y this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. 2 Samuel 12:14.
Through successive generations infidels have pointed to the character of David, bearing this dark stain, and have exclaimed in triumph and derision, “This is the man after God’s own heart!” Thus a reproach has been brought upon religion, God and His word have been blasphemed, souls have been hardened in unbelief, and many, under a cloak of piety, have become bold in sin.
But the history of David furnishes no countenance to sin. It was when he was walking in the counsel of God that he was called a man after God’s own heart. When he sinned, this ceased to be true of him until by repentance he had returned to the Lord….
Though David repented of his sin, and was forgiven and accepted by the Lord, he reaped the baleful harvest of the seed he himself had sown…. His authority in his own household, his claim to respect and obedience from his sons, was weakened. A sense of his guilt kept him silent when he should have condemned sin; it made his arm feeble to execute justice in his house….
Those who, by pointing to the example of David, try to lessen the guilt of their own sins, should learn from the Bible record that the way of transgression is hard. Though like David they should turn from their evil course, the results of sin, even in this life, will be found bitter and hard to bear.
A man incurs guilt by injuring a fellow-being, but his chief guilt is the sin that he has committed against the Lord, and the evil influence of his example upon others. The sincere child of God does not make light of any of His requirements.
God intended the history of David’s fall to serve as a warning that even those whom He has greatly blessed and favored are not to feel secure and neglect watchfulness and prayer. And thus it has proved to those who in humility have sought to learn the lesson that God designed to teach.
Conflict and Courage p. 180
—–Three children and their mother have been kidnapped early this morning in this area. Please pray that they will be found quickly and that they will be ok. L
When my Aunt, Joyce, found out that she had colon cancer, she took it with the stoical toughness with which she had faced many other of life’s disappointments. As the disease progressed, however, she began to soften toward religion and was seriously considering asking a pastor for counsel. About this time, she received a phone call from Pastor H. She was delighted as she had gone to school and church with him when they were teenagers. She would feel comfortable telling him what was on her heart.
The day finally came when Pastor H came to visit. Auntie Joyce felt relief that at last she would be able to have help returning to God. It had been over forty years since she had gone to church. There was a knock on the door. Auntie Joyce welcomed her former friend into her apartment. The first words out of his mouth were a flippant, “Girl, you’d better get your act together.” Then he belittled her for her wrong choices in life in a hardhearted and judgmental way. There was no loving compassion. There was no pointing her to the Great Physician Who was standing there waiting to bring her spiritual and perhaps even physical healing. There was no opening to her the Scriptures and no prayer raised in her behalf. There was no showing her the Good Shepherd Who with joy would welcome her back to the fold.
Poor Joyce was shocked! This man was no one with whom she could counsel. She felt her window of hope slam shut. Indeed, after Pastor H left, her disappointment turned to anger. She felt vindicated that she had left the church long years before. Christians were critical and judgmental. Christians were more unbelieving than unbelievers. Christians possessed no love for anyone other than their little circle of friends. Auntie Joyce shut her heart’s door against Jesus that day because of the way she was treated by a man who professed to be His follower. Moreover, she shared this experience with her grown children who were incensed by the way she was treated and looked upon Christians in an even worse light than they already had.
Our Dear Saviour bids us to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matt 28:19, 20 Yet, we must be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” when we share our faith. 10:16 Paul reminds us, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Col 4:6 How important that we never treat the gospel in a careless or flippant manner. How vital that we have respect for those around us and speak of eternal realities with care and reverence lest they shut their heart and mind from their Only Helper just like my Auntie Joyce did. How essential that we speak the truth with the same love for the erring one that our Loving Redeemer has for them.
May “the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, . . . To the end he may stablish your hearts [and theirs] unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” is my prayer.