One of the saddest moments in the Old Testament is found when the Lord tells Samuel,
“Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.” (1 Sam. 8:7)
Every time I read that my heart falls. God’s covenant people, Israel, rejected Yahweh from being their king. Rather than have the King of Kings as their governmental leader, they chose a man in order to be like all of the other nations (cf. 1 Sam. 8:19-20). Can someone say, “biblical tragedy”? If ever there was a moment in Scripture where God’s heart broke, it was there (metaphorically speaking… I’m not denying impassibility).
There’s another heart-breaking moment in Scripture. A man named David, the great king of Israel, did the following in 2 Samuel 11:
- Saw Bathsheba, married to Uriah, bathing;
- David clearly lusted after her;
- David sent for her;
- David did more than get the digits… David slept with her;
- David knocked her up (“the woman conceived”);
- David tried to trick Uriah, her husband, into coming back from serving in the army and sleeping with his wife so that David would be off the hook;
- Uriah has too much honor to take rest and enjoy the company of his wife when his fellow soldiers are at war;
- David tried to get Uriah drunk so that he would sleep with his wife;
- Uriah didn’t fall for it;
- David sent Uriah back to battle;
- David sent a letter to the commander of the Army (Joab) and had Uriah sent to the frontlines and abandoned so he’d die;
- Thus, David slept with another man’s wife, got her pregnant, and had the husband killed.
Wow. Not a good day, right?
At the end of this narrative, the writer of 2 Samuel states, “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.”
Double “Wow.” Definitely not a good day.
As when Israel rejected God as their king, David’s adultery and murder greatly displeased the Lord. It’s got to be a bad day when the Bible actually states that God’s displeased with you… a bad day indeed.
It’s a good thing God had made a promise to David (2 Sam. 7:11-16). Otherwise, after David had repented for his sins (2 Sam. 12:13; cf. Psalm 51), there would have been no hope. Yet because of God’s faithfulness, David’s lineage would continue… and Jesus would establish the everlasting throne and the everlasting kingdom.
So bad days can still have silver lining… right?