Tuesday, November 30, 2010

birthday surprise! It's Anelle.

We've made it through the month of November celebrating the faithfulness of the Lord. And now for our last cheer, our last hoorah, the cake topper, the grand finale... I present to you my sister Anelle! Things I won't say about my sister in her presence: I admire her wisdom, her jokes are pretty funny (that's why I steal them), that I love her and will forever wait for her to tie her long shoe laces (inside joke). She is one of my best friends and really my life wouldn't be as blessed without her.
May the Lord bless you greatly through her post:

"Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’”
13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” 15 Then Nathan departed o his house." 2 Samuel 12:7-15

How do you respond when you're confronted with your own sin? Do you readily accept your guilt like David did, or do you deny that you have done any wrong?

Part of what makes the Bible so fascinating to me is that it tells the story not of how God has dealt with blameless people, but of how he has dealt with a pack of failures like you and me. What set David apart from other Biblical figures, what made God call him a "man after His own heart," was what David did with the aftermath of his mess-up. "I have sinned against the LORD," he said. Let's see how other people match up:

a. A short while after Cain killed Abel, God asked Cain a very simple question, "Where is your brother?" That was Cain's cue to confess what he had done, but did he own up to anything? No. Instead of showing any type of sorrow or any shadow of repentance, Cain 1. lied to the Almighty God and 2. gave Him attitude by saying these now famous words: I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper? (I can almost picture him crossing his arms and rolling his eyes, Sheneneh-style).

b. More than once, Saul disobeyed God. In 1 Samuel 15, when Samuel rebuked Saul for not following God's orders, Saul first played stupid (v.20) and then admitted guilt, but with a justification attached. He admitted that he had sinned but then added, "I was scared of the men, and so I gave in to their demands." Like that was supposed to make it better. He sounded kind of like Adam and Eve: "the snake made me do it..." "the woman you gave me..."

c. In Genesis 18, we find Sarah eavesdropping in her tent while 3 messengers are telling Abraham that she will bear a son in a year. When she heard that piece of news, she laughed to herself. God brought that to Abraham's attention saying, "Why did Sarah laugh?" The Bible tells us that Sarah got scared, and her best come-back was, "I didn't laugh." And God said, "No, you did laugh."

It reminds me of the time that some of my 6th grade students accused this one boy of eating in class. When I asked him if it was true or not, the boy looked at me straight in the face and told me-- with chip crumbs all over his mouth-- that they were lying. I had to laugh. It takes a lot of guts to admit wrongdoing, even when you're caught red-handed. It's hard to realize that we're just flesh and that we do fall (very) short of perfection. I hate lies, and, still, I straight-up lied to my sister once because I didn't want to deal with the truth of what had happened.

And yet, the worst thing we can do after we sin is keep it concealed. The Bible says that the truth sets us free (John 8:36). 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness." James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed."

When God grants us the opportunity to confess our sins, we might as well grab hold of that chance, and of the healing that comes with it, because I've learned that with Christians there is no such thing as secret sin. It will eventually come to the light.

Who will you be like? Will you be a Cain, a Saul, a Sarah, or will you be a David?
God bless!

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