2009-05-07 - Never Say Never
Psalm 30:6-7 Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, "I will never be moved." 7 O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed. (NASB)
How many times have you said or heard someone say, "I will never do that."? If you have lost count you are in the honest majority. And how many times has that statement come back to haunt the person who uttered it? Too many times to count, I'm sure.
There are times when it feels like the Father just waits for someone to say those defiant words. They may not have been said with a heart of defiance, but it can not be said in humility with a good understanding of the human heart or the enemies our souls face - including our own sinful old nature. When those words are uttered it is as if the whistle is blown and the march toward what seems like destiny to meet the challenge we place on ourselves begins. We can not know the future, or the depth of our own weakness. And still that phrase echoes down the hallways of our lives.
David had said from his personal mountain top that he would never be moved - that he would never stray from God's path. And yet he murdered his faithful friend Uriah so he could have his wife Bathsheba, he acted like a deranged man in front of his enemies, and he counted his army when God had told David not to count them. And God turned His face from David for a moment each time. God did not abandon David, but David was left to consider the reproach and rebuke that was given at each of these turns and more.
David admits to being very troubled when it seemed that God had stopped listening. If you've every felt this loneliness you know how painful it is. God is always listening to His children. Like human parents, sometimes the words He wants to hear most is a heartfelt, "I'm sorry. I blew it, and it was my fault. Please forgive me."
In each of these cases David's actions were deliberate and considered. We often excuse ourselves by saying something like we found ourselves in a compromising situation we couldn't handle. But most times we walked into that situation thinking we were self-sufficient enough to handle it, when in reality we knew we were pushing our limits. Just one look at the bright lights or the enticing things this world has to offer is often one look too many. Like David we tumble from the times of our prosperity, from our mountain tops.
One more thing is consistent in each of these cases. David opened his heart and was honest with himself and with the Father. He confessed his sin humbly without reservation or excuse and the Lord restored David. David is referred to as a man after God's heart. In spite of the many failings that were part of David's life, his quick and humble repentance returned the Lord's favor. David wept over his failures - not because he had been caught or because he was being punished, but he had sinned and failed his Lord.
Never is a very, very long time. If you haven't stumbled and sinned in a significant way, you either didn't recognize it or you just need to live a little longer. When you feel some distance between you and God, it might be that you are the one that stepped away from His path. God will be waiting for you right where you left the road.
Glory to Thee O Lord for the grace that I have not yet tasted. Amen.
Grace & Peace,