not in a place where she feels that. She can say no, this is a grave injustice being done by David. So David doesn't look at her as another daughter of Israel. He looks at her as merely an opportunity to say she had this desire that he feels with right? Yeah. I mean, not only that. But if you look at the language, there's a there are other clues here that are given to help us understand how to read this and one of them is that she's the daughter of Elian, which we find out further on the text makes her the granddaughter of a hit the fell the gala night. Right. Who is a Canaanite? And then she's married to your riot the Hittite who has also Canaanite. And so not only is she a woman bathing on a roof. But she is married to a person of little consequence who has an outsider, and she herself as the granddaughter of person who is an outsider. And so she with a picture that's being not only that. But he's on the roof looking down and that that's illustrating. Even just the the social stratification of the whole thing that he is high and lifted up, and she is the the least in the lowest the SUNY times already on this podcast in the teaching the bible. Studies is wicked kings take take. That's right. Took her. And it's specifically put in there to curious to think back to Samuel in the words that he had this was not an offer of would you like to come to a bedroom? It was taking. Yeah. And you hit on this minute ago. JT something we have talked about I think we've talked about on the show before. But there is a lot of times we read the bible in these stories is if they're happening in vacuum. But there is a very real power dynamic on display here. And I think that particularly there is there's an uncomfortable among the Christian community to ignore. How some times people in the bible characters in the bible who we want to behind noble abuse that power dynamic for their own gain. But they do that they do that just like other people in the world do that. Just like we as Christians do that. Right. So it's not just that. Like, David's the only one who's ever abused power dynamic. But he. He is one who has one of the things that's interesting here. I don't wanna get too far off topic. But we've just done a podcast recently on humble Calvinism and attendant of Calvinism is total depravity. But for some reason in some reformed communities were only comfortable talking about total depravity as it relates to individuals, not systems of injustice or power dynamics. There wouldn't be some kind of a system in place. That would itself be totally depraved is something that the reformed communities should be entirely familiar with engine wanting to be repentant of, but for some reason that isn't readily acknowledged, but I think something that we see here is it's not just that David is totally depraved. He is. But he's also taking advantage of a system. That's depraved. Also, where the strong good stronger and the Rico week are taking advantage of and that's not God's righteous way. No. But it isn't abuse of that system. That's right. It's an abusive power. And so when we're thinking about the full breadth of David's wickedness here because oftentimes this story is really just trivia. Allies into and I- trivialized adultery is a very serious thing and the bible condemns adultery. And and says that Daltry is wrong. So you don't need to ask does the bible adultery is a positive thing. The bible is unified view that adultery is wrong. But a lot of times the take on this story is just David committed adultery. That's the thing. It's that David and Bethsheba committed adultery. And and I think there is a desire to romanticize David into row, and because he's going to marry best Sheba in our minds that means and they lived happily ever after that. That's what's going on here is this adultery. Yes. It is a dull -tory in the sense that when we find Nathan coming to David and telling him as sin, we find that David has adulterated what was a pure and happy marriage. So it is a dull tree, but we have cultural baggage around the term adultery to where when we hear adultery. We think a fair we. That two people who were equally had equal agency in the matter looked at one another and thought that the other was attractive, and then broke up their marriages to begin a sexual relationship. Is that this story? No equal agency. That's helpful like that term. Yeah. Freeze while the because just this should be disagreeable to no one. But David invest Sheba were not equal. No, I'm at the risk of just pointing out. What we've obviously stated they are very David holds the highest position in Israel in Bethsheba as jenner's pointed out is marginalized by at least three different things. Right. Like, the who her father was who her husband is? And then just her status in Israel, and she's a woman gender gender too. And and the thing that's interesting to Texas. Also, queuing us to her objectification by the fact that she's named by someone other than David in verse. Three when he goes to enquire who she is. And then after that she is not named again. Until after this whole thing has played out. She's referred to as the woman. So like she like the act itself is the stories like tell you like, she's she becomes nameless. They're they're there. I think that the narrator is asking us to see her the way that David sees her. She is a category. She is a commodity instead of she is a human with a name Jin. Is there anything here? In tile you too. Obviously, this is a highly sexualize story. Yeah. Not taking away from that. At all. Is there anything here in terms of David's desire that also relates to him by his own means and effort trying to bring about the promises of God? With the sun. Yeah. So like, it's his son that is going to build God's house, and he's looking for a son, you think of Abraham for example, sons, right? Yes. But with Abraham so I guess. Any parallels to Abraham needing offspring into son? Well, we do certainly see that when we get to the child that is conceived as a result of this that that child is the child of the will of man as we see with with Ishmail the child born of the will of his son, the next son. Yes. So that's what