Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Inflationary Costs

Things really don't change much over time. Sin is sin and people are people. We would like to think that we would learn from past mistakes and sins, but as the events of the recent weeks have pointed out, we don't learn very well. That is both scary and sad.

My portion of Scripture for this week is the account of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 1-12). We see the deceptive and destructive power of sin, and also the gracious and merciful power of forgiveness. We watch as sin inflates and encompasses more and more people, mostly the innocent, and we see cost to people and nation in sins results. We see the brokenness of relationship with both God and man, and the restorative power of God's love. The story is one that takes us from the depths of death to the heights of love. It is a story for all of us, about each of us.

As I look over this familiar account I can't help but consider my own sin, and thankfully, the forgiveness I have received from the Lord. I also can't read this portion of Scripture without reading Psalm 51. What a great call for forgiveness and what a great forgiveness offered. What a great God is our God!

There we have it. Great sin and greater forgiveness. How does that play out in our lives today, especially in light of the recent news of those high profile people (not unlike King David) who have "fallen from grace?" What is the place of confession and restoration?

How do you read it, my friend?


Anonymous said...

Hey, I'll comment on this passage later, once I've mulled it over some, but I had to say this:

This was the text of my very first teaching I ever did!! My Youth Pastor was going to be out of town for a bit, and he didn't want to cancel Youth Group, so he had me fill in. I was, what, a Junior? Senior? I was scared to death! Not because I had to teach in front of my peers, but because the Youth Pastor (whom shall remain nameless_) (Let's call him, "Randy") made me first teach the whole thing to him, alone, mano a mano, in the big Youth Group room upstairs! That still makes me break out in cold sweats! Too bad I can't remember what I said. Apparently it wasn't too bad. Whooee! What a memory! What a hoot!

More later....


Pastor Randy said...

Yes, I do seem to remember giving out that responsibility to someone like you. ;o) And you did do well...who would have thought that here we are almost three decades later! Wow!

We surely wouldn't have written this story, but it most definitely has the marks of The Author.

May He keep writing us into His ongoing Story.

Anonymous said...

If there is one lesson I wish the church would learn from this latest minister’s public humiliation, it is that we ought to refrain from forcibly trying to cram our beliefs down other people’s throats.

Most people in our society do not think homosexuals hurt anyone and just believe it is a legitimate lifestyle. Some Christian denominations even believe that certain passages in the bible have to be taken out of context in order to condemn a monogamous homosexual lifestyle, but regardless of what we believe – one thing is certain.

We can’t really blame that “masseuse” or “escort” (depending upon whether we take the minister’s word or his word for what went on) for getting more than a little irate that he was hired to help a minister secretly do some of the very things that minister was outwardly condemning.

The thing that troubles me is not that the minister sinned or even to what degree he sinned (again depending upon whose story one believes), but the fact that this is just one more good reason the public has for believing that the church stresses the importance of outward appearances rather than inward transformation.

Christians, frankly, can be very snotty, condescending and judgmental yet here’s a guy who won their approval and was applauded as a leader because he was willing to do one thing and say another. Do we not only encourage hypocrisy, but almost demand it?

It’s interesting to note that although the Amish are extremely conservative, no one is waiting to throw stones at them. Perhaps, it’s because they live quietly according to their own beliefs but never try to cram their beliefs down other people’s throats. We don’t see them out in the community trying to force everyone else to dress like them, travel in horse drawn carriages, and refuse to use electricity. Any given woman at FBC is probably dressed wantonly compared to an Amish woman’s beliefs, but if she were to walk past a group of Amish women, she probably wouldn’t even hear a tongue clicking much less find herself defending her mode of dress in court.

We were given the great commission to go out into all the world and invite people to the marriage supper of the lamb. No where does Christ say we should force them to look like us, walk like us, and talk like us. We shouldn’t be surprised when people get tired of having us throw rocks at them if someone finally picks up a rock and throws one back (figuratively speaking).

I say let the gays marry each other if they want to as long as they let me practice my Christian faith. We sure wouldn’t like it if our government decided to outlaw heterosexual marriage. I realize that probably brands me as a pinko, communist, bleeding heart liberal, but if this is a free country, I honestly don’t think people shouldn’t be forced to adhere my religious beliefs anymore than I should be forced to adhere to theirs.

End of rant. Thank you for listening to my pinko, communist rantings.


Anonymous said...

I learned three lessons from this story of David and Bathsheeba YEARS ago and have never forgotten them.

#1. Regardless of how strong a Christian we may have been in the past, and how many victories we have won over the enemy in our lives that does NOT innoculate us from sin TODAY.

#2 David was not where he was suppose to be. His men were in battle and as their king and leader he should have been there too...but he "tarried" in Jerusalem. He then was tempted with the "lust of the eyes" which he didn't avert----but ACTED on his temptation and gave in to the "lust of the flesh" with Bathsheeba. That prompted guilt on his part for sinning against his neighbor which led to the ultimate "cover up"...murder! Sin begets sin....

#3. As the result of his yielding to his temptation----a child was conceived. ...a child he loved dearly. When we go against God's laws...there are consequences to pay. God took that loved child from he and Bathsheeba.
When we sin...there are consequences that WE pay, but not only us....others pay for the consequences of our sin too. Bathsheeba lost a son, David's other children lost a sibling etc.

Sobering thoughts....thank God for His grace and forgiveness that restores our fellowship with Him---even though we still suffer the consequences of our sin.
God Bless...and Happy Thanksgiving to all....Ruthie

Anonymous said...

Oops...I guess I goofed...I thought the frist comment didn't go through...so I wrote it again....sorry!!!! I guess there is a new format that I wasn't acquainted with. Ruthie