Hidden Sins

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Blooming despite the snow: Isra’el.

Sin is one of those areas that we prefer to avoid dealing with, unless something we have done wrong is staring us in the face, and has to be dealt with. One of David’s traits that I admire is his habit of asking God to show him where he is messing up. He does it with a thoroughness that puts me to shame.

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep your servant from deliberate sins! (or presumptuous sins)
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:12-14

This is one of the many times where I wish I knew far more about David than I do. In the era that David lived in, the people who had chosen to worship gods in addition to Yahweh, lived in fear of doing something to upset them. This practice goes back several thousand years before David, and as he was living around people with that deeply ingrained cultural mindset, could it have also have made him concerned with making a bad move he wasn’t aware of, and disappointing Yahweh? Or was his behaviour entirely based on the Torah? I won’t be able to find that answer, but regardless, his attitude is a valuable example for us.

The New English Translation Bible puts the wording “hidden faults” this way: “Who can know all his errors? Please do not punish me for sins I am unaware of.” Pagans, or polytheists, believed that if you were sick or going through some kind of calamity, whether it be personally, or as a tribal or city unit, you had to have angered the gods by doing something wrong. It didn’t matter if you didn’t know you were doing wrong, if you didn’t make the grade, you paid. Mankind was thought to be created to serve the gods as slaves: “Man shall be charged with the service of the gods, that they might be at ease.” Slaves dare not disobey.

David was in a covenant relationship with God and carefully followed the laws which God had set down via Moses. He would have given God a weekly burnt offering, which would have served as a constant reminder of his sinful state; plus David must have never forgotten that Saul lost his Kingship because of disobedience. “You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever.” Psalm 41:12

In addition to that, David’s attitude was heavily influenced by living in a world where judgement for sin was carried out during your life. There was no belief that you were either punished or blessed in the afterlife for what you have done. The accounts were settled now, so you had to be far more careful about what you did.

2016-01-13_01-01-47“O LORD, don’t rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your rage.
Return, O LORD, and rescue me.
Save me because of Your unfailing love.
For the dead do not remember You.
Who can praise You from the grave?” Psalm 6:1, then 4-5

“O LORD my God, if I have done wrong
or am guilty of injustice,
if I have betrayed a friend
or plundered my enemy without cause,
then let my enemies capture me.
Let them trample me into the ground
and drag my honour in the dust.” Psalm 7:3-5

So what does this mean for us? It’s a reminder to be aware of the full extent of our failings. We can sin deliberately, or without meaning to do so, or without knowing that we have; but bless God, there is grace for all of these errors, we simply need to remember to prayerfully cover all those bases. It is a wise move to do as David did and ask God to show us where we have been wrong and yes, that takes courage! But ensuring we are as holy as we can be, and the resulting benefit of getting closer to God, makes that step of bravery worth it!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts,
and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24


kdpcpyrght

Creative Commons License
The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

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How to Control King-Sized Egos: The Examples of David and Moses

egosquashDespite his heroic feats, David is the opposite of a Hollywood action hero. He is more the anti-hero; the guy who doesn’t rely solely on his own power to be the victor, and walks away humble. If anything, the Lord was his stunt man, director, producer and all the credit went to Him.

David never made the mistake of many kings in that he didn’t turn arrogant or cocky for long. The simple truth is, God never allowed him to. Throughout his entire life, David went through life-threatening trial after trial after trial, and suffered in the face of poorly, if not completely undisguised opposition.

  • Saul wanting him dead out of jealousy, and because he realised David would be the next king. 1 Samuel 18:5-8
  • The guilt of the death of the priests of Nob being on his head, as he’d gone to them when on the run from Saul, then lied. 1 Samuel 22
  • Illness which hit him mid-life bought humiliation. 2 Samuel 21:15 (Probably diabetes.)
  • The challenge of others, such as his son, Absalom, sabotaging his authority and wanting his throne. 2 Samuel 15-18 and Psalms such as Psalm 38:12-15
  • Problems with Isra’el being weary of war and wanting a better deal economically. Psalm 4:6
  • Guilt over his sin with Bathsheba, the murder of Uriah and resulting death of his baby son. 2 Samuel 12
  • Conflicts between his tribe, Judah, and the other northern tribes, who felt he’d favoured Judah, and thus attempted to overthrow him. 2 Samuel 20
  • Gut wrenching mistakes such as the Census, which cost many lives. 2 Samuel 24

