Have you ever done something so premeditated and wrong so that you could get what you wanted? I mean you planned to the “T “ how you were going to get away with it and everything. I think if we all go back to our past we could possible think of one instance where we wanted something, did something, and maybe even tried to hurt somebody for our own selfish gain. Tonight's devotional is about that very thing.
I remember as boy I would ride my bike around the neighborhood and jump the curbs just to get a little air. So one day the neighborhood boy came out and asked if I could show him how to jump curbs. I said sure, you just go real fast and aim for the flat part of the curb, but not the slight slope. I said let me mark where you should aim your wheel and that away you won't miss. He said O.K., and got on his bike, rode to the end of the street, turned around, and he began to pedal his little legs off. He got closer and closer and nailed the spot exactly where I had told him. He hit that curb so hard that he flipped over the handlebars and landed on his back. This poor boy ended up breaking his collarbone. I remember that night how awful I felt about what Troy and I had done. Yes, your Pastor too.
I remember telling him I was sorry, but I never told him I was really trying to make him crash for our amusement. I learned my lesson from this, and I never, ever, tried to hurt someone on purpose again.
Well, I started reading one of my favorite books in the bible, 2 Samuel. As I was studying I came across that part where David took his power for granted. He saw a beautiful married woman that he wanted for himself. He knew she would have to go to him since it was ordered by the king. He had his way with her, and then found out little later she was pregnant. Well the king had no choice in his mind what he had to do. He would have her husband taken to the front lines of a very dangerous war so that he would be killed. Well, he died alright, and now Bathsheba would be David's wife.
After this had taken place, God sends David's dear friend, Nathan, to tell him a story about a man who has done wrong to another person, and the story goes like this: There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man's own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man's lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest. On hearing the story, David was furious and said, “As surely as the Lord lives, any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity." Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!
The story goes on where God punishes him by taking his new born baby. I think about this story and how we can never hide our sin from God. We may hide it from our neighbor, our spouse, our children; but we will never hide it from the one who hates lies and meanness.
I know for a fact I was punished for what I had done later in life. It was 6-8 years later when I went out with some friends, and I was minding my own business when all of sudden 4 guys jumped out of their car and began to start hitting me. I was hit with a bottle, kicked in the butt by a boot, door slammed on my leg, my nose broken, and my front tooth knocked out. You may be asking yourself why, or what did you really do Eric? To be honest, I didn't do one thing to deserve that beating. It was not until I decided to share this story that I realize I did deserved it. What I did to that sweet little boy was mean. I deserved to have my face knocked in; and I am pretty sure God will punish those men for their wrong doing to me some day as well.
Deuteronomy 32:35 says, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them."
My final thoughts: If you are thinking about something you ought not to do, may I encourage you to really pray about it. You will not get away with it. If your heart is jealous, sad, or hard against church; please pray that God will give you Peace. Do not wish anyone bad will, for that will only cause you pain.
Do you have a Nathan in your life who will confront you when you are doing wrong? Can you be a Nathan to someone else? We as Christians should be able to go to each other in love so that we can bring the others back to where God wants us.
Have a good evening,