Thursday, July 01, 2010
Don't Con God
Honest folks prize Psalm 51 because King David wrote it after the prophet Nathan confronted him with his sin with Bathsheba. What a dark chapter in the history of God's people, and what a disgrace to David, the man after God's own heart. Murdering Uriah the Hittite to conceal his adultery with Bathsheba altered King David's routine not in the slightest. He continued with his kingly duties, appearing to all the people as the harp-playing psalmster they'd grown to revere. In the palace, in the Temple, and everywhere else he went, he paraded around in his kingly robes, head held high, serenaded by his horn-tooting entourage. When Nathan told him, "Thou art the man," Good King David, no doubt, instantly shifted into disgraced-hypocrite's-mode, with thoughts of how he could discredit Nathan and deny his guilt with a deeper cover-up. Quickly, however, David's pride crashed and burned, when he realized he couldn't con God. Thus, he wrote Psalm 51 in heart-felt conviction and repentance. Psalms 51:6 summarizes part of David's hard-won lesson. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. This verse reveals two inviolate truths: First, God is not a fan of creative fiction, when it oozes from "the inward being." The statement, "you delight in truth," means God deplores un-truth, especially when it festers like a hidden cyst, infecting our inner thoughts and motives. Tragically, today's people of God have grown adept at ignoring, and even persecuting, the few Nathans who are brave enough to confront them with their hypocrisy. God judged King David for his sin, and he will certainly judge today's stalwart, pillars of the church who judge others' lives while ignoring their own dishonesty. As for the last part of verse 6, God indeed teaches wisdom to the repentant, secret heart, but only to the repentant, secret heart. So there's the program, brethren; we must accept God's conviction for our lying, inner spirit, repent by cultivating uncompromised truth, and listen to God's wisdom when he speaks it to our heart-of-hearts. If King David's hard-won lesson isn't enough to make us honest, the New Testament holds corresponding warnings: Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (8) For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And don't forget: 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (12) Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. In other words, Don't con God!