|Excavation of David's palace|
David must have guessed something like that would happen. Why did he leave them so defenseless? And then, after the inevitable happened, he treated those women as if it was their fault:
When David arrived home in Jerusalem, the king took the ten concubines he had left to watch the palace and placed them in seclusion, under guard. He provided for their needs but didn't visit them. They were virtual prisoners until they died, widows as long as they lived. 2 Samuel 20:2-3, MSG
Instead, he made them prisoners and never visited them again. Well provided for and protected, but prisoners, none the less. Even worse, their position didn't change after he died. They lived in seclusion until their deaths.
David always seemed to go a little squirrely about women--the stories of Michal and Bathsheba, and now the concubines. I doubt those nameless ten had a choice about becoming concubines. I can't imagine many Jewish women happily becoming a king's concubine and not wife ten or twelve. Something about them brought them to David's attention, and he had to have them. He trusted them enough to leave the palace in their care.
And just as quickly his attention waned and he discarded them. They were painful reminders of what
I feel like I'm rambling. I'm not a man, but from what I understand of a man's psyche, David's behavior is an example of male reactions at their worst.
I don't know if any of the women wanted to leave the security of the palace. I don't know if they had dreams of a husband after David's death, or of a life outside the walls of the harem. What offends me that they didn't have a choice.
So, the so-what part of the story is harder than usual. A few thoughts:
- No believer is perfect and always makes the right decisions.
- Our choices affect those around us.
- Our suffering may be the result of someone else's free will.
- David acknowledged his fiscal responsibility even after his feelings changed.
- Although not stated here, even when people reject us, God still loves us.