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Sermons on 2 samuel

victim & perpetrator

Victim & Perpetrator

In this story, David is both the victim of his son Absalom and the perpetrator through David’s lack of ability to deal with Amnon’s behavior, and then Absalom’s rage. It is a complicated story of love and betrayal, forgiveness and heartbreak and unresolved grief, political duty and rivalry and power battles. It reminds us of the messiness of human relationships and emotions. (2 Samuel 18:5-9,15,31-33)

admission & repentance

Admission & Repentance

David thinks all is well, that he has managed to cover up his wrongdoing. But God has seen it all and declares it evil. Note that God is not upset with Bathsheba; she is the victim in all of this. So, God speaks to the prophet Nathan and then God sends Nathan to confront David. (2 Samuel 11:27b-12:13)

flawed & convicted

Flawed & Convicted

This story is often portrayed as one of adultery. Two consenting married people having an affair outside of marriage. And if that is what David did, then that is definitely not good. It is breaking God’s laws and is not what God ordains marriage for. But there are others, who see something even worse in this passage. Was it really adultery? Or did King David rape Bathsheba? (2 Samuel 11:1-17, 26-27)

Trigger Warning: Today’s scripture is the story of David and Bathsheba. The sermon will touch on subjects that may make some of you uncomfortable. I hope you will come and be present to that feeling and stay to work through it. For others, the feeling might be more visceral, so please take care of yourself.

governing & setbacks

Governing & Setbacks

Kind David showed great confidence, submission and courage as he acted on his understanding of God’s will. From fighting Goliath, to not fighting King Saul when his life was threatened, to transforming Jerusalem into a holy city, and bringing the ark into its walls. He remained a faithful despite opposition and odds that were against him. Forty years was a long time to reign. It wasn’t a democracy, and in today’s terms, we would say he was a dictator. But as we know, unpopular dictators are eventually overthrown, whereas David was not; he died of old age. While his military prowess makes us uncomfortable today, nevertheless, he is described as “a man after God’s own heart.” (2 Samuel 5:1-5, 6:1-5)

making sense of the violence

Making Sense of the Violence

Violent passages in the Bible, and specifically in the Old Testament, rightly trouble thoughtful Christians. They also give fodder to those who argue that it is religion that is the source of much of the violence in the world. How can these actions that God is said to command be reconciled with a God of mercy, compassion, justice and love? (Exodus 32:25-29, 2 Samuel 24:15-17, Luke 6:32-36)