Friday, December 10, 2010

David vs. Moses

I've been studying in the books of Samuel and Kings and it struck me the varying degrees for which one is punished or blessed. I've never thought it was fair when David has the guy killed for killing Saul. I mean, Saul was dying and suffering horribly I am sure. He begged the man to kill him quickly and put him out of his misery as the enemy was almost upon Saul and they would have surely tortured him and killed him much more cruelly. I can't see this act as anything other than mercy towards Saul. Never mind that Saul asked the guy to finish the job. So this guy has to die for his "sin" and there is no second chance for him. No chance to repent or be educated that in David's opinion it was a sin to kill the Lord's anointed even though he was already dying and begging to be put out of his misery. No chance for this guy at all and I personally don't see what he did wrong. I would have done the same thing.

But let's look at David for a moment shall we? He's up on the roof, sees a naked lady and does not do the right thing by leaving or turning away. No, he keeps watching her bathe and lusts after her. Probably has some nice fantasies about another man's wife and then decides to just have his dudes go get her from her home. He is instructed that she is Uriah's wife and does David care? NO. He brings her over to the palace, has sex with her, gets her pregnant and then tries to arrange it so that Uriah can sleep with his wife and then he will think the baby is his. But it doesn't work out 'cause Uriah is a stand up guy and does not go home to have sex with his wife because he doesn't think it would be right considering how the other men are fighting. So, being unable to pass his baby off as Uriah's David just arranges for Uriah to be killed by sending him to the worst place in the battle knowing he would die. Let's call it murder shall we? Now we know the Lord punishes David and Bathsheba by taking the life of the baby they conceived together but what about David? When contrasting David's actions and the actions of the guy who put King Saul who was already dying, in misery, with the enemy upon him who would have finished him off in a horrible manor and was begging this guy to kill him, well..... I have to ask...... who deserved to be put to death more? Surely by our standards it would be King David. But that's not the way it works. Why I wonder?

Then we have the contrast between Moses and King David. Both men called by God to do great things. Poor Moses has to put up with those complaining stiff necked never happy about anything Israelites for 40 years. I do not know how he kept his cool like he did for the forty years that he did. But at the end of the 40 years, just before they get to the promise land Moses gets fed up. He loses his cool, has what I call a meltdown of sorts and in his anger does not do what God asks and he just strikes the rock so that the water can come out. You know, to be honest here, I have never understood why Moses had to die. I get that he sinned by his action. But it was one action. One mistake and can we really blame him? Look at what he was travelling with for those 40 years. Those people were so obnoxious God kept killing them off with all sorts of plagues and deadly snakes because the ticked God off so bad. Remember when they made God so mad he was going to just kill them all and Moses begged God not to do such a thing! I mean can't God grant a little mercy to Moses for his moment of getting sick of them too? I don't get it. I don't have to get it either, I know that. But I can't quite learn from this lesson either because I don't get it. So relatively speaking Moses didn't really do anything that bad and he has to die but David commits this heinous crime/crimes and he gets to prosper, be King, and live in the palace, etc. In our understanding shouldn't Moses be able to be forgiven that sin of his if David could be forgiven his terrible sins?

Then I wonder....if God has a really great plan for you and you haven't completed it yet and you sin terribly do you not have to suffer the same punishment as say someone who has already completed their great task and just are done as far as their plan is concerned. What I mean is that Moses was at the end of the task God had for him so when he sinned and God didn't need him to lead his people into the promise land anymore because they were pretty much already there does he have to punished more severely because he wasn't needed anymore in the grand scheme of things? David was only in the beginning of what God had planned for him to do so when David sinned was he not killed and/or given much grace and mercy because he had not yet completed what God had for him to do? If David was at the end of his reign, Solomon had already been born and he committed the same sin as listed above I wonder what God would have done? Why such a different set of standards for Moses and David? Both men were extremely devoted friends of the Lord but they were not dealt with in the same manor in my personal humble confused opinion. I may be wrong, please tell me what I do not understand if I am wrong.

I just look at Shimei (I think that's how you spell it.) and he was killed for yelling obscenities at King David and throwing stones at him and his troops when David fled the kingdom because Absolom was being a jerk and trying to take over. When David comes back Shimei apologizes and begs for mercy. David gives it to him but on his death bed asks Solomon to deal with Shimei in his own wisdom. Shimei is eventually killed because Solomon tells him that if he leaves his designated area he is dead meat. Well don't you just know that Shimei left his area eventually because 2 of his slaves ran away and he went to go get them and he got whacked for it. But I look at this story and I see unforgiveness on David's part and this unforgiveness leads to a man having to die for what? He yelled obscenities and threw some rocks. What David did to Uriah and his family was so much worse and yet David didn't feel any particular need to off himself for his terrible behavior. All these men serve the same God. All of these men's sins were dealt with in completely different ways.

How does one truly understand the Bible and the things in it when they seem to apply so differently to each one of us. It really confuses me. I don't doubt the Bible or God. I'm not saying that but when we tell people that if you do this then God will do that are we really being truthful? Do we really know that is true because we can see it in mass application in Christian masses? If you have a greater plan for you life do you get to get away with more sin because God is doing something great with you?