That is enough to crush many people and it is guaranteed to produce deep humility. You can win many battles and take many wives to prove your status, but when your life is under threat and you’re dependent on God for deliverance, it’s really hard to get a big head. David never dug himself out of danger. He relied on God, not his ability as a warrior, then he gave the full glory to God.

“I will praise You, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvellous things You have done.
I will be filled with joy because of You.
I will sing praises to Your Name, O Most High.
My enemies retreated;
they staggered and died when You appeared.” Psalm 9:1-3

David’s humility is also seen in repeated requests to have God judge him, in order that he would stay on the right path.
“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:12-14

Another point to consider is that kings are used to people obeying them. It is easy to become accustomed to bowing and obedience and make the mistake of treating God in the same way: “I ask for help, You give it when I want it.” It is possible that some of the “how long” times which David experienced, were God letting David know that He would not be at the beck and call of a king. God is sovereign and above the reign of mankind. Making David wait would reinforce the correct order and again, keep a royal ego under control.

Moses has a similar story. Despite the status he was given in order to lead Isra’el out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, he was very well grounded. Numbers 12:3 tells us: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” Twice, God offered to wipe out Isra’el’s rebellious tribes, and give the covenant promise to Moses and his descendants. Twice Moses refused, to honour God’s reputation before the whole earth, and to save the nation he loved. [Ref. Exodus 32:9-10 and Numbers 14:11-12]

submissive-faithIn contrast to movies such as The Prince of Egypt, which portray his story, Moses life in Pharaoh’s court appears to me, not to have been easy. He knew he was a Hebrew and was so angered by the treatment of his people, he killed an Egyptian that was mistreating a Hebrew slave and had to flee. Pharaoh didn’t save his precious boy, Moses. He had nowhere to run for preferential treatment.

It is debatable as to whether Moses ever fit into the royal household, or whether he always felt like an outsider. Unless his speech impediment had a physical cause, that kind of insecurity and turmoil could have caused his stuttering; (which oddly, is never mentioned after the Israelites leave Egypt.) He was hesitant to approach Pharaoh to ask for the release of the Hebrew slaves, which also indicates that he knew he would not be treated like a long-lost adopted son. Tough lives develop character and few had it as abundantly as Moses did. Thank God both Moses and David did stay humble. Many millennia later, we are still benefitting from their achievements and example.

So next time life gets you down and appears to be falling apart, take heart. Maybe God is allowing your pain to keep you humble and gentle as well. Neither David or Moses were likely candidates to become the leader of a nation. You never know where the Lord will take you.

“My heart is confident in You, O God;
no wonder I can sing Your praises with all my heart!” Psalm 108:1


kdpcpyrght

Creative Commons License
The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

When It Takes a Year to Repent

“When I feel guilt, I feel that I have made a mistake, and when
I feel shame, I feel that I am a mistake.” John Bradshaw

1280px-Israel-2013-Aerial_13-MasadaWe’ve all done things which we feel guilty over and regret, but shame is, as Bradshaw said, when “I feel that I am a mistake.” It becomes a part of the way we see ourselves, colouring our self-worth, and our ability to deal with the problems generated. We’re not the ‘us’ we want to be. Instead, we’re a worthless failure.

Shame is associated with feelings of being unlovable, useless, inferior, stupid, dirty, or bad. Shame makes us want to hide the sin, and bury the real ‘me’ out of fear, because the real ‘me’ is worthless as a human being.

If you knew what you had done came with a death sentence, then how much deeper would that shame reach? If you knew someone else had died because of you, how much harder does dealing with your inadequacy then become?

Shame is why David took a year to repent of his sin with BathSheba and for killing her husband, Uriah. It was the burden of shame that made him want to hide what he had done from God, so he did.

