Monday, February 8, 2016

DCC: David’s Proof

Post originally published by Jennifer X on Born Jennius, 8 February, 2016.

I am behind on my Bible reading plan at the moment and catching up. I don’t always get something clear from a day’s read, but I was reading in I Samuel a few days ago and connected with David. I let it ruminate in my mind, and I think it might be something to share.

We’re in I Samuel 24 (ESV). At this point in the story, Saul is king over all of Israel, the first king. Saul transgressed a direction from the prophet Samuel, and so God took the future of the rule of Israel from Saul and had Samuel anoint a young man, David, who was from a different family of Israel. David then slayed Goliath, became a commander in Saul’s army, and was given Saul’s daughter for his wife. Saul has been jealous of God’s favor over David and has tried to kill him or have him killed several times.

Saul is told that David has fled to Engedi and pursues. Saul goes into a cave to relieve himself. It just happens to be the cave in which David and his men are right then, but Saul doesn’t detect anyone. David’s men try to convince him that this is the moment to fulfill God’s intent to take the kingdom from Saul, so David approaches Saul, still undetected, and cuts off a piece of Saul’s robe. David is convicted, because Saul is also an anointed of God (when he was first made king), and therefore should not be harmed. He retreats and keeps his men from attacking Saul.

Saul returns to his men. Then David comes out of the cave and calls out to Saul.

“And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’? Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’s anointed.’ See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it.” [I Sam. 24: 8b -12]

Saul seems to repent, the two come to an agreement, and they go their own ways.

The peace lasts for a chapter, for in I Samuel 26, a similar incident occurs when David spares Saul’s life but takes a token to, from a safe distance, show Saul again that he could have killed him or had him killed but didn’t. Once again, Saul says words and they go their own ways.

Let me remind you that I am not a scholar on theological matters or the Bible, so this isn’t exegesis and my relating to it is probably not one-for-one. I’m attempting to explain what I felt convicted of as I read about David.

Out of the things that could be taken from these readings, the one that hit me was “proof.” David didn’t have to prove himself to God in a way because God chose him and had him anointed to be the next king. Still, David makes moves to prove to Saul that he’s not out to harm him. He’s seeking to justify himself to Saul, to clear his name.

To what end at this point? I’m not sure. Maybe he just wanted Saul off his back. Maybe he just missed his good friend Jonathan. Maybe his good name was precious to him.

Again, David was seeking to justify himself to a man, Saul, when he was already justified by God as a man after God’s own heart.

I’m not putting David down. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to trust God that he will be the next king and yet not know when or not understand why he should have to run for his life and all of the other things that had gone on before he finally became king. Also, he was young; I don’t know how old he was in the passage presented, but at the Goliath story, he was probably in his teens, under 20, because he wasn’t old enough to be in the army, if I’m understanding things correctly.

My take is that God allowed for David to go through these trials in order to mature him, as the anointed, to gather lessons from this time of trials so that he could be a better leader of Israel one day.

I might be getting this all wrong or not using the right words to convey my meaning, so please forgive me if I’ve completely missed the point or causing misunderstanding. I am currently questioning myself on the use of “justify (oneself)” and whether it is an equivalent to “clearing one’s name”. I have added a side questioning of my grammar. This is what I go through, folks.

While I do all that thinking, let me get back to this story.

Every now and again over the past almost 6 or 7 years, I have wanted to tell my side of the Dictator Conflict Chronicles [DCC]…

Because like David, I wanted to give proof, to clear my name, to logically spell out why I wasn’t so much the bad person they made me out to be.

And to justify the anger, frustration, and hurt that I felt.

Regarding my overall intent as well as a lot of finer incidents. Even now, as I write this, a list of things is going through my mind (my piece of DCC robe):
  • Clearing my name of the “dictator” charge by pointing to how I have led other things
  • My reasons for deciding that I should have the keys, or why we should make use of the Youth House, or any number of other decisions that I made as “leader”
  • …and why my decision-making was “un-dictatorially” processed
  • Why a part of me considers what I experienced through the Conflict as “bullying”
  • Why I think that God chose me to… do something different
  • To reply to all the gossip and rumors, to which ones were true and which ones false or which parts were what
  • To point out the rudeness and insults I suffered in public and in assumed privacy
  • The points that they misunderstood, disregarded, or missed
  • And more

I could do all that, but to what end? Who (other than me) still cares? No one spoke up for me back then, so what support can I bring as to the veracity of my claims (if they are true)? I wasn't heard then. I have some paper trail for this or that, but what would it matter?

God knows what my heart was then and what my heart is now.

What can the clearing of my name in the eyes of man do for me?

So, I think that I will have to come to terms with what happened, to trust that God loves me whatever my faults and good traits my character has, no matter how much the memories of that experience might hurt or confuse still.

I’ve written some of those entries, of the list. Most of them have gone unposted entirely. I think, unless some life lesson or illustration from it could be made useful, they shall have to remain unposted.

The question remains: did God allow all that to happen in order to mature me? If so, mature me for what?

(Because since then and continuing through now, I don’t want to be a leader – or co-leader/ assistant – or volunteer –  in church or ministry ever again; I never wanted to be one to begin with ever).

What do I so often say? “We shall see.”

P.S. Other aspects of the DCC I may still write about, and post, so don’t be surprised over any DCC posts that may come.

Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment and/or question(s) in the section below :)

Disclaimer: I am not a professional or trained minister or anything. I am a Christian layperson interested in working out my faith and trust in Jesus Christ and sharing where I am on the journey.

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