Lessons Learned, Pitfalls Avoided

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2 Samuel 11:1-4,14-15In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite? Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.  In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”  (NIV 1984)

2 Samuel 12:7-9Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.”  (NIV 1984)

2 Samuel 12:13Then 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.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – David was not where he was supposed to be.  He was supposed to go off to war with his army, but he stayed at home.  In his idleness (boredom), he ended up being where he should not have been and seeing what he should not have seen, which led him to do what he should not have done.  One sin (adultery) led to another (murder).  Yet,  [God] testified concerning him: “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22, NIV 1978)

How can this be?  Surely not because of his sins (they were horrible),  but because of how he responded when confronted.  No excuses, no shifting the blame and no denials.  Confession and repentance. Like David (maybe not as bad as David), we all make mistakes (sin).  Of course it is always better for us not to sin in the first place.  Often we can avoid sin by being where we should be and not where we should not be (if Eve did not want to eat the “apple,” why was she hanging around the tree?).  But when we do sin we need to respond like David.  There may be consequences (there were for David and Bathsheba – their child conceived in sin died), but our sins will be “taken away.”  For, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9, NIV 1984)

My Advice – We all heard the sage advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Prevention can mean avoiding idleness.  Making sure we are where God wants us to be.  When we know the “fruit” is forbidden (and we do), not hanging around it.  Nonetheless, whenever the inevitable sin occurs (and it does not “just” occur), recognize that we “are the man (or woman)” and respond appropriately.

If He Repents…

Luke 17:3If your brother sins rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We like the part where we get to rebuke, and we are quick to do so. But when it comes time to forgive, we would rather maintain a grudge. This should not be.

My Advice – Always be willing to forgive sincere repentance, no matter how badly you were wronged. Just imagine what it would be like if God had been unwilling to forgive.

Still A Long Way

Luke 15:20 – “But while he was still a long way off, his Father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; He ran to His son, threw His arms around him and kissed him.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – The first thing to note is that the Father was expecting the son’s return. He was looking for Him. The second thing to note is that the son did not have to meet his father all the way or even halfway. While he was a “long” way off the Father ran to meet him. Finally, the Father welcomed the wayward son back.

My Advice – Do not be hesitant to move back towards God, believing that you are unworthy to be called His child. He is watching for you and will run to meet you with outstretched arms.

Go Back

Dad Devotion

1 Kings 19:13, 15Then a voice said to Him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” The Lord said to Him, “Go back the way you came.” (NIV 1978)

My Musing – We often find ourselves where we should not be. Sometimes we fall suddenly and others we wander away gradually over time. But God pursues us and asks through the conviction of the Holy Spirit “What are you doing here? Go back the way you came.” We would do well to heed Him.

My Advice – Ask yourself on a regular basis, where am I at, how did I get here and what am I doing here? If you don’t like the answer, ask God to show you how to get back the way you came. He will gladly help you.