Readings: II Samuel 24, I Kings 1, Psalm 146, I Corinthians 12I Kings 1: Now that I have finally come to the end of David's life, I can see two main weaknesses that the great king had, which led to his undoing. The first and most obvious was his weakness for those of us who belong to the fairer sex. Though the law, which David wrote about with such fondness and studied greatly, discouraged kings from taking on too many wives, David made himself a harem full of concubines and wives. As a woman, I can't quite reconcile this with a man who had the heart of God, but I must remember that all of us have weaknesses. David's weakness for women led him to lust after Bathsheba, and when he couldn't marry her because she was already married, he took her anyway. Big mistake, and it led to murder--and then a nice little curse on the rest of his children. (The sword shall not depart from your house.)
David's second weakness is more subtle, but probably more devastating: too much mercy. David shows throughout his life a tendency to not punish those he loves. When Joab kills another man in cold blood, David does nothing. When Tamar is raped, David does nothing, nor does he do anything when Absalom kills her rapist. I Kings also indicates that David never disciplined Adonijah, who tried to assume the throne without being appointed as king. (David, in fact, wanted Solomon to become king.) Most of David's problems actually stemmed from his lack of ability to discipline. Justice is important, even if we must punish those we love.
This weakness is my own, and I hope I will be able to overcome it before I start having children.