Monday, September 16, 2013

The High Cost Of God's Holiness

Conceived in violence and through a king’s abuse of authority the child was marked from inception. God says to the king, “the sword shall never depart from your house because you have despised me,” and “by this deed given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.”

It was not the type of behaviour expected from a military leader and Type A commander. The text reads, “Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house…” We know the rest of the story. David sees Bathsheba bathing and determines to have her. Have her he does. The first consequence is hammered out in three words, “The woman conceived…” David has her husband, Uriah, struck down by sword. God parries in return. Despite David's fasting and prayer the baby dies.

“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” God’s desire to be seen as holy, pure and set apart is also seen in the New Testament. When Ananias and Sapphira are struck down after lying to the Holy Spirit God is purifying the early church. A bad beginning would mean an infancy giving occasion to blaspheme. Better to strike down this couple.

In this present age of grace it is so easy to give occasion to blaspheme without dire consequence. I sat at lunch today with some fellow co-workers. One turned to me and apologized for the gossip I was about to hear. Then she spoke to the others about a woman committing adultery, “I can’t believe she was banging him. It wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t so very religious. She even says she can only listen to God music.” So the same God that struck down David’s son puts up with rebellion because of the blood of His only Son.

In Psalm 51, penned by King David, he cries out for God to, “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness…For You do not delight in sacrifice…You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Our blaspheming acts of rebellion may give others opportunity to mock the most high God. Doing what King David could not do for his own son God does through Christ. The sword which we deserve pierces the King---and His own children live forever.

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