Here are names to remember:
Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah the Hittite, and the Prophet Nathan.
David had many sons, but here are two: Amnon and Absalom.
David's Daughter Tamar.
There is war in the family, and battles. And it all begins with David and Bathsheba. David is the King who has everything, including the love and the blessing of God. But he covets his neighbor's wife. And Nathan the prophet pronounces judgment on him: that there will be conflict and battle in his own household.
And that is what happens. Amnon rapes his sister Tamar. Absalom wreaks vengeance and Amon is killed. Absalom is exiled. When he returns, David still won't see him. Absalom becomes beloved of many of the people of Israel, and he makes himself king, tries to get his father killed. And yet when Absalom is killed, David weeps:
O my son Absalom, my dear dear son Absalom!
Why not me rather than you, my death and not yours,
O Absalom, my dear, dear son!
Yet David, for all his flaws, was still beloved of God.
There's a little scene in 2 Samuel 16, when David is runnning for his life, because Absalom is after him. A man named Shimei son of Gera is throwing rocks and cursing David. One of David's men wants to kill him, but David says, "my own son, my flesh and bone, is right now trying to kill me; compared that this Benjaminite is small potatoes. Don't bother with him; let him curse; he's preaching God's word to me. And who knows, maybe God will see the trouble I'm in today and exchange the curses for something good."
There's something incredibly expansive in that attitude -- Hearing God's voice in both the blessings and the curses.
Then in 2 Samuel 22, David sings a song of thanksgiving to God. I love these words:
"God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Maybe it's just that particular metaphor for forgivceness that I like.
May God rewrite the book of our lives as well.