Mar 26, 2012

Monday SHINE....

Today's Reading: 2 Samuel 14

Happy Monday, sweet SHINE girls!

Our reading these last few weeks has been better than any novel or soap opera I've ever come across.

It's full of ups and downs and turns and twists. Eerily similar to our lives, is it not?

Okay, maybe our lives are not quite as dramatic as David's, but we can sure relate to David's sin struggle.

Let's just name a few things that David has struggled with and is still struggling with just to make this clear:
  • Pride
  • Denial
  • Lust
  • Adultery
  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Lying
  • Anger
  • Covering up sin-- his and his son's. (Amnon's raping of Tamar)
Let's break the story down real quick:

David can't sleep one night. He wakes up and takes a walk on his terrace and sees a beautiful woman, named Bathsheba, bathing. He then summons her to his room. He then sleeps with her.

 Umm, I kind of think she was raped. I mean do you think she had a choice? He was, in fact, King David.

The Bible does not say clearly state that it was rape, but really, it pretty much was. Bathsheba was married to Uriah. David had no business with her. None. Zero.

David could have access to any woman in the whole kingdom--and he chose a forbidden fruit.  Sound a little familiar? (eve and the apple in the garden of Eden?)

David feels guilty but he has Uriah killed to make sure his little indiscretion is covered. Okay, wait a minute, what happened to the David from 1 Samuel? The brave, courageous warrior that killed the big, ugly giant?

Hello? Where did HE go?

Nathan then warns David that his blood line will pay for his sins. Uh-oh.

Now we have come to the part where that warning is unfolding. David's oldest son, Amnon, lusts after his very own sister, Tamar. (gross.)

He burns so badly with lust that he pretends like he is sick and has her summoned alone to his bedside.

He then rapes her. She was a virgin.

(do you see the resemblance in his behavior to his father, David's??)

She is horrified and humiliated. She offers him the chance to make it right by marrying her. He refuses.

Tamar is basically a desolate woman for the rest of her life. Yes, Amnon is a major jerk.

Absalom, Tamar's brother, is furious with what Amnon did to Tamar. So, he has Amnon killed.

Uh-oh, more trouble on the home front for David. Absalom flees to the hills because he doesn't want to face punishment.

David is left mourning for the next 3 years over the loss of his 2 oldest sons.

Are you seeing the punishment unfolding for David's sins? 

Today, we read of a well-concocted plan on behalf of Joab to get Absalom back into the kingdom. It worked. Kind of. 

So, are we all caught up? Are you wondering how in the world David could have a heart like God's? How  could a man with all of this baggage and sin be referred to as having a heart like our Lord's?

I'm scratching my head too.

This is what I kind of think: God knows the condition of David's heart. He knows what we cannot see. 

In turn, God knows the condition of our hearts. We may think we have everyone else fooled, but we aren't fooling God. Not even for a second. Sobering thought, isn't it?

 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10


As always, I have a story that relates to this very thing. God always likes to remind me as I am typing. :-)

Something happened this past weekend and my flesh got really pricked. Like, really, really pricked. I was just about to open my mouth and say something  (which wasn't nice--at all) and then my heart and the Holy Spirit stopped me.

(My heart doesn't always win though. My mouth conquers my little heart a lot of the time. This time, thankfully, it didn't.)

Oh, girls. My flesh was burning! It was ready to let loose and suffer the consequences.

However, not only did I close my mouth, but I prayed right then and there for forgiveness for even thinking those ugly thoughts. Yep, sure did. I asked God to cleanse my thoughts, and to help me replace that ugliness with pure thoughts.

He did. Immediately.

Listen closely, sweet girls.  Not one person would have ever known what I was thinking because I kept my mouth shut. But, keeping my mouth shut was just part of the discipline, girls. The second part was cleansing those thoughts with repentance to the Father and then praying for forgiveness for even letting my mind go there.

THIS, sweet girls, is how we get our hearts in the right condition.

God knows our hearts better than we do. He knows every single careless thought. He knows it all, girls.

What's going on in that pretty little heart of yours? Are we living a pretty good life on the outside, yet our hearts are full of filth and sin? If God opened up your heart this very second, what would He find?

It is a struggle, girls. Keeping ourselves pure from the inside out is hard. 

 However, the good news is that we have a heart-purifier. His name is Jesus Christ. He's ready to give that heart of yours a good spring cleaning. 


 

Will you let Him? Tell Him you are ready. Repent, and move on. He's got great plans for you, friend. You cannot even begin to imagine.

handing God the Brillo pad,

jill

 "Create in me a pure heart, O God,  and renew a steadfast spirit within me. " Psalm 51:10