A quick mention, at first I thought perhaps David was forgiven so much because he was repentant but as far as David was concerned Shimei was repentant too. He bowed on the ground and begged for forgiveness. David said he gave it and yet did he really? As soon as he was on his death bed he is all like "Hey Solomon, remember that jerk with the stones? Deal with him even though it's been tons of years since it happened." I don't get why he was not extended the same mercy since he had acknowledged his sin and repented.

The old testament always confuses me this way and this is probably why I mainly stay in the New Testament. It seems like in the Old Testament there is a different set of blessings and punishments for each individual. Which really makes it hard to understand prosperity also. Hmmm, well just the stuff I am pondering lately. I am probably going to finish 1 Kings then read 2 Kings and then ask for some wisdom and read the 4 books of Samuel and Kings again. Maybe it will make more sense to me then? A little insight would be lovely.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Performance or Heart...Order of importance?

My sweet little Amber will be turning 11 on Friday, December 3. Happy Birthday Amber!!

My little Braxton poo turned 4 on November 20. What's a birthday without a trip to the Olive Garden?
Unfortunately, I will be turning 41 on December 21. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Turning was 40 was so traumatic. I am a little frightened to see what 41 is going to look like. Maybe 41 will be the year of acceptance? Hmmmm...... Or, things can continue to break down and fall down. Good grief. The good news is that if I keep my shoulders straight and lift my arms up my boobs pop right back up like they used to be ha ha. Lord help me.
Spiritually, I find myself in a predicament. Since the whole mess with church and us leaving I find myself being unable to connect mentally to worship. Why is that I wonder? I know that God didn't do anything offensive to us, a Pastor did. I do not even relate the two together. Oddly enough I find myself excited to go every Sunday morning but completely resistant to going on Wednesday nights. My new church which was the church that I went to before I left the one I just did, does not have service on Sunday nights except for the first Sunday of the month. I have to admit that I do not understand that at all, We used to have service every Sunday night and then 2 years ago it changed to only one Sunday a month. Weird.
I do not even really want to read my Bible anymore. I still do, but maybe only like 3 or 4 days a week now. I did read the book The Case for Christ last week too but still, I just feel very distant mentally from worship and from the Lord. I know this is all me, I am just not sure why I am doing it. I was pondering if this may in fact be a good thing. I think perhaps I need some reprogramming of sorts. When I went to True Life before every time I was there it was consistently because I wanted to be there. When I switched to Hillside because my husband wanted to go there, at some point in time the church seemed to morph into church attendance being the absolute be all and end all in the validation of one's Christianity. It was always mentioned to me about my husband not being with me every single time he did not attend and if I missed for any reason there was always an email by Sunday night or Monday, a Facebook message and the next time I did walk through the doors it was most certainly mentioned that I was missed at the last service. I think it happened so slowly that I did not perhaps realize that I was no longer going at some point because I wanted to but because I felt like I had to. I also didn't want anyone to think I was a bad Christian! I mean my goodness, I was trying to grow the ladies bible class I was teaching, how could I do that if people thought I was not a faithful follower?
Now that I have left and I am back at True Life I realize that the other church was more about performance and not the true nature of the heart. True Life is so much about interactive worship, it is all about the heart. The other church was definitely about the heart and all but it was more performance driven as far as church attendance goes. I think perhaps I am pulling back a bit because I want to fall in love with worship and church again. I am not sure.
I was really super super super angry at our previous Pastor but I have to say that I am really pleased that I was able to control myself and I only shared with two people what happened and why I left. One was a close and trusted friend who invited us to go there to begin with and the other was the Associate Pastor's wife. The only other thing I did was blog about it which nobody around here even reads or knows about. So.....I felt like it was important that it remain private and then I felt led to study Samuel. I knew the Lord had a message for me when I was at the part where David refuses to do anything to the Lord's anointed. I was like....... you know that applies to me too. My Pastor did something really awful and it was not acceptable and I took my family out of his church. BUT, he is anointed and called by God to do the Lord's work and just because he made a mistake does not mean I am entitled to discredit him or malign his name. I will not harm the Lord's anointed.
I truly believe the two books of Samuel are just the most awesomely lesson packed books in the Bible. I love me some Samuel. Those books never get old. So, God put it in me pretty good to get over it and leave the man alone. Which I have enough tact to do anyway but I felt comforted by the fact that God acknowledged that He is well aware of what happened and that it is for Him to deal with and not me. Okie dokie.
I still find it disturbing that I do not want to venture out for the midweek services though. I also have to include that I find it very difficult to pray anymore either. That really bothers me. I find my thoughts drifting as I pray. I cannot stay focused as I pray. I really am not quite sure what I am going through over here. I think perhaps this whole mess with my Pastor being so cruel to my husband and us leaving has affected me more than I thought at first. Which is also odd for me because I am a survivor type personality. I just do what needs to be done, period. I would not consider myself to be weak at all. Actually, that's pretty funny, me and weak? Um, no. SO, what the heck is wrong with me?
We do not even want to discuss my husband's attitude about anything churchy now. Which is what really angers me. I really wish people would just shut up more and worry about the plank in their own eye. And, if you think you don't have any planks.... Lord help you because you are in serious trouble. Everyone has a plank or two. I may have 10 or 12 ha ha.
Well, that's where I am at these days. Confused and approaching another horrifying birthday.