God’s Words for Our Shame

October 31, 2012


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Case Study:

David is a Christian man that (literally) everyone admired. You could hardly find anyone in his church or community who did not have ample good things to say about David. If he ran for mayor in his town, he would be a shoe in to win. He is active as a lead teacher at the church in addition to serving on several key committees. Within the community he is often consulted when important decisions are made.

David is the father of a blended family with several older children. Several years ago David’s stepson, Aaron, convinced David’s daughter, Tara, to experiment sexually. Aaron got carried away and even though Tara resisted, he raped her. Tara confided in her brother, Barry. They went to their father, but David did not know what to do so he did nothing.

David tried to explain all the legal consequences that existed for Aaron and that even if it was reported it wouldn’t make Tara’s pain go away. Barry saw this as pure weakness. He grew to despise both Aaron and his father. Aaron showed little remorse and tried to act like nothing happened. Barry was incensed and refused to be weak like his father David. Barry beat Aaron and left him unconscious in a neighbor’s yard.

Once the police got involved Barry was arrested. David bailed Barry out and smoothed things, using his political influence to get Barry out of trouble. But again David didn’t really do anything more about Barry’s physical violence than he did Aaron’s sexual violence.

Barry, sick of the whole situation, outed everything that was going on in their home. With a few descriptive liberties he was able to turn everyone in the church and community against David. Even David’s wife was ashamed of him and asked for a separation. David was devastated and ashamed to show his face in public. The only person he had left to call was God, but he didn’t think even God would listen.

[This case study attempts to mirrors closely portions of the life of David, King of Israel. To read the biblical narrative of these events see II Samuel 13-17. It was after these events that David wrote Psalm 3.]

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