Saturday, March 4, 2017

Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots  "David and His Wives"

When you read God's Word, you read about great men of faith who lived their lives for God like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Solomon and David. These men did great things for God and are used as examples of how to live a Godly life. These men were also richly blessed by God. However, they all had one glaring issue that cannot be ignored. They all had multiple wives! This fact often confuses people who are curious how these great men of God could be so blessed but living in blatant rebellion to God in this area of their life. The reality is, they forfeited many of the blessings they should have had because of this sin in their life. The reality, however, is that God patiently works with sinful men and women who live in a sinful world. God stoops to our level and works with us in spite of our flaws.

Pre Story: David was fifteen years old when he was pre-anointed as the 2nd king of Israel and thirty years old when he was actually anointed as king in 1025 B.C. He reigned forty years. (2 Samuel 5:4) Dying at age 70 1040 BC - 970 BC.

All the seven sons of Jesse were brought before Samuel and yet God did not choose one of them. Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him.  For we will not sit down till he comes here.” David entered into the house of his father. Samuel heard, the Lord say, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” (I Samuel 16:11-12). "Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward." (I Samuel 16:13).

David's Life: David was the youngest of Jesse’s eight sons. He cared for his father’s sheep. He was mocked by his brothers for being a shepherd and in spite of their mockery he killed Goliath the giant. (9 ft.) It seemed so far fetched that this shepherd boy would become a king. It was what was hidden inside David that really counted. Only God knew, the empowerment of the anointing by the hand of Samuel would bring to light the inward work that was of God. When people looked at David they only saw a shepherd boy, not a king.  But when God looked at David He saw the destiny He proposed for him and saw a warrior king emerging and one who would bring a nation together. David reigned in Jerusalem thirty three years over all of Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 5:5). David was known in the courts of the Lord, in that heavenly realm as, “A man after his own heart” (I Samuel 13:14). God's own heart. 

The Bible is a divine book, written to glorify God, and as surprising as the fact may be to some, this story exalts the Lord. That is why we cannot overlook it in our study of marriage relationships in the Bible. But men have weaknesses, even men after God’s own heart. And God is not ashamed to share with us the weaknesses of His greatest saints. We learn some indispensable lessons from their mistakes, such as the utter vileness of our hearts, the horrible consequences of our sin, and the unfathomable depths of God’s forgiving grace.

David's Wives in Chronological order: (1 Chronicles 3:1-5) (Mentions 7 wives, omitting Michal).

David's First Wife Michal: (Mee-chal or MYE-kal): Her name means "Who is like God," was the second daughter of King Saul. Michal was cursed with barrenness. David’s teenage marriage ended in failure. (Scripture reference - 1 Samuel 14:49; 18:20-28; 19:11-17; 25:44; 2 Samuel 3:13, 14; 6:16-23; 21:8; 1 Chronicles 15:29.).

*Missing from the (1 Chronicles 3) list of sons and wives is Michal, daughter of King Saul. Her omission from the genealogy may be linked to, (2 Samuel 6:23) which says, "to her dying day Michal, daughter of Saul, had no children." Michal and Eglah were not the same women as Michal was David's first wife and Eglah was his 7th wife. 

David's Second Wife: Ahinoam (ah-ee-no'-am): Her name means "Pleasant." A woman from Jezreel, who was captured by David while he was at war with Saul. She was the mother of Amnon, David's first-born. She is among those who go with David to Hebron when he becomes king over Judah (2 Samuel 2:2). (Scripture reference - 1 Samuel 14:50).

David's Third Wife Abigail: Her name means "Her Father's joy." It was during David’s years as a fugitive from Saul that he met Abigail. Her wisdom, maturity, beauty, and gracious charm completely disarmed David, and when God removed her ignorant and uncouth husband, Nabal, David lost no time in proposing marriage (1 Samuel 25:39). David shared a Spiritual relationship with Abigail. Abigail is the mother of Chileab, also known as Daniel, the second son of David. (Scripture reference - 1 Samuel 25, 2 Samuel 17:25).

