I think if David were a modern politician, I would be cynical of him.
“I didn’t really want to be king, it just happened”
“I don’t really want civil war to enlarge my kingship that I never sought in the first place, but here we are”
“I made peace with my main adversary, we were good. My over-enthusiastic lieutenant killed him without my permission. I’m mourning what a great man he was”
This last one is today’s chapter. Atheists have a field day with the old testament.
It’s full of politicians being political, war mongers mongering war, women being treated like chattels (though there are some spectacular women too). People are selfish greedy, small minded and viscous. And that’s just the ones God chooses for his plans.
David comes to us as a three dimensional figure. He’s a conflicting blend of extreme sensitivity and powerful emotion (good and bad); and often harsh strategic military and political effectiveness.
In this chapter people aren’t cynical when he mourns his enemy. They buy it. I buy it. He seems devastated.
His finest moments and his sins seem to stem from the intensity of his feelings.He’s fully immersive, nothing but the moment.
The sojourn in philistine before he became king seemed to mirror his rootless and bitter sense of abandonment, he became another person.
You sense that in his spirituality when you read the Psalms too. He has a massive capacity to emerse himself in God and tune out to all else.
Today God still works through sin, through the murk of mixed motives and cruelty, the greed and violence of inflamed passions.
How could a god be holy who can reach into all of that? This is perhaps the hardest and most constant question the old testament, and it’s most enduring message. It is logical, easy to be cynical. But God does.
The world is a massive crumbling mixture of love and hate, but God is all love. Go figure.