I'm saying. Yeah. Yeah. Is one I'm just wondering if I think that seems like you could retroactively see that played out that way, but I don't feel. David David, not like, I I need the promise son. Now, I do think that when David intercede on a righteous way. You're the right way. I'm not saying he's doing it. I get okay. Now. I do think when we see David, you know, where God says the child is going to die and then David intercedes and asked that the child not die. I do think that that's very similar to intentionally similar to the way we see Abraham say, oh that Ishmail my lip before you. I do think there's that. But I do think to what we're seeing play out is in James chapter one fifteen fourteen and fifteen James says, but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire, then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin and sin when and his fully grown gives forth death brings forth death. So we see that the woman the woman she's referred to becomes pregnant and the child will alternate -ly die. It's an upsetting story. And so I I need to tell people. Who are listening to this? Who were hearing me reference the death of the child and just keep moving. I don't mean to spend only little portion of the emphasis on that. We spent a great deal of time on it in the teaching that we did in the women's class. And I would imagine in the men's classes as well. But it is an aspect of the story that is trying to tell us that when when when the serpent says, you will not surely die that the serpent is a liar. That the death does follow sin. Right. And what we see in. This story is the same pattern of Genesis. Where we see I see I want I take. And then the immediate next thing that begins to happen. In verse six is I conceal which is what Adam and eve do. During the high, and they can't we're gonna get to you the exposing of this with Nathan in chapter twelve in just a minute. But I wanted to pause and just remind the listeners they've been following along with this story isn't David Amana after God's own heart like how does this square with that? And I know we've said that we've kind of distinguished, but could we get talk about how does this square with a man of God's own heart because when people know David that's like the bumper sticker on the Davidson, I mean, this is Jen you helped me see this more than I mean, that's the way I would have read these passages until three years ago until you and I set down, and that's what's about this podcast. For me. Is these podcasts are often just kind of listening into conversations that we're actually having as we do theology together. So maybe just a quick side their key. If you're listening to this don't just listen to us have these conversations with Stalin. South. 'cause that's where we learn that. We just read books and coming here, we're learning in the midst of conversation in like, you can't learn something unless you were wrong or didn't understand in the first place. And so this is something I think I've learned well from Eugene is is this idea that that David is this man to be emulated. And there are things that are meant to be just like any character in the bible or Toby learned from or at least gleaned from. But you helped me see that this is not so much man after God's heart. God's choosing than that helps understand even the gospel so much more. I mean that just clarify so much about what is being accomplished for us by the son of David Wright that I don't need to be man after God's own heart. But that God's heart chose me that I'm a man of God's choosing not because of something in me that some chivalrous or brave or wasn't something about me that God saw looked on the quarter of time and said he is a man after my heart. I'm going to choose him. There is nothing. This is again getting back to Calvinism. This is unconditional election. There is nothing about David that conditioned. God. That's predisposed to him. It wasn't that. He was somehow incr- so different than Saul. As a matter of fact, we see a lot of similarities between him and Saul in these especially in this particular, he's going to take. But it's by God's kind mercy that he chose David and he became a man of guts choosing. Well, I think two of the just the lyric in a money fortress. The did we is my favorite him. Did we in our own strength confide? Our battle would be losing wore not the right man on our side the man of God's own choosing. And I think back to that lyric. I've sung it my whole life, and then to find that it was actually embedded here. In verse second same that idea, but it had become obscured in the phrasing of a man after God's own heart. And again, I think man after God's own heart is a way of expressing that idea. But but in its culturally lost on us because we have so many wrong associations about our hearts in about. And we have this strong impulse to say that. The way that David points to Christ is more often in a positive regard than in a negative regarding. I just I don't think we have to do that. I think that the beauty of Christ is apparent in. Both David's successes if that's the right word and his failures will it's much harder. To till the David story the right ways in it is the way it's often told when we start looking for the textual clues and taking these stories in the context of the whole book. I nothing has no other probably no other story in the bible has shifted so much for me when placed in its context than this one. Because before it's like, you can you really have to just kind of ignore the CD parts, David rife for the really good like look shouldn't. We follow David kind of parts of his life. He's after God's own heart. And then you have to look at somebody about she was like well, look at some fifty one. He did confess. That's still a good thing. You like, yeah. They did good things. He also did bad. Bad things. And that's okay. Because that's how everybody, but Jesus has been. Yeah. Jen. He's one of the people that you know. KT english. Let's true. Where did you go to someone? Pretty sure it was southern seminary. It was and we have a lot of people that are part of our staff that have either are in programs at southern or