David's Fourth Wife Maachah: (May-ca): Her name means "Oppression or depression." She was the daughter of a neighboring king, so hers was a political marriage. She was the mother of Absalom and Tamar. When Tamar reached puberty, her older half-brother Amnon developed an unhealthy obsession for her, then raped her. Two years later Absalom murdered Amnon. Maacah disappears from the story, but her granddaughter would become the wife of Solomon's son Rehoboam. (Scripture reference - 2 Samuel 3:3, 1 Kings 15:2, 15:10, 15:13, 2 Chronicles 11:20-22, 15:16).

David's Fifth Wife Haggith: Her ame means "Festive." There's one Haggith in the Bible and she isn't very fortunate. She is one of Israel's King David"s lesser known wives and her son is called Adonijah. She was a dancer, possibly a belly dancer that David meet at a festival. (Scripture reference - 2 Samuel 3:4, 5; 1 Kings 1:5, 11; 2:13; 1 Chronicles 3:2).

David's Sixth Wife Abital: Her name means "Father of Dew." The historian took a mere seven words to tell us all there is to know about this colorless female character. She was the mother of David's fifth son Shepatiah. (Scripture reference - 2 Samuel 3:5; 1 Chronicles 3:3).

David's Seventh Wife Eglah: Her name means "Chariot." She is one of  David's wives of whom so little is known. She was his last wife in Hebron, where he reigned for seven and a half years before moving to Jerusalem. Eglah was the mother of David's sixth and last son Ithream. (Scripture reference - 2 Samuel 3:5) 

David's Eighth Wife Bathsheba: Her name means "Daughter of an oath." David forced Bathsheba to commit adultery with him while her husband was away. Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon who reigned from the Throne of David. Bathsheba was a the mother of four of David's sons: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon, who reigned from the Throne of David. (Scripture reference: 2 Samuel 11:2, 3; 12:24; 1 Kings 1:11-31; 2:13-19; 1 Chronicles 3:5).

Post Story: David was married to Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacha, Haggith, Abital and Eglah during the 7-1/2 years he reigned in Hebron as king of Judah. After David moved his capital to Jerusalem, he married Bathsheba. Each of his first six wives bore David a son, while Bathsheba bore him four sons. Altogether, scripture records that David had 19 sons by various women, and one daughter, Tamar.

Three of the many wives of David stand out because their relationships provide significant insights into David's character. These wives are Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba, and their stories greatly influenced the history of Israel. 

*What was a concubine: A concubine was a female slave that functioned not as a mistress, but more like a lesser wife. She could not marry her master because of her slave status. They did not have equal status with a wife. Sometimes concubines were used to bear children for men whose wives were barren. Concubines were warmly welcomed by wives into the household since they mainly became the servants of the wife. Concubines in Israel possessed many of the same rights as legitimate wives, without the same respect.

Life Lessons: God always offers forgiveness for our sins, but we cannot escape the consequences. He highly values our faith in him. Despite life's ups and downs, God is ever-present to give us comfort and help. David lived on the other side of the cross. He was king during a time when there would have been pressure to make marriage for political reasons. God's Word does not try to hide the failings of men who did great things for God in their life. Did God approve of this? No, but he worked within the framework of David’s world and he extended grace.

Post Thoughts: David was a man of contrasts. He was single-mindedly committed to God, yet guilty of some of the most serious sins recorded in the Old Testament. The consequences of David’s sin would be far-reaching and long-lasting. This story of redemption should show us all the far reaching love of God for His beloved children. David left us an example of passionate love of God and dozens of Psalms, some of the most touching, beautiful poetry ever written.

These and other lessons find expression in the lives of Biblical women. In learning their stories, in seeing their humanness, you may also discover how much God loved and uplifted them, sometimes in spite of themselves. These and other stories of love and devotion, of faith lost and found, touch our hearts and compel us to reflect on the place of Biblical truths in our busy daily lives.

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