Posted by: William | November 17, 2007

The Lie That Sets Sin Below Us

Have you ever been watching the news and heard a report something like this:

“Earlier this afternoon, the bodies of a woman and her three children were found in their *insert town name here* home. Several hours later, the body of husband and father was found in a hotel room. He had apparently committed suicide.”

My thoughts following this, or similar reports is usually something of disdain for the murderer and sympathy for the family. If asked, I would likely say that there is not a circumstance under the sun in which I would ever do something so vile, and evil. I think this would be the response of nearly everyone. I would venture to say even the man who lays dead following his crimes. So what has set you or me apart from him? I think there is less than we’d like to believe.

I’m reading about King David, the man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). His story can be found throughout 1st & 2nd Samuel. Theologically speaking, David is a typology of Christ. But in basic terms, David was a great man; a man after God’s own heart. That’s a heck of a claim. It seems unlikely to me that I would be described that way. I’m not sure I can think of anyone I could imagine being described that way. In 2nd Samuel chapter 11, David is up on his roof top, and across the way he can see Bathsheba (a married woman) bathing. Infatuated with her, he summons her. In spite of being informed that she is a married woman. David has sex with Bathsheba and she becomes pregnant. When he receives word of this, he panics and in his fear, he has her husband killed by sending him to the front lines of a war.

This is a familiar story for many of us. I’ve read it many times. Even before knowing the love of Christ, I was acquainted with this story. But rarely what I remember is that this story is a harsh warning for humility. What if I were presented with the fourty pieces of silver as Judas was, would I betray Jesus with a kiss? What if I saw the beautiful woman bathing, would I summon her and in the wake of my failure and sin have her husband murdered? What if I were the man wrought with stress from the demands of a family I could not support, would I pull the trigger? In my pride, I answer these questions with an emphatic, “no!” But when I am humble, I pray for mercy to God that he would not allow me to fall under temptation (Matthew 26:41).

The story of King David calls us to great humility! That is what the Lord is placing on my heart as I read though the story of David’s life. 1 Corinthians 10:12 says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” then continues in verse 13 to say, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” So what then, do we remain proud, that there are some sins that are below us? But out of the heart comes “evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness and slander!” (Matthew 15:19) My heart, your heart are “deceitful above all things,” and in the flesh, “beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9). Ralph Venning, in his book The Sinfulness of Sin, puts it this way:

“Though all these things are not done by every sinful man… but are all of them in the heart of all sinners in their seed and root. So what is done by any man would be done by every man, if God did not restrain some men from it by His power, and constrain others to His obedience by His love and power.”

I am convicted that I should ever think myself above any sin. It is the grace of God that I was not Judas; something I wish never to cease praising Him for. But today, I want to continually beseech God that he would defend me by His Spirit from temptation of many kinds. I pray that you would do the same and that He would bring us more deeply into passionately loving relationship with Him. On the day of his crowning we will be His bride, inheritance, crown and we will be beautiful.

Praise God for His never ending love, power and will to save sinners from the pain of not knowing Him and his goodness!




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