Tuesday, July 30, 2019

saint or scoundrel?

I have to say, I love our little church. We're a small group, one in which everyone is considered family. I love these people more than I can explain, and I trust each one of them without doubt.

One of the most amazing things about our group, for me, is that our Sunday mornings are open discussions, and nothing's off topic. Right now, we're working our way through the Bible for the second time. Our first time through took about 3 years.

We just passed the 1-year mark at the beginning of this month--and we just wrapped up II Samuel yesterday. 10 books down...55 to go. I'm thinking this time through might take longer than 3 years.

On that note, yesterday Pop said that David is painted in two very different lights in the scriptures: saint and scoundrel.

We're all familiar with the stories that show him as a saint. He was, after all, anointed as the future King of Israel while he was still just a boy, watching over the sheep in his dad's fields. He faced a giant when everyone else was too scared, going up against Goliath with a sling and the knowledge that God would fight for him. He unified Israel, conquered Jerusalem, defeated the Philistines, and was the start of a dynasty. He was a warrior, a poet, and a musician whose words are known throughout the world.

Equally present, though, are the stories that show him as a scoundrel. His lust for Bathsheba resulted in an illegitimate child (who later died) and in David plotting the death of Bathsheba's husband. His parenting left a lot to be desired; one son killed the other for raping their sister, and then tried to take over the kingdom. That same son, who happened to be David's favorite, was murdered. His pride and disobedience resulted in 70,000 people dying.

On a side note, there are a lot of lovely stories in the Bible...yikes.

In the light of all that craziness, how in the world could David be called a man after God's own heart? With a list of sins like David's--honestly, he covered most of the 10 commandments--shouldn't he be on the list of people we shouldn't want to be like?

It's easy to keep score and weigh someone's good qualities and successes against the bad stuff. Then, if all the good stuff tips the scale we decide that they must be a good person. Those are the people who never break the 10 commandments--or at least, they don't break the "important" ones.

It's really not that hard to see that David's "bads" weighed pretty heavily against his "goods." By human standards, things like adultery and murder should probably knock him out of the running for the title of "godly man." Thankfully for David, though, that's not what God sees.

When God looked at David, He saw a man who was truly broken by the knowledge that he had sinned against God. He saw a man who messed up, but more importantly He saw a man who repented and turned back to God each time.

Here's the thing. God's scale takes everything we've ever done, good or bad, and puts it on one side. All of that--

all of the times we've helped others or gone to church or donated to charity or read our Bible or tithed or read the right Christian book

all the times we lied or dishonored our parents or used God's name in a way that wasn't meant to honor Him or wanted something that wasn't ours or put the pursuit of something before our pursuit of God (what, are those not the "big" sins you were thinking about?)

--gets weighed against one thing only: the sacrifice of Christ. God doesn't care how many times I've failed or how many times I've gotten accolades for what I've done.

All He cares about?

If I admit that I'm a sinner and accept that Christ died to pay the price for my sins.

That outweighs everything else.

If you're within driving distance, come visit us Sunday mornings! We have breakfast and coffee ready at 10:15 or so. Living Word Fellowship is across from the sale barn in Green Forest, AR.

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