Guilt is a different emotional entity. Guilt is easier to admit and makes you want to repent. You want to cry out to the Lord, apologise and make amends to whoever you have wronged. But shame cuts much deeper. It scars you on the inside and undermines your identity. How it affected David is clear in Psalm 38:3-8 (the whole Psalm and Psalm 51 are dedicated to this).

“Because of your anger, my whole body is sick;
my health is broken because of my sins.
My guilt overwhelms me—
it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
My groans come from an anguished heart.”

We all make mistakes, they are an essential part of growing. However, the more intolerable the mistake, the harder it is to admit and seek forgiveness. David made a horrendous series of mistakes, which had tragic, long-term repercussions; yet the same forgiveness that the Lord reaches out to us with, was available to him. “Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.” 2 Samuel 12:13

Forgiveness for the act that lead to shame and healing can come to anybody. One thing that helped David heal was the knowledge that God, who knew him inside and out, loved him and wanted him to retain his position as His servant. David felt the shame, but knew that he wasn’t a mistake as a person, and that pulled him through.

Psalm 32:1-7
“Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Interlude
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.”

We all go through times when we need God’s unconditional acceptance and forgiveness. If you should find yourself in that position, look at the positive side to this part of David’s life. Reflect on how the Lord responded to David and allow the encouragement in God’s Word to become a source of healing for you.

 Psalm51vs10to13


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The Resolutions of a King ~ #Bible #psalm #Christian

2016nyres2

I was reading a list of suggested New Year Resolutions for the Pope, last week. While the list (which was not written by either the Pope, or the Vatican), had some great suggestions, it had me thinking about what David would list as his resolutions. The first five may not be very surprising, but after that, some are unexpected.

The cross references to the resolutions is separate, so the resolutions are in David’s own voice. Psalm 101 is included below, as it was the source of the idea. I have added additional clarification of the wording.

God bless you all.

The Resolutions:

  1. Praise the Lord at all times.
  2. Boast only in the Lord, and glorify His Name, not my own.
  3. Pray in the morning and the evening, especially when things get rough.
  4. Meditate on the Word of God, and His goodness.
  5. Wait patiently for God’s help and hope only in Him.
  6. Be strong and courageous.
  7. Work to make what I say and what I think, pleasing to the Lord.
  8. Fulfil my promises to God.
  9. Spend my time around Godly people.
  10. Manage my anger.
  11. Tell people about God.
  12. Act in a godly way within my own home, so I have no guilt in my heart.

 

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References to match the resolutions:
  1. Psalms 56:10, 31:7, 34:1
  2. Psalms 34:2, 86:13
  3. Psalm 55:16-17
  4. Psalm 63:6
  5. Psalms 22:14, 62:1-2 and 5-6, 37:7 39:7, 52:9b
  6. Psalm 27:14
  7. Psalms 19:14, 101:3
  8. Psalms 22:25, 61:8
  9. Psalms 16:3, 101:4-7 – not the worthless, wicked or evil.
  10. Psalms 4:4-5, 37:8
  11. Psalms 40:9-10, 51:12-13, 71:15
  12. Psalm 101:2
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Psalm 101:  A Psalm of David

I will sing of your love and justice;
 to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life:
 when will you come to me?
 I will conduct the affairs of my house
 with a *blameless heart.                    (*integrity, perfect)
I will not look with approval
 on anything that is *vile.                  (*evil, wicked, base)
 I hate what *faithless people do;           (*those who fall away or turn away from God)
 I will have no part in it.                  (won't cleave to)
The *perverse of heart shall be far from me; (*devious, perverted, evil, fraudulent)
 I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
Whoever slanders their neighbour in secret,
 I will put to silence;
 whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
 I will not tolerate.
My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
 that they may dwell with me;
 the one whose walk is blameless
 will minister to me.
No one who practices deceit
 will dwell in my house;
 no one who speaks falsely
 will stand in my presence.
Every morning I will put to silence
 all the wicked in the land;
 I will cut off every evildoer
 from the city of the Lord.                      New Living Translation


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