Monday, January 7, 2013

David's Sin With Bathsheba: A Broken, Contrite Spirit, Part 1

When someone breaks your heart, how do you respond? Do you lose sleep, tossing and turning and feeling sick to the stomach? Do you vacillate between crying out to the Lord for his loving Spirit, reciting the 23rd Psalm, and vowing to forsake the heart breaker forevermore?

Each time I get a hurtful e-mail from my mom, I get sick to my stomach and I can't concentrate. Sleep eludes me and I don't take good care of my family. When will it end, I wonder? When will the rejection and heartache stop?

I know my duty to love, even in the face of my enemies, but I feel too weak and sick to do anything but withdraw. It's not revenge, but self-preservation.

I want to feel good and do right by my family. I don't want to burden my husband or my children with my heartbreak. They can't understand the ache, though my husband tries very hard to empathize. Men can decide not to let something bother them. They compartmentalize well, generally speaking.

A woman, in contrast, doesn't put away her emotions like this. I can't demand my heart to stop hurting.

Sin can arise from a broken heart and as women, who feel deeply, we need to be especially aware of this. If we let it, a broken heart leads to bitterness and hate. And those sins, unconfessed and unforgiven, will impair our prayers, our walk with the Lord, and our witness.

At first, when it's still fresh, the wound plays over and over in our minds. Then, exhausted, we try to gain some equilibrium again. We move forward with the essential duties of life, gradually giving the heart breaker and the offense less and less of our mental and emotional time.

It's at this point that sin can take deep root. In trying to move on with our life, we forget the hard work of forgiveness.

Let's take a moment to distinguish between mercy and grace.

Extending mercy means we don't punish or take revenge on our heart breaker. Extending grace means we help them, give them other gifts of the heart, pray for them, and wish them well. Extending grace means we love them.

I think it's safe to think of forgiveness as loving someone without prejudice. This occurs as an act of grace, flowing from the Lord through us. 

I'm aware of this and of my potential sin in this vulnerable period, so today the Lord led me to study King David's fall from grace. Now, adultery has nothing to do with my broken heart or probably yours either, but there are valuable lessons to be learned about repentant hearts from studying David's story.

As you know, King David lay with Bathsheba while her husband was fighting in the King's army. When she told David she was with child, he sent for Uriah her husband, hoping Uriah would go home and lay with his wife, so that when the child was born, Uriah would think it his own.

But being a loyal soldier, Uriah didn't want to take that pleasure while other men were fighting hard in battle.

David then had Uriah over for dinner and got him drunk, hoping he would then go to his wife. But still, Uriah didn't go home. He controlled himself, despite his drunkenness.

Still desperate to hide his sin, David sent word to Joab his general to have Uriah put in the front lines of battle, so that he would be killed.

Yes, David was that desperate. And that sinful.

The deed done, David sighed with relief. After a proper mourning period, he took Bathsheba to be his wife, with no one the wiser, other than a couple servants he probably paid off.

But as we all know, we can't hide our hearts from God. He knows every detail. 

To be continued....

Giving Thanks Today:

~ The boys and Daddy having a grand day of sledding, coming back excited, refreshed and red-faced.

~ A husband's arms

~ A gracious Father

~ God's Holy Word

~ Psalms that soothe and heal

~ Prayer warriors to help us do battle against the enemy

~ A cured little girl. Mary only threw up once.

~ Still no nausea from Beth's chemo drug (taken for arthritis)

~ The Holy Spirit directing and guiding my heart

What are you thankful for today?

No comments: