“And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.”
In today’s reading from 2nd Samuel, we see Nathan’s prophecy of division within David’s house unfold. What strikes me as most odious from these chapters is not the incest, rape, and murder… And those things are odious! But it is David’s gross lack of judgment.
- A wise father should have known better than to send Tamar to her half-brother’s house.
- A just leader should have punished the eldest son’s crimes of rape and incest instead of showing favoritism by doing nothing.
- And the King of Israel should have either executed or pardoned Absalom for murder. David’s half-hearted treatment of Absalom allows the ugliness to fester… as we’ll see in tomorrow’s reading.
David’s spiritual apathy is disheartening. Especially considering how closely he walked with God in his wilderness days. This description of David’s family combined with Jesus’ teaching from Luke 20… well, they remind me that the human heart is desperate and needs rescuing Whether we are actively rebellious or just apathetically indifferent toward God – both are despicable. And both require a Savior. Jesus has opened the door to mercy – but only the penitent may enter.
O God, help me to be humbly reliant upon your grace – and show mercy to this sinful heart.