Sunday, May 28, 2006

Another power shortage

OK, so what am I going to complain about today regarding David? Consider this sequence of events:
  1. 2 Samuel 13.14: In year X, David's son Amnon rapes his (Amnon's) half-sister Tamar. David is furious but says and does nothing.
  2. 13.28: In year X+2, Absalom, Tamar's brother, kills Amnon. David is very sad, but he says and does nothing.
  3. 13.38-39: David "longed to go to Absalom" but again said and did nothing
2500 years later it's easy for me to say, "Why didn't he do anything?" I wonder if David's reluctance to pass judgment stemmed from the knowledge of his own evil behavior, the adultery and murder he committed in chapters 11-12.

I think this must have been a hard thing, as it is today. What pastor, having seen sin in the congregation, could as it were cast the first stone? One thing that occurs to me is that discipline is not necessarily judgment. In the case of rape (Amnon) and murder (Absalom) I'm not sure how discipline could/should have been administered in David's time, but I am sure David blew it by saying and doing nothing.

Today our objectives are different. As Galatians 6 says, "restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, looking to yourselves, because that could have been you."

Doing nothing (can you say "analysis paralysis"?) is in some ways the easy thing, but disaster may follow, as it did in David's case. In a church, in a small group, in a family, sometimes overanalysis (and paralysis) is exactly the wrong thing.

So what am I called to do today? And how about you?

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