For bedtime tonight, the kids and I sang "Create in Me a Clean Heart" by Keith Green, and you should have seen their faces when I told them the story behind the song. Read it here and here.
It went something like this:
Dad- "The guy that wrote that song was King David, and he wrote it after he did something really bad."
kids- "Oh yeah, David. We know him, what did he do?"
Dad- "He killed somebody. He saw the guy's wife and wanted her to be his, so he took her and killed the guy."
*thorough horror on all faces present*
Dad- "And this song is right after the prophet came to him to tell him that the punishment was going to be that the baby David had with the lady was going to die."
*continued horror and utter silence... somewhere in the distance a dog barks.*
Dad- "But they had another baby, and his name was Solomon. And he had a baby, and then they had a baby, and so on, and so on, and so on... and then there was a very special little baby born that came from David and his stolen wife Bathsheeba. His name was Jesus. And He was the reason that God could forgive David for wanting that woman more than he wanted God."
Gospel discussion with a seven and two five-year-olds ensues.
I can't simply tell my kids to "go, be like David", because he was an adulterer and a murderer. And even worse, if I only show them the David who killed lions, bears and giants, by the time I get to the cross I may have galvanized them into works-righteousness so deep that they don't know why they need Jesus as anything more than another good example to emulate. But oh, the beauty of raunchy David is that he screams the mercy of God. David is not just a character to idolize, but one in which we can find ourselves even if are little kids. I got to preach the Gospel to my kids tonight, and it was not by saying "we should all go be like David", but by saying "we already are all like David, and we desperately need someone to save us from it". That's what my kids need to hear.
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