Thursday, February 25

King David's Mother?

I want to write something about King David's mother. I want to, but there's nothing in the Bible about her. NOTHING AT ALL! Amazing presence, David; amazing absence, David's mother! Well raised, good boy, great shepherd, full of integrity. With the exception of a couple of egregious sins, he was a model king. Are you telling me that his mother had nothing to do with it? It would seem she did. However, one must be careful not to go beyond what Scripture teaches. Still, one cannot but help exercising his "divine imagination." How might she have been with her youngest of eight? Did she have anything to do with his upbringing?

The only thing we read of her is indirectly in David's psalm of penitence. "In sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5). Granted, it IS indirect. After all, about which mother could this NOT have been said, right? So even this reference is to motherhood in general. Well might we multiply instances likened unto David's mother, unknown to us the reader, unmentioned. We grant that it is the norm for Jewish genealogies to omit the women. But does Scripture have to mention someone in order for them to have worth in God's kingdom? Frankly, what does a mention do for anyone anyway? She existed, produced wonderful sons, especially number eight son. Was she not just doing what God had gifted her to do? Do you imagine that Mrs. Jesse had any notion of greatness when those eight boys were ransacking her house, knocking things over and forgetting to clean up behind themselves? I do not think so. Greatness often finds us, and any time it does it must be via the sovereign working of God.

Bloom Where You're Planted
Generally, it is the best wisdom to ponder God's greatness and settle it early in life that you are ready and willing to stay on wherever the Lord puts you. Be faithful in little and the Lord may place you over much. But even if He doesn't, you will have profited immensely just from faithfulness! Don't aspire to greatness; that is an ephemera which disappears quickly and leaves wasted and ungodly desires in it's wake. Hear God's counsel to Jeremiah's servant, "Do you seek great things for yourself. Seek them not" (Jer. 45:5).

So, when you're tempted to feel sorry for yourself because others do not see how wonderful you really are, remember those like David's mother--and the myriad other unmentioned persons. Do what God has given you to do as unto the Lord. And whether or not you get a bonus like she did, you will enjoy the reward of having followed the Lord's will, a thing not to be forgotten in eternity. "We must decrease and HE MUST INCREASE!" (John 3:30). Indeed, as Jesus told the disciples, "There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecution, and in the age to come eternal life" (Mark 10:29-30). No offering in this life, whether it is our popularity or seeming insignificance will out-give God's rewards both here and in heaven. We do much better when we keep this perspective.

OK, so maybe it's not so amazing that David's mother is absent. It's more normal than not. There's grace behind the scenes. Be more glad for the grace than for the glory.



Anonymous said...

Psalm 86:16 - I stumbled across this reference to David's mom (not by name!)

David R. Nelson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
csberti said...

I understand you have to be cautious in reading outside the bible, but for historical reasons and out of interest sometimes I read from Jewish writings. I have found an interesting story about David's mother that is a beautiful story. Supposedly, her name was Nitzevet bat Adael. Not that I would use the info in a sermon, but a good story nonetheless.