Monday, June 03, 2013
When we sin against the Lord, we can be sure of His chastisement. It may not come immediately, but it will come. That is His promise. Constant guilt, loss of joy and peace, the sense of God’s displeasure are all the regular companions of those who walk away from the Lord and who refuse to deal with their sins. If we could learn to do it God’s way, it would save us so much sorrow and heartache. Like he “check engine light” in your car, when it comes on, you can ignore it, you can break the light, or you can get the problem fixed. If you ignore it or break the light, eventually, you will harm the engine. If you fix it, everything goes back to normal. The same is true with guilt. It is the check engine light of the soul. When it comes on, do not ignore it, but take the problem to Jesus and get it fixed. DID YOU KNOW? For more details on scriptures, story and lesson, read today’s “FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH” and share it with those you love. Vic.
Monday, June 03, 2013
FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 6/3/2013
David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart
2 Samuel 12:1-15
THOU ART THE MAN, Lesson 9a
2 Samuel 11 tells us about the darkest moment in the life of King David. After being blessed by the Lord in many ways; after reaching the pinnacle of success; after leading his nation to peace, prosperity and power, David fell into deep, dark, despicable and disgusting sin.
Now, we all know the story! David succumbed to a giant named “Lust” that lived within in his heart. He committed adultery with a married woman and got her pregnant; and then in an effort to cover up that sin, David had her husband put to death. Chapter 11 closes with the sin of David hanging like a dark cloud over the life of the King and the nation.
Now, we know that God did not punish David immediately for his sin. But, this does not mean that God merely winked at what David did. God had a plan to reach out to David, to reclaim his life and to restore him to fellowship with the Lord. Our text today speaks about this plan. I would like to examine the steps God took to deal with the sin issue in David’s life. What we learn here will help us when we are forced to deal with sin in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
David found himself in a place in life that he never thought he would occupy. There had been a time when David walked with God and sang praises to the Lord and the Lord God blessed David’s life in a marvelous fashion. Now David looks at the remnants of his broken vows. He sees the shattered dreams, ruined lives and wrecked futures lying all about him. He has sinned and he knows it! In the midst of this tragedy, God speaks to David. God comes to him in his sin and exposes David for what he is. God come to him and says, “Thou art the man!” I would like to take that statement as my title today. I want to look into this passage and consider the steps the Lord took to make these matters right. Let’s think for a while on the thought “Thou Art The Man.”
v. 27 THE CHASTISEMENT OF DAVID’S SIN
Between 11:27 and 12:1 there is a gap of some twelve months. During that time there is no mention of David’s sin by David, by God or by anyone else for that matter. But, this does not mean that those twelve months were a peaceful time for the troubled king. If I may, I would like to pull a couple of thoughts from the space between these two chapters. You see, sometimes what is not said speaks just as loud as what is said!
It Was A Time Of Silence – For nearly a year, David kept his sin hidden within his heart. There is no record of him telling anyone about it. Oh, he knew what he had done. Bathsheba knew about the adultery, at least. Can you imagine how their relationship suffered? Every time David looked into her eyes, he saw the hurt and the betrayal reflected back at him. Every time their eyes met guilt flashed back and forth between them. There was no joy, there was no peace, there was no anticipation over the birth of the baby; there was only pain and guilt, (Psa. 51:3)! Joab knew. Some of the servants knew. Worst of all David knew and he knew that God knew!
This is how it is for all of those who try to hide their sins in silence. The Bible is clear about this matter, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper…” (Pro. 28:13).
It Was A Time Of Sorrow – It seems that this episode in David’s life prompted him to write at least two different Psalms. One of these is (Psalm 32) and the other is (Psalm 51). These Psalms were apparently written after David had confessed his sin, been forgiven by God and been restored to fellowship. They tell us that the months following David’s sin with Bathsheba were not a carefree time of love, happiness and peace. No, those days were days of suffering for David. Look at what he says in (Psalm 32:3-4) and (Psalm 51:2-3). The Sweet Psalmist of Israel seems to have lost his song! The moisture of Heaven in his soul has dried up. David is broken by the weight of his sins. He had no joy, (Psa. 51:12). His entire life has grown unstable, (Psa. 51:10). He was suffering under the chastisement of the Lord and he knew it, (Pro. 3:11-12). The guilt must have been unbearable!
