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Chapter 2 Discussion Continued

posted Nov 2, 2011, 9:12 AM by Lynn Squire
The Bible gives us examples of how to face the future when God says, "No."

King David sinned. Like the majority of our sins, his affected more than just himself.

Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. II Samuel 12:11

David confessed and repented. Read his words:

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Psalm 51:1-3

God put away his sin, but David would still suffer the consequences.

Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. II Samuel 12:14

David believed in God's mercy. He'd seen it in his life time and time again. Therefore, David fasted and prayed, pleading that God might spare the child.

And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. II Samuel 12:18

If I were David, I would have screamed in anger at the Lord, even though I knew this was the consequences of my own sin. What happened to God's mercy? Hadn't God spared other people whose sins were just as bad, and maybe even worse than mine?

Yet, God is righteous and just and knows best how we need to be dealt with so that we can have a right relationship with Him. He loves me. He knows what I must experience in order to keep me close to Him, to remind me never to sin again.

I would have mourned for my son. 

If I had stopped to think about it, however, I would realize that God's mercy was shown to my child. The boy would not have to experience the future upheaval of the home. David's life would be marred with bitter hardships from this point. The child went to be with the Lord, untouched by the tearing apart of a family.

And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child my live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. II Samuel 12:22-23

David prayed and fasted.

God said, "No."

David accepted God's answer, knowing God's goodness, recognizing a distant hope--he'd see his son again.

When I look over my life, I see God's abundant mercy, even when suffering the consequences for my sins. Never have I received all that I deserve. If I did, I'd be burning in hell. What right, therefore, do I ever have to be angry with God when my prayers are not answered the way I want them to be?

How did David respond to the news?

Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, the set bread before him,and he did eat. II Samuel 12:20

David worshiped God. He didn't scream at God. He didn't ask why (he knew why). He didn't pound the ground with his fist. He worshiped.

I could easily say, "But I'm not David. I'm not as spiritual. I'm not as strong. I know I'll be angry." And by those words, I am choosing to reject a better way.

Responding as David did requires understanding who God is, His righteousness, His justice, and accepting it. It also requires understanding our own wretched, worthless selves. Humbling ourselves before God and worshiping Him even when the answer is 'no' is a matter of choice. We don't have to respond in anger. We can choose to change our thoughts and focus on who God is and our knowledge of the eternal life He has given us.

This decision to respond as David did is not a one time deal. You make it moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day. Each time your mind turns to a thought of anger or self-pity, you cast it aside, and replace it with worship.

I wonder if David went immediately to worship God (after preparing himself to come into the presence of the Lord by cleaning up) because he needed to train his thoughts, taking the bad ones captive so that bitterness toward God would not enter his heart and replacing them with good ones. 

I picture him bowing before God and focusing on all of God's attributes. God, You are almighty. Heavenly Father, You are beautiful. Lord most gracious, You care for me. Holy Lord, You are my delight. My Redeemer, You have given me eternal life when I do not deserve it.

Not until he had control over his thoughts did he leave the tabernacle and carry on with his life.

How should you respond when God says, "No"? Clean yourself up, worship Him until your thoughts are under control, and return to living life as you should. Tough? yes. Possible? Absolutely.