An Analysis Of Bosworth's Essay 'Faith And Resilience'

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It can be seen numerous times throughout the Bible, that sometimes the author leaves some aspects of the narrative up to the readers’ discretion (unclear). A prime example of this can be found in 2 Samuel 12 regarding the story of David and Bathsheba and the death of their first born son. David’s behavior before and after the death being of the controversial concern. Some believe David acts as if the death of his son is a relief, freeing him of his sins. David Bosworth offers an insight on the actions of David, viewing him in a more positive light than others. In his article “Faith and Resilience: King David’s Reaction to the Death of Bathsheba’s Firstborn,” Bosworth argues that David never mourns the death, but “supplicates God for the life…show more content…
Following this illness, David began fasting, weeping and laying on the ground. The first point made by Bosworth is that when the child becomes ill, David’s actions are not indicative of mourning. He believes that David’s behavior is on account of supplication, or begging God to spare his child’s life. While in some cases, fasting is a way of mourning, Bosworth believes that David is fasting out of humiliation and repentance (Bosworth 693). As for the weeping, it is also commonly seen as anticipatory mourning to lessen the pain when the child actually dies—indicating the acceptance of death. However, David is not yet accepting of his child’s death. He still has hope that God will intervene, so David weeps as “part of his prayer of petition” (Bosworth 694). David’s actions show that he is pleading with God and remaining hopeful rather than mourning a death that has not been lost yet. This is clearly supported in the bible when David states “’I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me, and the child may live’” (2 Sam.…show more content…
David is known to mourn the death of others, such as his sons Amnon and Absalom, but why not this child? Many believe that his mourning for others was mostly political and perhaps just an act. In addition, readers are also inclined to think that David is relieved or happy his child dies due to his apathetic behavior. Bosworth suggests that his behavior is a result of his resilience and relationship with God (Bosworth 697). David’s resilience is also dependent on a few factors, one of which is the manner of death. Because the child’s death was of illness, rather than say violence, and at a period when infant mortality was incredibly common, the pain and grief experienced from death is likely less severe. Additionally, David, being a king, is a popular man surrounded by a large household of people to distract him from his pain (Bosworth 701-02). Another factor Bosworth mentions is David’s religious beliefs. In some cases, such a death can make one question their beliefs, whereas, David’s faith is unshaken and he sees the death as a punishment for his own sinful behavior (Bosworth 704). In this case, his resilience is aided by the fact that he knows precisely why his infant has died, rather than left wondering how God could have taken his child. Bosworth also mentions

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