I love it when things come together from five different places and make a whole clear picture. It happened this week.
I was writing about David, and marveling again that someone who seemed to know God so well could just lose it and go off the rails, steal someone’s wife and kill her husband!
Suddenly words from my journaling on John 15 this week came to mind, “I no longer call you servants, I’m calling you friends…” coupled with my own experience of God’s friendship plus a human best friend that I talk to most every day (a new work of God). Add the whole reason I am writing the Bible as the story of a good God–we need a better picture of the Bible’s God. Fit in a new book a client gave me last week, Saving Leonardo, about the insidious secularization of America. Plus the ending of the book I just finished again, One Thousand Gifts–celebrate living loved every moment by a God who reaches out continually but won’t force friendship.
A whole picture formed: David’s culture–the collective consciousness of that time–didn’t have a picture of God that afforded that kind of friendship. He may have been closer to it than anyone since Abraham, but ever since then everyone saw God as high, holy, powerful, scary and removed. Hence why he brought them out of Egypt, away from the culture steeped in angry gods, out into the desert where He could reveal Himself, love on them, and live with them. But he had to be so careful that His glory (love energy) didn’t destroy them, that they couldn’t get over being afraid of God.
It was hard for God. It was hard for them. It took until Jesus, for humans to really get it. And even then he had to tell his followers. “You are my friends…” That same night just before he died, he prayed that we could see that They wanted us to be ONE with THEM! Atonement=at one ment–best friends!
No one can love you like God who knows you completely and still wants to be so intimate (safe) for you that He (They) are your closest, best love. MY Best Friend. Your Best Friend.
If David had had that concept of God, that best friend relationship with Him, he would have noticed that he wasn’t talking to Him! That he in fact, hadn’t been talking to him for days, weeks, months? Everything was going so well. He had gotten to the place where he had honor, recognition, power, no fear from any nation around. Things were good. And that is when God’s enemy came up with a tailor-made seduction that he couldn’t refuse. He was the king, he could have anything he wanted.
Had he been talking to his Best Friend every day, Adonai would have said, “Be careful. My enemy has asked to test you,” like he said to Peter much later. Peter failed too, suffered too, and repented too, but he didn’t suffer as long as David. He immediately remembered his best friend’s words and repented.
David wandered around in guilt for months rationalizing that he had made the best choice he could with the circumstances. Really David? Talk to your best friend! Finally God sent Nathan to wake him up out of his moral stupor. He had to tell him a story that helped him recognize when the guilt started! Then we see David’s true heart. God knew it all along. He just couldn’t get David to see clearly and come to Him. David needed God as his best friend!