Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13- Repentance Trumps Rebellion

July 13, 2011

Scripture Readings:
1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36; Romans 1:18-32;
Psalm 10:1-15; Proverbs 19:6-7

Love means never having to say you're sorry.  
~Love Story

1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36


"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is a quote from the 1970's movie and novel entitled Love Story Although often quoted and now famous, the truth of the sentiment is negligible.  As a matter of fact, the concept is ridiculous.  One of the greatest ways of showing love is to say that you are sorry if you have wronged the person you love.  It also shows love to change your behavior if what you are doing is hurting another person.  Repentance is defined as changing the way one thinks about something and changing your behavior based on changed thought.  In the Hebrew, the word for repentance also indicates feeling sorry for a sin and making restitution for the wrong done to someone else by changing one's behavior. Today, King David shows love to God by repenting of his sin in breaking God's law.

In yesterday's reading, David is angered and humbled when he fails to consult God on how to carry the Ark to Jerusalem.  Through bad decisions on his part, David inadvertently caused the death of Uzzah.  Today, we see the good character of David.  It is evident why God calls David "a man after His own heart."  David is a person who is willing to admit when he is wrong, repent of his sin, and correct the situation with changed behavior.  God does not need you to be perfect.  He wants you to be teachable.  David is not perfect, he is teachable.

David's desire was to bring the Ark of the Covenant to his capital city of Jerusalem and today we see that David is repentant and has now sought God on the proper way to carry the Ark.  Remember that the Ark contains the mercy seat, where believers come to receive God's mercy and forgiveness for their sins. How appropriate that as David repents of his sin, the priests carry the mercy seat of God into the city of David. David follows the laws of Moses found in the book of Numbers and summons the men of Kohath of the tribe of Levi to purify themselves. They carry the Ark of God on their shoulders into Jerusalem.

David is not just a man of war, he is also a man of music.  With the regulations being properly followed and his heart right before God, it is with loud and joyous music that David leads the procession into the city.  David dresses in fine linen as a way of honoring God.  He also participates in festive dancing and shouting to express his joy and complete the worship service as they march into Jerusalem.  As is the way of the world, no good worship service is without it's critics.  Michal, the daughter of Saul who is David's wife, looks with contempt upon David as he worships the Lord with enthusiasm, marching past her window.

Did you know that we are the kingdom of priests who now carry the mercy seat of Jesus Christ to a waiting world?  As a shadow of things to come, David's joyous journey with the priests carrying the Ark into Jerusalem pictures the body of Christ, His Church on earth,  who now carry Jesus on their shoulders to a hurting and needy world.  It also pictures a future day in the end times when the nation of Israel will repent, act as priests, and carry the message of Christ to the world during the millennial reign of Christ on earth.  Do you carry the message of Jesus' forgiveness in a worshipful fashion?  Do you sing and shout and dance this good news to a watching world?  Have you encountered people who look upon you with contempt as you worship God and carry Him forth to the nations? This was all pictured and predicted in the Old Testament.  Isn't God cool?

Please note that when David successfully gets the Ark into Jerusalem, he blesses all of the people of his kingdom, confirms their belief in the coming death of the Messiah through animal sacrifices, and fellowships with his people by eating food together at a grand feast.  This is a shadow of what Jesus will do with the repentant nation of Israel in His millennial kingdom on earth.

Next, we see that David is a gifted musician and songwriter.  He presents a song to the choir of Levites.  It is a song of praise and thanksgiving to God.  Some highlights of David's lyrics are: 1) The whole world should know what God has done. 2) God has made a commitment to thousands of generations that He will keep. 3) We should proclaim the good news that he saves. 4) The gods of other nations are just idols. 5) Tell the nations that the Lord is King. 6) He is coming to judge the world. 7) His faithful love endures forever.

After the Levite choir performs the song, the crowd shouts "Amen!"  I say, "Amen and amen!"  What do you say?

Romans 1:18-32


Paul ended the last part of his letter to the Romans by saying that we are made righteous through our faith.  Today, Paul expounds upon what rebellion looks like.  We should compare what Paul lays out as rebellion to the repentance we saw in King David, today.

Paul begins by saying that God shows his anger against all sinful people who push the truth away from themselves.  Notice that the language indicates that the people are active in rejecting the truth of God.  It is conscious rebellion. 

Here is the low down on sin and rebellion as layed out by the Apostle Paul:
  • The truth about God is known to all people instinctively. God has put the knowledge in their hearts. - Vs. 19
  • His invisible qualities, eternal power and divine nature are seen in the natural/physical world that He created. Vs. 20
  • Rebellious people in the past have refused to thank God or worship Him. Vs. 21
  • Instead, they thought up foolish ideas of what He was and their minds became dark and confused. Vs. 21
  • As fools, they made idols that looked like mere people, birds, animals and snakes to worship. Vs. 23
  • God let them do this and even more shameful things.  These included doing shameful things with their bodies. Vs. 24
  • They chose to believe lies and worship things God had made, but not worship Him as the Creator. Vs. 25
  • As a result, God abandoned them to their shameful desires.  Women had sex with women, men had sex with men, burning in lust for each other.  This was against the natural way of things.  Vs. 26-27
  • God abandoned those who were rebellious and not repentant and gave them over to every kind of sin including greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.  They also were backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful.  Known as being disobedient to their parents, they refuse to understand, break promises, are heartless, and are unforgiving.  Vs. 28-31
  • Although they know in their hearts that the penalty for this is death, they do these things anyway. Vs. 32
  • Even worse, they encourage others to do them, too.  Vs. 32
This is the anatomy of rebellion.  Do any of these attitudes look familiar to you?  Do you find yourself guilty of any of these? Do you see this type of behavior promoted in our modern society?  Our new liberation is nothing but ancient rebellion against God.

Notice that King David is "a man after God's own heart" because when faced with the reality of his sin, he repents, is sorry for wrong doing, changes his thinking to align himself with God, and changes his behavior to reflect his love and devotion to God.  His faith-filled heart overflows with thanksgiving and praise to his Creator that manifests itself in a worshipful song to be sung throughout the generations. David is teachable.  This is not the way of the rebellious.  Their rebellion overflows into self-absorbed perversion that they encourage others to adopt. They are not open to learning the ways of God.  They are not teachable.

Psalm 10:1-15 

Vs. 13 says, "Why do the wicked get away with cursing God? How can they think, 'God will never call us to account?'"

You can see how this psalm ties into our reading in Romans.

Proverbs 19:6-7

Everyone is a friend of a person who gives gifts!  How true.

What did you notice today as you read?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton