Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't Panic (Part 2)...

David, Israel’s great king, is a mixed up mess, fearing God one minute, panicking the next.

He trusts God to deal with King Saul, refusing to kill his tormentor when opportunities present themselves…twice! He knows God will be faithful. He’s been promised the throne. “All in God’s good time,” he tells his men.

And God comes through. Saul is killed in battle. David becomes king.

David’s fear of God brings blessing. The nation of Israel gains a godly leader. The Philistines are defeated. The ark is returned to its place in the tabernacle. Life is good for everyone.

A few years later, David sees a beautiful woman – make that a beautiful married woman – bathing on her rooftop. He sends a servant to find out who she is. He’s told her name, Bathsheba. He’s told she’s married. He has all the facts needed to put out the fires of lust, but he ignores them. He has Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, brought to the palace for a one night stand. In the morning he sends her home.

A short time later, the woman sends word to David. “I’m pregnant,” is her terse, to-the-point message. David hears the words and panics. He brings his mistress’ husband home from war under the false pretenses.

“Go home to your wife,” he urges the man. But Uriah doesn’t go. He denies himself this fleshly pleasure, nobly abstaining while others’ lives are at stake on the front lines.

The king gets the man drunk the next night in hopes that good sense will leave the man. Doesn’t work. Even inebriated, Uriah is faithful.

So David, the man the Bible describes as a man after God’s own heart, has Uriah murdered to cover up his indiscretion.

And the results? David is rebuked by God’s man, Nathan. He repents, grief-stricken at his wickedness. Still, his baby’s life, the son conceived in sin, is taken by God. And later, another of David’s sons, Absalom, rapes his father’s concubines in broad daylight.

Pain, disaster, destruction – these are the almost sure results of panic. Choose fear of the Lord over panic today.

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