Monday, March 19, 2007

Sometimes we have to face the music

2 Samuel 12:13-23

Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord."
Nathan replied, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, a son born to you must die."
After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife had born to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent nights lying on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate?"
David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" He asked.
"Yes," they replied, "he is dead."
Then David got up from the ground. After he was washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served food and ate. His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!"
He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'who knows? The lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

What an interesting look into the life of David. Let me first give me some background. David had lusted after, had an affair with, and impregnated a woman by the name of Bathsheba the wife of Uriah. For this sin, David was in deep trouble. So to try to cover up his mistake, he sent Uriah to the front lines to fight in one of Israel's battles. As a result, Uriah died, leaving no one to find out about David's wrongdoing.

But God knew what David had done and He sent Nathan the prophet to visit David and to confront him concerning his disobedience. Once David is confronted with his sin he repents, and God forgives him. What comes next is quite interesting. Nathan says, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die." God was faithful to forgive David's sins when he repented, but that doesn't mean that David could avoid the consequences of his actions.

Every single one of us make rifts in our relationship with God on a daily (maybe even hourly) basis. We are all "sinners." The good news for us is that God is faithful to forgive us of all the crummy stuff we do and restore that relationship. However, that doesn't mean that we get off the hook without having to deal with the consequences of our actions. For David, that meant one of his sons was going to get sick and die. For you it may mean that you have to live a lifetime with a constant reminder of the bad decisions you have made.

The fact that you must face the music when you sin against God does not mean that he doesn't love you. In fact, it means just the opposite. My wife (Jodi) and I have a 2 year old little girl. Here is a picture of her, not because you need it for this story, but just because she's too darn cute!

Anyway, when Emma is disobedient, there are appropriate punishments and consequences for her actions. If she throws a fit because mommy won't let her have a fruit snack, then she must stand in time-out and apologize to mommy before she can go play, and if she hits daddy when he picks her up to put her to bed, then she gets a spanking. There are consequences to her actions and the sooner she can learn this, the more successful in life she will be. It doesn't mean that we don't love her, in fact, we tell her that we love her and that we forgive her, even as she is facing the consequences of her actions. But it does mean that her mistakes create consequences which create teachable moments where we can teach her about good decisions and bad decisions

Our actions have consequences that we must face from time to time. But it doesn't mean that God doesn't love you. The consequences we face are teachable moments for us as well where God is merely trying to help you make better decisions in the future.

1 comment:

MICHAEL said...

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You