The author(s) of 1st and 2nd Samuel had a lot to say about the king who started out as a shepherd boy, but like Derrick said in his blog post, I don’t feel like my thoughts about David extend much beyond feeling disappointed. And maybe a little surprised.

I grew up in church and heard countless sermons about David. They pretty much all went something like, “Yeah, David had some weaknesses. But more importantly, he was a man after God’s own heart, and God did great things through him.” That approach isn’t completely untrue, but somehow, even after hearing and reading so much about David throughout my life that I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on his story, I was caught off guard by most of what I read these last few weeks.

David did a lot of really selfish, manipulative, awful things. If it wasn’t for his privilege and status as king, he would probably have been imprisoned. And I was surprised by this. I wasn’t aware, prior to this summer, just how broken of a person David was. I guess I understand why a lot of sermons I’ve heard have grazed over the parts of David’s story that were awful, but I appreciate the ways that we as a community dove into the brokenness of David’s story and wrestled with it. I don’t think our wrestling was in vain; these blog posts written by our team and the way our community interacted with them tell me there was something that we gained by reading this messy story.

1. God is still in the business of redemption.

That’s a phrase I stole from Jamie Tworkowski, and I think it’s a thread that ran through our thoughts, blog posts, and messages this summer. The darker and messier these chapters got, the more we seemed to yearn for and seek God’s redemption in the midst of it. We talk a lot in CCW about how God is always bringing restoration and renewal, and I think he was doing that way back when David was on the throne too.

2. God is still listening.

This was a big take away for me, and I talked about it a bit in the last blog post I wrote. David kept messing up, but he also kept talking to God. And God kept listening. I’ve gotta remember that when I think I’m not worth listening too because of my doubts, mistakes, or failures.

3. It’s good to read the whole story.

It’s even good to read the messy parts. David’s whole life, right up until his death, is recorded there in 1st and 2nd Samuel for a reason. And while we might still not understand some parts, I’m glad we spent time looking at the whole story, discussing and learning from it as a community.

1st and 2nd Samuel were challenging at times and frustrating most of the time, but I’m thankful for the way our community walked through this summer semester together. I hope we’ll keep wrestling with the messy stories and asking questions together. Thanks for being on this journey with us!

Madeleine Dittmer
Flagler Ministry Assistant

July 18, 2018