Run to God! The Bible says God “will never leave you nor forsake you.” When everyone else is treating you like the plague, God is one who will stick closer than a brother. When you find yourself in a mess of any variety, even a self-inflicted mess, you can still come to the God who will be a shield about you, your glory, the lifter of your head.
Going Deep // Focus: 2 Samuel 13:14-15, 21-22
But Amnon refused to listen to his half-sister, Tamar, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. Then he hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. He said to her, “Get up and get out!” … When King David heard what his son, Amnon had done, he was furious. And Tamar’s brother, Absalom, never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister.
I am sure there weren’t too many times in David’s life when he might have felt lower. His own son, Amnon, had raped his half-sister, Tamar. This would lead to his murder by Tamar’s brother, Absalom. In later chapters in 2 Samuel, this will lead to Absalom’s military rebellion, where he usurps his father’s throne. David’s family was a complete mess.
Adding to David’s despair was the knowledge that this was his own doing. He was now in the middle of the painful consequences of his adultery with Bathsheba and his conspiracy to murder in order to cover up the affair. David’s sin had set loose some very ugly outcomes within his own family as the prophet Nathan had predicted: Amnon rapes his half-sister, Tamar. Absalom kills Amnon in revenge. Absalom had been banished from the land as punishment, and then when he rturns, he leads a rebellion that sends David into exile, costs him his national dignity, and ultimately ends with Absalom’s death.
But David found solace in the Lord. He always did. When he was on the lam from Saul, hiding in caves, staying one step ahead of death, he found comfort in God. When things went from bad to worse and the few outcasts who were David’s followers were ready to desert him, David strengthened himself in the Lord. And now, as his family crumbles before his very eyes—and from his side of this story, this was a permanent loss, there’d be no fairy-tale ending to this sad saga—David again finds that God is sticking by him. Everybody else might leave, but not God. Everybody else might lose confidence in David, but not God. David might lose everything in this world he had acquired to this point, but he would not lose God.
Part of what makes our admiration and love for David so enduring is his tenacious hold on God. Strip him of everything and what is left is David’s dependence on God. King David’s life was a mess—of his own doing—but he ran to God. Take away his crutches, and David leans on God. The away his power, and David finds strength in God. Take away his palace, the cave becomes David’s sanctuary in God. Take away his position, David positions himself in humility before God. Take away his wealth, David still worships God. Take away his refuge, David runs to God.
When it comes to David’s many flaws, we can relate, can’t we? Maybe thats another reason why we love him so much. We can understand a guy who shoots himself in the foot—we do that sometimes. We can put ourselves in his shoes because we’ve blown it in our lives, big time. We have all had times where our world comes crashing down around us; times where situations turn sour, relationships go south, bad stuff happens, things fall apart, people we thought were friends abandon us, perhaps even turn on us. And to make it even worse, we understand it’s our own stupid fault. We are brother to David!
Hopefully we can also relate to David’s resilience. Hopefully you have learned to choose the option David did when he found himself in these desperate situations—which is still a pretty good option, by the way. In fact, it’s the best option: Go to God!
That’s what David did. And why not! The Bible says God “will never leave you nor forsake you.” When everyone else is treating you like the plague, God is one who will stick closer than a brother. When you find yourself in a mess of any variety, even a self-inflicted mess, you can still come to the God who will be a shield about you, your glory, the lifter of your head. That is a line from one of the most beautiful songs David ever wrote—Psalm 3:3
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high
When you look at the whole of David’s life, he should have ended up on the trash heap of human history. His blunders were so huge, his failures so big, his mistakes so enormous. But David kept going back to God and each time he found God to be his shield, his glory and the one who lifted his head.
And so can you!