Max tells the story of Rogers Cadenhead who registered the domain site www.BenedictXVI before the new pope was named. As a Catholic, he did not want the money from selling the domain to the Catholic church, but he did want three things from the church when they needed the domain: 1. one of those hats; 2. a free stay at the Vatican hotel; 3. complete absolution, no questions asked, for the third week of March 1987.
Max goes on: “Makes you wonder what happened that week, doesn’t it? It may remind you of a week of your own. Most of us have one, or more. Do you have a season in which you indulged, imbibed, or inhaled?”
“King David did. Could a collapse be more colossal than his? He seduces and impregnates Bathsheba, murders her husband, and deceives his generals and soldiers. Then he marries her. She bears his child.”
At first, David believes all is well, but the feelings of guilt are still simmering. When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. The pressure never let up: all the juices of my life dried up. Psalms 32:3-4 MSG.
Max invites us to underline II Samuel 11:27: The thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” God has been silent all through David’s sins but now he will be silent no more.
God sends Nathan, a prophet, to David. Nathan tells David a story about a rich man with flocks of sheep who took the only sheep of a poor man and slaughtered it for a feast. David is incensed and says the rich man should die and restore the poor mans sheep fourfold. Nathan then tells David that he is the rich man. David no defense because he knew it was true.
Through Nathan, God tells David that he had provided for him and blessed him, yet he had through his actions treated God with contempt. God is hurt by David’s actions. Max writes: “David had soiled God’s reputation, blemished God’s honor. And God, who jealously guards his glory, punishes David’s public sin in a public fashion.” David loses his wives to other men for all people to see and the child of his adultery dies.
Numbers 32:23 ……. you can be sure that your sins will track you down. Colossal collapses will not leave us alone. They keep coming back to haunt us. Max says: “Unconfessed sin sits on our hearts like festering boils, poisoning, expanding. God takes your sleep, your rest. Want to know why? Because he wants to take away your sin. He will not rest until we do what David did: confess our fault.”
“It’s time for you to put your third week of March 1987 to rest. Assemble a meeting of three parties: you, God and your memory. Place the mistake before the judgment seat of God. Let him condemn it, let him pardon it, and let him put it away.”
David is well over sixty years old and his age beginning to show. Nathan told David after his affair with Bathsheba that “The sword shall never depart from this house.” 2 Samuel 2:10. Nathan knew that David’s house would always be troubled because of David’s sin. David’s children are not a blessing to him. Amon, David’s son, raped his half-sister, Tamar, then discarded her. She was desolate and moved in the home of David’s son Absalom. David was very angry with Amnon but did not confront him or punish him.
Max writes: “It was time for David to step up. Display his Goliath-killing courage, Saul-pardoning mercy, Brook-Besor leadership. David’s family needed to see the best of David. But they saw none of David. He didn’t intervene or respond. He wept. But wept in solitude.”
Because of David’s inaction, Absalom fled to Jerusalem to live with his grandfather for three years and David never tried to see his son. Absalom returned to Jerusalem and for two years David avoided him. In fact, David neglected all his children. Another son, Adonijah, staged a coup against his father and David did nothing.
Max writes about David: “David did so much well. He unified the twelve tribes into one nation. He masterminded military conquests. He founded the capital city and elevated God as the Lord of the people, bringing the ark to Jerusalem and paving the way for the temple. He wrote poetry we still read and psalms we still sing. But when it comes to his family, David blew it.”
David prayed about many things, but it seems he was too busy to pray about his family. He did not treat his family with the sense of priority he should have. Max says: “Your home is your giant-size privilege, your towering priority. Children spell love with four letters: T I M E.”
When David’s final hours were evident, he needed for someone to nurse him but there was no wife or children to serve and comfort him. A young woman was brought in to care for David, a woman he did not know! Max’s thought: “He died in the care of a stranger because he made strangers out of his family.”
Max’s closing thought of this chapter: “Succeed at home first.”
Facing Your Giants - Max Lucado - 2006 - Thomas Nelson Publishing - Used with permission