Thus it is for everyone who does not deal with their sins according to God’s Word. When we sin against the Lord, we can be sure of His chastisement. It may not come immediately, but it will come. That is His promise, (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12). Constant guilt, loss of joy and peace, the sense of God’s displeasure are all the regular companions of those who walk away from the Lord and who refuse to deal with their sins. If we could learn to do it God’s way, (Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9), it would save us so much sorrow and heartache.
The “check engine light” in your car. When it comes on, you can ignore it, you can break the light, or you can get the problem fixed. If you ignore it or break the light, eventually, you will harm the engine. If you fix it, everything goes back to normal. The same is true with guilt. It is the check engine light of the soul. When it comes on, do not ignore it, but take the problem to Jesus and get it fixed.
Luke 8:16 (New King James Version (NKJV)
The Parable of the Revealed Light
16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.
“Rock of Ages” By: A. M. Toplady (1776)
1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
2. Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law's commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
Father and God of all creation, the Only True Living God!
Help us to separate ourselves from anything that draws us away from You. We do not want to waste time and effort on things that have no value for our lives or for Your glory. Reveal to us all our sins that we have done or are doing. Enable us to recognize our sins for they compromise our relationship with You. Enable us to eliminate sin that keeps us from serving You. Grant us the ability to see sin as You see sin….worthless. Teach us to set up the right priorities in our daily lives and keep our hearts and mind and souls pure. Mold us to be more like Jesus and less of self. These things we pray and ask today in the blessed name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!
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Sunday, June 02, 2013
Sin led David deeper and deeper into its prison and farther and farther away from the Lord. This is how sin always works! It is never satisfied, but it will lead you along, taking you deeper and deeper, ever tightening its grip on your heart and life. Don’t be deceived by the giant that dwells in your heart. He will settle for nothing short of your total destruction! When the Bible says “the way of the transgressor is hard”, (Pro. 13:15); it means what it says! DID YOU KNOW? For more details on scriptures, story and lesson, read today’s “FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH” and share it with those you love. Vic.
Sunday, June 02, 2013
FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 6/2/2013
David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart Series
2 Samuel 11:1-27
THE GIANT THAT SLEW DAVID, Lesson 8c
v. 5-27 THE PROBLEM WITH DAVID’S GIANT
The problem David experienced with his giant is the same one we all face when we deal with our giant. David fed his giant and it just wanted more. Once the giant of lust was out its cage it spread like a cancer until it consumed David’s life. Notice what the giant of lust did to David.
v. 5-13 It Led Him Down A Deceptive Path – David tried every tactic he could to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba. However, Uriah had more integrity than David did at this point. Look at Uriah’s response to David in (verse 11). When Uriah would not go home the first night; David got him drunk the next night. David is using deception to try and cover his sins. Instead of stepping up and being a man; confessing his sins to God and dealing with the consequences, David tried to hide like a coward.
When people find themselves under the grip and control of their sins, they will try every method to keep their sin covered and hidden. God’s way is openness and honesty, (Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). Man’s way is to hide it. Sin will lead you down a path of deception.
v. 14-25 It Led Him Down A Deepening Path – When deception did not work, David settled on a plan to remove Uriah altogether. David devised a plan to get Uriah killed on the battlefield and even sent the man back to the war carrying his own death warrant. Joab carried out David’s orders, and would later use the plan against David. Sin was leading David deeper and deeper into its prison and farther and farther away from the Lord.
This is how sin always works! It is never satisfied, but it will lead you along, taking you deeper and deeper, ever tightening its grip on your heart and life. Don’t be deceived by the giant that dwells in your heart. He will settle for nothing short of your total destruction! When the Bible says “the way of the transgressor is hard”, (Pro. 13:15); it means what it says!
v. 26-27a It Led Him Down A Devastating Path – After Uriah dies and Bathsheba fulfills her mourning period, David takes her as his wife. But, folks can count and a thinking person can figure out at least part of what happened! At any rate, David shows no remorse. It appears that his heart is hard and that he has lost the sensitivity to the Lord that marked his earlier days. Sin has devastated his life.
