September 21, 2016
During our Wednesday services, we’ve been studying the shepherd-king David in all his glory, but now there are challenging times in his kingdom, which began with his own household. David has been forced out of Jerusalem by his son Absalom, and so he has retreated to mourn at Mount Olivet, known in the New Testament as the Mount of Olives. These readings include how David responded to his betrayal, including his own words from the psalms he wrote during this experience.
Are you spotting more similarities between David and Jesus? David’s son betrayed him; an enemy cursed him and threw stones at him; and lame Mephibosheth, whom David had taken into his own home, appeared disloyal. Throughout this ordeal, David continued to express mercy, a quality so clear in Jesus that he was called “the son of David.”
Another similarity which is not as obvious is that one of David’s priests was called Zadok. Melchizedek, king of Salem (ancient Jerusalem) brought bread and wine to Abraham, since Melchizedek was the priest of the most high God (Genesis 14:18). Then in Hebrews, Jesus is described as being “a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 7:17). (We actually did a Wednesday service on “Melchizedek? Melchisedec Who?”, and I like thinking of Daniel’s Zadok as providing a holy connection between the Old and New Testament priesthood.)
Both Jesus and David had gloomy nights on Mount Olive, but Jesus’ disciples slept. David’s household was awake and weeping with him, and different friends nourished David and his mighty men. In our Time for Thinkers Book Club, we’ve asked: If Jesus’ disciples had been awake and supporting him in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, with all they had learned, would they have brought in the millennium? (Science and Health, p. 34) David taught us mercy, but Jesus’ lessons were so much more!!
In our next readings, we will find out if Ziba was lying about Mephibosheth, if the cursing stone thrower reforms, and if David regains his kingdom. My husband thinks this is all quite the soap opera, so you will have to stay tuned in!
If you are wondering why I am spending so much time on David, here is an interesting article by William McCrackan from the December 1916 Christian Science Journal where he wrote, “Metaphysically considered, Christian Scientists are entitled to consider themselves direct descendants in the royal line of David. . .” and then he compared the “key of David” to our own “key to the Scriptures.” (Science and Health, p. 499, which has Revelation’s quote about the key of David). I’ve learned so many lessons from studying David which have opened up the Scriptures for me, and I’d love to hear your inspiration as well!