We entered into the morning service with a prelude of rich harp tones. With a few folks out for the holidays, we lifted up our voices to worship Christ and celebrate His birth. Pastor encouraged us to be praying for those in our lives who don’t know Christ, and getting ready for the opportunity to share our testimony on the first Sunday of 2014.
Richard led us in prayer for Charlotte Cripe, Mattie Waibel, the Irwins, our missionaries, and several others. Vanessa’s voice rang out on the offertory solo New Jerusalem. The fourth advent candle was lit by the Kellerstrass family, who are read from John 3:16, 1 John 4:19, and Christmas version of 1 Corinthians 13.
Pastor illuminated Bathsheba story in the context of Jesus’s lineage. Matthew referencing her as Uriah’s wife reflects directly on David. We revisited the well-known story where David, the man with a heart for God, gets tempted, yields to his temptation, commits adultery, arranges a cover-up…which goes badly, and then arranges to have his loyal friend (whom he’s already betrayed) killed, and accepts all this without being convicted of it…until God does so through Nathan.
Bathsheba was not only the wife of David’s very loyal soldier who was away at war for his King. She was the daughter of Eliam, one of David's 30 mighty warriors; and she was the granddaughter of Ahithophel, one of David's chief advisors.
It may come easily to judge David’s sins. But how do we react when caught in sin? Are we penitent or is our gut reaction to try to cover it up? Have you ever relied on your own cleverness over relying on God? It’s interesting that before David sees himself as the rich man in the story he’s highly judgmental of him. We need to examine our lives and our hearts to see if there is anything that offends God...even in our darkest recesses. The cost of sin is always more than the gains made by sin. We must acknowledge our bad choices, not justify them.
David isn’t where he’s supposed to be. He’d sent Joab to war in his place. David is surrounded by comfort and not feeling overly threatened or dependent on God. We’re often most vulnerable in this state. We have a defense not unlike the logic of a small child who thinks they can’t be seen when their eyes are covered. We can delude ourselves that if we’re not paying attention to god, that He’s really not paying much attention to us or our sin. But God’s purity is real and it’s to be mocked.
We need to confront our sin, be forgiven, have our hearts restored and have our purity renewed. While Jesus has paid the price for our sins, the negative consequences of our actions can still have ongoing repercussions…such as with David and Bathsheba. Their baby died. The betrayal that was committed gave leverage to those who were aware of the sin and might use it against him.
This story in Christ’s lineage points to our sin and need for a savior. God foreknew and already had prepared the way of our salvation. Being caught in our sin is a good thing as it can lead to genuinely repentance and getting right with God. He loves us all of us and did so before, while, and after we screw up. There is huge security in knowing that we don’t decrease or increase His love for us by how we live.