It is interesting to note that (verse 27) says “David sent and fetched her.” This is the second time David “fetched” someone to his house. The first time was in (2 Sam. 9:5), when he “fetched” Mephibosheth from Lo-Debar. The first time, David fetched someone to show love. The second time, he fetched someone to satisfy his lust. Oh, how the mighty are fallen!
This is what sin does! It sears the conscience making sin easier and easier until the entire life is devastated and destroyed, (1 Tim. 4:2). It dulls a person’s sensitivity to the Lord and His voice. Sin will wreck and ruin your life if you allow it take hold of you! Be careful!
Satan never shows his cards. He never tells you about the worm hidden in his apple. He never tells the drunk that drink will destroy his life and ruin his family. He never tells the fornicator or adultery that their sexual activities may lead to pregnancy, disease or death. He never tells the drug user that his habit will control him forever. He never tells the truth about sin! But, God does! Listen to (Rom. 6:23; Eze. 18:4; Gal. 6:9). Don’t let the giant that dwells in your heart destroy and devastate your life.
Conc: This is a sad place to leave David. The last part of (verse 27) hangs over this chapter like a funeral pall. But, if you think the story is over, it is not! In truth, it is merely beginning! God does not leave those He loves in the grip of sin. He has ways of bringing them to their senses and of setting them free. We will see that played out in David’s life over the next lessons.
For now, here is the issue that we must deal with: David’s sin was just sin! It could have been committed by anyone of us! Yet, it is magnified by who David was and by how he handled it. The fact is, we are no greater than David. We are as prone to fail as he was. If we are not careful, there is a giant lurking in the recesses of our heart and his desire is our demise, (1 Cor. 10:12).
Are you dealing with a giant that is trying to destroy you? If you are, you do not have to lose the battle! You can have victory and you can have it today! The first step is going to be getting honest with the Lord about the battle you are fighting. It is going to mean telling Him the whole truth and leaning upon Him for your strength to fight the battle.
If you have already been beaten by the giant, I want you to know that the war is not over! God knows how to restore you and help you out of sin’s grip. If the Lord has spoken to you on any level, whether it is about your own sins, or about what you see another person going through, I invite you to come before the Lord and talk to Him about it. If you have never been saved, I invite you to come to Jesus for salvation… He is calling you.
You do not have to lose the battle with your giant! You can have victory if you want it!
Matthew 4:19 (New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
“Beneath The Cross of Jesus” By: Elizabeth Clephane (1872)
Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand
The shadow of a mighty rock
Within a weary land
A home within the wilderness
A rest upon the way
From the burning of the noontide heat
And the burden of the day
O safe and happy shelter!
O refuge tried and sweet!
O trysting place where heaven's love
And heaven's justice meet!
As to the holy patriarch
That wondrous dream was given
So seems my Saviour's cross to me
A ladder up to heaven
There lies, beneath its shadow
But on the farther side
The darkness of an awful grave
That gapes both deep and wide
And there between us stands the cross
Two arms outstretched to save
Like a watchman set to guard the way
From that eternal grave
Upon that cross of Jesus
Mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One
Who suffered there for me
And from my smitten heart, with tears
Two wonders I confess-
The wonders of His glorious love
And my own worthlessness
I take, O cross, thy shadow
For my abiding place
I ask no other sunshine than
The sunshine of His face
Content to let the world go by
To know no gain nor loss
My sinful self my only shame
My glory all the cross
Father of all Creation, God of all Compassion!
May we learn to have soft hearts and hard feet during all our tragic and difficult times in this life, and not the other way around. A hard heart blocks feelings and help while a soft heart seeks your grace and mercy. Soft feet brings fear which keeps us from going on and being productive. Thank You for Your healing powers in our hearts so we may continue to walk with You and trust You all the days of our lives. Thank You, Lord for hearing and answering all our prayers. This we pray and ask today in Your precious name. Amen!
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Saturday, June 01, 2013
Such is the power of the giants that assault us. They first ensnare the mind, and then they seem to erase all reason. People in the grip of lust or some other fleshly desire often do things that they would never do under normal circumstances. When they get in the grip of their giant, they lose their senses and become intoxicated with gratifying their fleshly desires! When a look is allowed to linger, lust will be conceived; and when lust is conceived, sin is always the result, (James 1:15). DID YOU KNOW? For more details on scriptures, story and lesson, read today’s “FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH” and share it with those you love. Vic.
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