have completed programs who southern and we have a ton of our members across a variety of life stages who are currently students at southern Senator because they make it so easy, and so excessively, and if you're looking for sue more theological education with an undergrad or masters or even just to get some classes to become a better bible teacher. You can go to southern some news website, SP dot EDU, and you can apply using the code knowing faith and have your application fee waived. So David's wickedness here is not just that he looked and took. But it's that he concealed right? That's part of it. They look he looks. He takes he conceals then and then the act gives gives birth to death as James says and not not just the death of the child has already mentioned. It's the immediately. It's the death of your riot. Yeah. So what's incredible at your twos is part of the past talk. So he gets brought back. Right. So everyone else everyone is at war which David was supposed to be out at were kings. Go he brings your riot back. Any basically says David says to your I go to your house, and he says the ark and Israel of Judah dwell in booths and my Lord job servants of my Lord or camping in the open field chill. I then go to my house eat drink and live with my wife, which strikes this parallel to what he mass just said and second Samuel seven of I live in this palace. And we need to build a house for for you. So you see this man of who's saying it is it's just this right posture towards the presence of God, David has lost three jobs later in your Ryo. This man of of insignificance. I mean, it's going to be on the front lines still has well, you could even argue that David was beginning to make that turn when he says, I should build a palace like my palace David's thought. How can I bring God up to where I am? And your eyes attitude is how can I go wherever God is. And so I wonder too I found myself wondering as we were getting into this. If maybe the reason that God does not allow David to be the builder of the temple is because of this. Okay. So it was thinking. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. That was just something kind of struck me as we were going through that part. But the Lord doesn't allow that to stay concealed now. And so Nathan who is a prophet right addresses. David one one more thing before we get to a pattern that we need to be tracking in the text. And that is that your riot. Who is a Canaanite gives the faithful profession which is the pattern that we see throughout the book is that the outsider is the one who tends to speak the truest word about God or the truest desire for God. And that's elsewhere too. I mean, that's that's Rahab. Right. It's throughout your. It's this soldier at the cross. Right. All of Israel is crucified Christmas intern. Saying surely, this was the son of God. And we'll see later on in the book of Samuel, there's a there's a cou- site who comes to report the death of Absalom, and the cushioned is the one who tells the truth, and, you know, from fifteen hundred miles away from where all of this is going on. And and just this this reminder to Israel. Hey, Israel, sometimes those out. Side. The camp are the ones who will see more clearly, and it's this promise pointing toward the the gathering in of the gentiles pretty cool. And I'm glad we didn't miss it. Thank you for calling back on them. So Nathan Nathan shows up and he addresses what David wants to keep hidden and he confronts David with this rebuke. And so this is in chapter twelve what's going on here? Why is this significant like what's Nathan's pointed critique on David? Well, it's almost like a parable. He's telling the parable where he's saying there's a rich, man. Poor man was Richmond has flocked Portman has this you, and then this this lamb and ultimately through sequence of events to Richmond takes the lamb from the poor man and sacrifices it in David just is incensed by this. I mean, he is overwhelm that. Somebody was so much would do this. Great injustice regain a powered namic injustice and would take the very little poor men had for his own benefit. And he says the Lord. Lives. The man who has done. This deserves to die and nascent Nathan says to him in second. Same twelve for seven Nathan says to David you are this man, which how many times have we read the bible and had similar experiences where you can read yourself into into the store the wrong way. And that's exactly what David's doing here and he realizes oh my goodness. I'm a different character than I thought. I was in the story. I'm I'm the I'm the villain. Not the Victor in this story. Yeah. I do think it's a parable. And I think it just as we would do with the parable it helps if we slow down and identify who each of the characters is in the parable. And that was something that had never been. I'd heard the prophecy read and it was like, oh, David's busted. But not this is how this story is designed because think about it the rich man had very many flocks and herds, and that would be a reference to David's wives and concubines, right? You had all of these wives and concubines that we're not done yet because they're just flocks and herds. But then we find out that there's a poor, man. Man. So we're getting the power dynamic contrast there right away. Right. David has not only does he have a lot of things, but he has a lot of power. But then there's the one that'll you lamb and the one little you lamb is not just flocks and herds for consumption. It is treated like a family member. And specifically he says that it was treated as a daughter to him. And that's a little it throws us off because we would expect a different analogy there because we know that it's referring to your eyes wife, but the Hebrew word for daughter is what bought which is the first syllable and bath Sheba's name. And so he's actually already bringing them bringing David into a hint of what the punch line is going to be. But where it gets interesting for me is when Nathan says now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or her to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb. And prepared it for the men who had come to him. So