It is profoundly symbolic that King David, before his death, buys a site for the future Temple. He realises that he has committed sinful acts, he was involved in bloody wars. What is remarkable is that he knows that he is accountable, and accepts God’s judgement upon him.
Today’s world, and its leaders, have lost this sense of accountability. In a sense, democracy, for a long time, has reached its decadent phase. Countries go to war, leave a mess and total destruction of infrastructures, zero accountability. Some people create ‘Brexits’ in their countries, and the mess in the aftermath of their unaccountable manipulations – again: zero accountability. But before pointing fingers on others, let us not deceive ourselves. Everyone, without exception, is being caught up in the web of ‘unaccountability’, if they live ‘outside the Temple’, without that firm ground for the future that David has.
It seems that it is only God as the God of history who takes it seriously. For God, indeed, a moral continuity does matter! He offers this bond to us, as he offered it to David among his options (the closing of 2 Samuel). And David understood the significance of a new beginning. That is why he purchased a land for the Temple. He knew, because he always had a soul kept alive in him, that expiation for sins, a sacred place where the community can pray for its future is like a vital organ. So let us ‘keep the Temple open’. Otherwise, eternal winter is just a couple of minutes walk from us.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..