May 31, 2017
The Biblical story of David isn't very pretty. For a man said to have been "after God's heart," his own was often driven by lust and power. Yet in spite of all his shortcomings and failures, God promised that his dynasty would last forever, and although it experienced a hiatus from the fall of Jerusalem in 607 BC till the birth of Jesus Christ, the New Testament writers claim this "David's greater son" to be the head of an eternal, albeit spiritual, kingdom.
It really is quite amazing and encouraging. God doesn't often choose those who have life all put together. Monumental failures often disqualify us in business, politics, or religion, but God has a way of using our failures as the dark backdrop against which his grace can shine all the more brightly.
After David's rape of Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, we are told that "This thing displeased the Lord." No surprise there. David's sin was exposed, and nine months later, the baby born of this union died. After the proper time of mourning, the text says that "David comforted his wife," ultimately resulting in the birth of their second son. His name means "peace," perhaps the expression of a wistful hopefulness that the turmoil of the previous two years had finally passed. It is by that name that Solomon is known to us, but the Scripture records an interesting footnote to the naming of this child. 2 Samuel 12:24 says, "The Lord loved him..." and called him Jedediah, which means "beloved by Yahweh."
This child was from birth especially loved by God. No explanation for this extraordinary love is given. If you believe God's love is conditional, dependent on their good behavior, remember this name. It is slipped into the narrative for no apparent reason, which tells me it's there for a reason, and that is to let us know that God doesn't need a reason to love us. He just does. And for someone who has given God plenty of reasons to withdraw love, this is good news, and offers much for which to be thankful tonight.