The Intimacy of Grace

This post is dedicated to my former pastor Shane Holden, who plucked his one string guitar, "God loves you, even in your weakness."  Hearing that message over and over again and continuing to carry it in my heart continues to peel off layers of blindness.

I was reading through the story of David and Bathsheba the other day.  This is a well known story, that we've all heard millions of times.  Well, I got to the last verse of this story and a verse, that I never recall hearing before, practically jumped out at me:

2 Samuel 12:25
The Lord loved him, and sent a message by the prophet Nathan; so he named him Jedidiah, because of the Lord.

As I read this, I literally stopped and looked up and then down again to make sure the verse was still there and that reading it was not my imagination.  This verse is talking about Solomon, whom we know is named - Solomon - not Jedidiah.  But here you have the Lord himself sending a message saying for him to be named- Jedidiah.  You kind of think if God said, "Name him this," you would name him that! Knowing that names are significant in the Bible I couldn't wait to find out what it meant and to discover what was happening in the background.

So curiosity got the best of me, and I was led on a wonderfully, exciting journey of discovery.  The first opportunity I had, I found out that Jedidiah means, "my beloved."  This meaning totally captured my heart.  I then quickly did a search of commentaries to see if anyone else was blown away by it and if they could shed some light on why Solomon is called Solomon and not Jedidiah.  After reading through 7 commentaries, I got a few hints as to what was going on but I still felt like the magnitude of this verse was overlooked.

First, I found out that in 1 Chronicles 22:9 it says,

But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.

So the name, Solomon was also a name that God had given him, thus he is called Solomon not Jedidiah.  Secondly, I found out that Solomon is a fore running picture of Christ.  Thus, the name Solomon is a picture of Jesus who is our Prince of Peace.  But another commentary brought to light how the name, Jedidiah, was also a prophetic picture of Christ fulfilled in Luke 9:35,

And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

Finally, a commentary mentioned that perhaps this was a name that Nathan or Bathsheba called him.  When I stepped back from all of it and combined everything together, it all began to dawn on me, Jedidiah was a nickname, a name of intimacy, a name of grace.

Considering that, I was even more blown away by it all; I had to rewind with this in mind and look back at the full story that ends with this verse (you can read it all in 2 Samuel 12).  We have David, a man after God's own heart, fall into sin  that makes The Desperate Housewives look not so desperate.  David sleeps with another man's wife, gets her pregnant, tries to have the husband sleep with her but he won't, then has the man killed.  As you read this, you see opportunity, after opportunity for David to admit what is going on, but he plows on and God allows him to plow forward.  After all this is done, then the Lord comes and speaks to David:

I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight?

You can hear the cry of God in this, as to the why; why did you mistrust my heart and not know that I am generous towards you?  These decisions by David lead to consequences that end up hurting the rest of his kingship and his family line.  In addition, the baby conceived in this mess ends up dying.

Somewhere in this timeline, David ends up writing Psalm 51 which we all know well: "Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, take not thy Holy presence from me..."

The story ends, however, with a gift from God, the gift of Solomon.  A man of peace, a picture of Christ and a daily promise and reminder from God to David and Bathsheba of God's intimate, redeeming love.  You see, I do believe Solomon was called Jedidiah - my beloved - but it was not by "the people" but it was by his family.  Whenever they would say, "Jedidiah" they were reminded that God's answer to David's prayer is - "my beloved."

You see He is a redeeming God, a forgiving God, it is not based upon merit, or upon our actions it is all rooted in His LOVE.  The summary of this chapter is, "The mess you are in, this is not what I intended, this is not what I had planned for you... yet even after all of that I will step in, I will redeem and it will be through my Beloved."

This verse did one more thing for me though.  Over the years, I've heard people say, "We are God's beloved."  While I obviously knew that God loved me, I had been unwilling to take the intimacy of that name, "My beloved" and apply it to myself, as an individual.  You see I had heard that like John, who defines himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 21:20) we too could define ourselves that way.  I also heard others say, that the message Jesus heard as He arose from baptism is the same message that God speaks over our lives, but yet somehow, some way that was not enough for me.

However, after reading 2 Samuel 12:25 it dislodged me and I'm full in to being His beloved.  The fact that God himself, tapped Nathan on the shoulder and said, "Let them know, he is my BELOVED," astounded me.  After all the mess, after all the hurt the note that God wraps it all in is, "he is my beloved," and He gives a name, a nickname that is meant to be a daily reminder of His love to not only Solomon but to His whole family that they are loved.

In Christ,

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this Jaime. It is a another reminder to me of God's unfailing love for me not based on how I perform but just because He loves me. I hope you have a good day. Love Patti

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  2. sorry I am late to this conversation. LOVE this description. I am teaching tomorrow about Solomon and wondered, "why did they not call him Jedidiah". this helps a LOT

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  3. I had just read this and was reflecting on other times when folks were renamed .. Like when Simon was called Peter and at one point Jesus called him Satan... Talk about a wake up call (by the One Whose name is above all names!)...

    I had thought of John the Baptist and his dad couldn't speak before the child was named what he was to be named...yet this was a different scenario.

    I had often looked at it as a choice between going with what God would choose for us and our willingness to go with that...or to not.

    We can't rewrite the Bible and have it say something it doesn't...

    My pondering about this is that sometimes I think if the name Jedidiah was used....maybe the multiple wives and vanity and lamentations could have been avoided....but it is all conjecture.

    To God be the glory!

    Thank you for your insight as well!

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts. I do think our names are significant and are used by God to bestow truth into our lives. Your conjecture is interesting as well.

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  4. Thank you for writing this! I too was reading about "Jedidiah" and was confused why we are only familiar with the name "Solomon" This explanation warms my heart, and I have repeated to myself, "I am His Beloved!" It is so hard to actually accept, swallow, and believe. He loves me! Messes and all- I am His Beloved. Thank you & may God Bless you as you continue to share your heart and His testimony!

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    1. Thank you, Ashley for taking time to write. This is one of my favorite posts, so I am glad to hear that it blessed you.

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