we see a lamb that was clearly not intended. For slaughter lead as a lamb to the slaughter and slaughtered for what a traveler. And so then the question is who is the traveller that comes to David. And I think the answer is it's lust. So the parable shows us that Sheba sacrificed on the altar of David's lust. He had wives and concubines at his disposal to satisfy his lust. And instead for his consumption. I mean, that's what's implied here. And instead he goes and takes a prized possession of someone else. That was never intended to be consumed, and he consumes it. Chilling is chilling. I have every connection you just made their I've never heard before. Like, a like, that's all that all seems to jive and make more sense of this than I've ever been able to make sense of this because I typically rush right through it like a rush right through to the youth. The man part. Yeah. Here's the here's the repeat never heard the part before knew where it's like, here's the exhortation. Let me get you to where he's aiming. He's right. It's one again think about how how driven we want the application point. We don't wanna fight through the part that comes before the application point. But there is another really beautiful thing that's happening here, and we kind of blew right past it. But it frames up the whole story. And it's the beginning of verse one in chapter twelve it says the Lord sent Nathan today. And this is like where were were living in the tragedy of this up until this moment wondering, oh, no, no. No, no. And it's still going to be bad. But we see this message of hope the Lord sent Nathan today because the word sent had appeared twelve times in chapter eleven David sent multiple times Bethsheba is sent four and she sends word and Joab sends. And then when we get to chapter twelve it is God who is sending any sending forth his word, and it will be for David's salvation. Just the kindness of God's. Yeah. Bill to pursue David. Even the just like the Lord walking the cool the day right now. Like where are you are you? Yeah. Yep. Kind of to pursues people even when they run what are we to learn from this story with David invest Sheba. What are we? I think. Send brings death. I mean, James one net continues here as child is the child that's conceived image just a again, we did a episode few weeks ago on this you should not necessarily draw one to one correlation and your life from biblical stories. Don't think that suffering you're going through or death of a family member or death. That might be facing. You is one to one correlation to a sin in your life. Read is not what we're saying. We're saying here those who are part of God's redemptive plan is they were stepping outside the bounds of what God had ordained for them that sin brought death in their lives. And I think, you know, one of the things that happens with this story is it gets. It's immediately followed by the story of Amnon raping tamer and Absalom killing Amnon. And so David takes Bethsheba to satisfy his lust, and he kills Araya to make things easier and his sons will Amnon we'll take his sister that word took. Is in that story again, and then brother will murder, brother. And so you see this amplification of the Senate the father in the Senate of the sons, but not just that. I think if we're looking for a lesson to take from this. It is be careful what you begin. Because I think we tell ourselves that our sin is our business, but Sinn always has consequences for others as well. And we can't always we cannot calculate the cost of personal choice. Among which is why you know, the great commandment is love the Lord your God with hearts, online strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself. And in the story of David and Bethsheba, we see that when we when we treat the things of God with contempt. We will treat our neighbor with contempt and ourselves with contempt as well, Jim can you help me understand part of the end of this paragraph? So David learns of the child's death, and you would expect. His response to be one of incredible remorse grief in it is. Right. But it says in the text he learns that he's dead. So David arose from the earth washed in and wanted himself and changed his clothes. He went to the house Lord. And worshiped later, it says he eats it has this feast like gets a big steak dinner fig Newton's chip like he has this feast Senate firm self why I don't know. There was a lot of conversation about it in in the commentaries sort of a lot of we're not really sure if he's just it's a sign of him just accepting the will of the Lord, or if it's callous, I mean, some people wanted to make callous because then we will see him grieves. So deeply over Absalon later on in the story. And so there's a lot of question about what's the difference between the way that he responds here in the way that he responds there. I don't know anybody got any thoughts. I don't know generally don't I mean, I haven't thought about it at all. I do like you actually helped me JT. E with there was this really cool part here in verse twenty three of chapter fifteen. Chapter twelve sorry. Got ahead of myself where David says, but now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again, she'll go to him? But he will not return to me. And you pointed out to me how this is actually sort of an inversion of what we see with Christ that that Christ does come back again that he's he's he's he is dead. But he rises and that we he will come to us. We don't go to him. I thought that was really cool. And it made me think of that liturgical statement of the church Christ died crisis risen Christ will come again. This is the version of this which David. Yeah. The true son of David woman will die on our behalf. But he will come back. He does come back from the dead, and he will come up for skin. Cering story. But that's a hopeful note into in line. The whole other story that we. There's anything you heard talk about on the show that you'd like to know more about you can find details on our website TV resources dot net. On our next episode. We're gonna be talking about the Lord's supper with the wonderful as King Sihanouk's time, grace and peace.