Thursday, July 9, 2009

Scoundrels like me.

As I’ve been studying the life of David over the last few months, I must admit, I find him a difficult character. Though he shows up as the hero in many stories, he appears the villain in many others. For all he gets right, he gets a thousand things wrong. His motivations don’t always seem pure. His actions are often self-serving. Maybe I find him difficult because he reminds me too much of me.

When we read the Bible, we often look for people that we can imitate. We want Esther’s courage or Solomon’s wisdom, Daniel’s faithfulness or Moses’ leadership skills. The problem with this approach, however, is that outside of Jesus, every character in the Bible is deeply flawed. Each, through the grace of God, gets some things right, but the flaws also abound – murderers, cowards, adulterers, the list goes on and on. While we can joyfully imitate aspects of each of these lives, we must remember that who we ultimately imitate isn’t a person, but God at work in that person.

This, of course, is good news – that God works through scoundrels like me. God has chosen to work in this world not through those who have it all together, but through real, fallen, everyday people. People like you and me, who are sometimes mean or lazy or downright selfish. When I think about it, are there any other kind? When God works through us, he doesn’t excuse our sinfulness. Nowhere does God celebrate David’s sins, instead, he chastises him. But God forgives our sins, even the worst of sins, so that he may do a new work in us.

I think the reason David’s story keeps being told, is that for all his foibles, David kept coming back to the Lord. He kept coming back for forgiveness, and strength, and love. He kept dealing with God. Remarkably, miraculously, graciously, God kept coming back to him. Kept including David in his plans. Gives me hope, how about you?

“Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty – Micah 3:7.

2 comments:

Jeanie said...

Taylor -- I was impressed with your reflections at CBF -- and very proud of you. Good job!

I liked what you wrote in today's thoughts -- I think a lot about what a mixure of STUFF David was, and yet, how he was "a man after God's own heart."

I think that in the end, not only did he keep coming back to God, but he really, REALLY loved God -- as evidenced by his willingness to pour out his heart to God --

I shocked myself, watching the MJ funeral -- I had 'way too much to do, but I couldn't seem to stop watching - I was shocked by the dignity of it - -and the seeming faith expressed (although I did almost croak when they brought the casket in to the spiritual, "Soon and very soon -- we shall see the King..." --

I've been thinking about MJ and the sensationalism around his life -- and yet - -what I was left with at the end of that funeral was a sense of love -- In spite of the scandals, in spite of the apparent drug abuse -- in spite of the insanity of it all -- something good came out of his life in that funeral.

i kept thinking about the movie - -The Apostle --

and I keep thinking about how I may not know as much as I'd like to think I know about what 'being good" and "being bad" are, in the eyes of God --

Maybe the scriptures are right -- and God looks on our hearts.

I don't know -- just my thoughts -- and your "thoughts" triggered more of mine.

Grace to you -- Jeanie

Taylor said...

Jeanie,

As always, I appreciate your thoughts. I hadn’t connected David’s story to MJ’s, but you make some great points (I, too, cringed at the singing of "Soon and Very Soon). I love the idea that none of us know as much as we think we know about what is “good” and what is “bad” in the eyes of God. I often get the impression when reading scripture that when I get to heaven I’m going to be quite surprised at what God considered the triumphs and the defeats of my life to be. No doubt our judgments of others will be quite off as well.

Many blessings, friend.