Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
King David and Christian Living
J.J. Blunt (1794-1855) was an Anglican who lectured and wrote much of import for Christians. His most famous and impactful book was his Undesigned Coincidences in which he argues for the veracity of the Old and New Testaments. The scope of this book was not limited to apologetics, however. He continually put forward insights into the topics at hand. For example, writing about King David’s fall into sin and the betrayal by his son, he notes:
Meanwhile, by means of the fall of David, however it may have caused some to blaspheme, God may have also provided in his mercy, that many since David should stand upright; the frailty of one may have prevented the miscarriage of thousands; saints, with his example before their eyes, may have learned to walk humbly, and so to walk surely, when they might otherwise have presumed and perished; and sinners, even [those] of the darkest and most deadly sins, may have been saved from utter desperation and self-abandonment, by remembering David in all his trouble; and that, deep as he was in guilt, he was not so deep but that his bitter cries for mercy, under the remorse and anguish of his spirit, could even yet pierce the ear of an offended God, and move him to put away his sin. (155, cited below)
The concern with Christian living here is appropriate. Balance must be had between finding out what a biblical narrative “really” means [to the original audience? to us? etc.] and the application of that narrative to our lives. Here, Blunt is focused on application, but he does so in a way that is of value to apologetics as well as biblical interpretation. We sometimes wonder why so many stories of people doing bad things are recorded in the Bible. Indeed, some of these stories would be very R-rated were they made into a movie. But this is because the Bible is about real people engaged in real events. And, we can be sure that at least some of these stories can serve as a warning to us.
Blunt didn’t only offer law here, however. It’s not just a word of conviction. He noted the fact that David still turned to God and that God was merciful. May we also be moved to seek out God’s mercy through life’s trials.
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J.J. Blunt, Undesigned Coincidences in the Writings both of the Old and New Testaments: An Argument of their Veracity (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1855).