The English language offers up some great idioms, an idiom is “a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words” We use them all the time, phrases like: “Piece of Cake”, “Costs an arm and a leg”, Break a leg”, “Let the cat out of the bag” and “Bite off more than you can chew.” Today the idiom, “Two sides of the same coin” (different but closely related characteristics of one idea) best describes my thoughts as I reflect on the idea of biblical community in the book of 2 Samuel.
In my last blog entry, I highlighted the story of David and Mephibosheth and how it reminds us of the compassion, kindness and love that community should be built on (one side of the coin). The flip-side or contrast to this story is found only a few short chapters away, the account of David’s actions with Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Samuel 11). This short account conveys the effects of a sinful human nature, a self-serving desire and its devastating consequences to the true nature of biblical community (love, kindness and compassion vs. lust, deceit, and hostility). David, a sinful man by nature, was also a man dedicated to living a life pleasing to the Lord. Yet he falls, he commits adultery and murder to ultimately get what he wants (Bathsheba). David destroys our earlier perception of his desire to rule as a one who sets an example of living in community. In chapter 12 of 2 Samuel, Nathan makes his way into the narrative with a story of his own, a tale that points the finger of shame and disappointment on the actions of the King, David had become blind to his own actions. This destructive behaviour is the work of the Satan in our lives, he finds great satisfaction in breaking down our heart, soul and mind.
God never moves from the center of community, His desire is to be the one that binds everything together. It is us who shifts to “left field” once and a while. There is a beautiful component to living in community with God and other believers, and that is the powerful words that come through confession and forgiveness. David’s realization and confession of his sins, brings him back into the center of relationship with God. We too have this amazing privilege. David’s life changed from that day forward (things happen that were beyond his control even as a king) as it does for us. When I think of the two sided coin, I hope and pray that my actions reflect the life I live in Christ rather than the flip-side.