Sunday, February 21, 2010

...After God's Own Heart

Yesterday was crazy busy, as I was helping to get things ready for a wedding shower, and then enjoying all the festivities, which kept me away from home till after midnight. As a result, I failed to write a post yesterday, in essence failing at my new years resolution to write a post a day.  I have a couple options available to me at this point.  I can throw in the towel, chalking my attempt at a post day, up to a good try that resulted in  failure.  I can write two posts today in an attempt at restitution, or I can simply take the blow in stride and move on.  I am going to pursue the latter.  Leaving you with today's post focusing on the 2nd book of Samuel, the story of David - a man after God’s own heart.

After reading 1 Samuel and coming into 2 Samuel I am enlightened to the number of years God has taken to prepare David to be King. From slaying lions and bears as a sheep herder, to serving the king and then running from the King, fighting wars and hiding in caves, it was 15 years of preparation before David became King. So often I just want to bust through the starting gates and run, but like David I have identified a time of preparation, growth and testing by the Lord.

David’s story is one of contrast, from the heights of victory to the depths of notoriety. David was a man of great integrity and character, a man after God’s own heart. We read in Chapter 8:15 that “David reined over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people”. Yet David was not immune to the plans of the enemy, from temptation and sin, for later on during His reign as king, he falls and enters into a downward spiral of sin including lust, adultery, deception, murder and lies. This downward spiral serves as a fine illustration of the snowball effect of compromise and sin.

I love the lesson that is played out in this chapter. David falls into sin, baited by lust, and when he is confronted with his sins by Nathan, David confesses, repents and He is forgiven by the Lord. However the earthly repercussions of his sinful actions continue to play out, in the death of His newborn baby, rape of Tamar, murder of Amnon, rebellion of Absalom and his subsequent death. While we can be assured that God will forgive those, who turn to Him in repentance, we must not forget nor minimize the fact that there remain earthly consequences for our actions. Further to this, our sinful actions will affect those around us, and perhaps those in generations to come.

Verse 14:14 in 2 Samuel, appears to be foreshadowing the ultimate grace and mercy the Lord is going to provide in order to ensure that each of us has an opportunity to come into right relationship with Him. “Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, He devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from Him” Loving us so much that He sent his son to atone for our sins, paying the penalty with His life, once and for all, so that we might not be estranged from Him.

Just as David did in 1 Samuel he continues to give God the glory, attributing his success and victories to the Lord almighty. I love the way he puts it in 22:36, a verse I have referred to countless times in my life “You give me your shield of victory, you stoop down to make me great” How true are those words, that God has stooped down to make us great, stooping so low as sending His son from perfect heaven to sinful dirty earth, so that we might take our places alongside Him again in eternity.

When I read verse 23:3-4, “When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after the rain that brings the grass from the earth” I was inspired to strive to be that kind of leader.

As I finished reading the 2nd book of Samuel I was left inspired by David. I want to live a life of such significance that if God were still documenting His word, the story of my life would be included. At the same time, I consider myself forewarned, learning from the mistakes, of a man after God’s own heart.

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