Time to Proceed with Care

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 16-17; Acts 20:1-16

You, Lord, are my portion, my cup;
    you control my destiny.
The property lines have fallen beautifully for me;
    yes, I have a lovely home.

I will bless the Lord who advises me;
    even at night I am instructed
    in the depths of my mind.
I always put the Lord in front of me;
    I will not stumble because he is on my right side.
That’s why my heart celebrates and my mood is joyous;
    yes, my whole body will rest in safety
10     because you won’t abandon my life to the grave;
    you won’t let your faithful follower see the pit.

11 You teach me the way of life.
    In your presence is total celebration.
Beautiful things are always in your right hand.

Psalm 16:5-11, Common English Bible

As I read Psalm 16, the thought occurred to me, we need to proceed with great care when we find ourselves in David’s position. Two thoughts occurred to me. First, the lesson David is saying to God that he is the only righteous person. Second, and probably more important, David himself admits, he has things good saying, “Yes I have a beautiful home.” If David had things worse, if he were, say, Job, would David be the only righteous person then? Based on what we know of David’s life, I tend to doubt it would be true.

As to David’s first claim, that he alone is righteous, prior to the death of King Saul, Saul’s son, and David’s closest friend shows himself righteous again and again. When King Saul would attempt to take David’s life, Jonathan comes to David’s aid and rescue more than once. When we look at David’s later life, the Prophet Nathan is the person who had the courage and the righteousness to stand and face a king who, in David, had lost his way and could no longer be, in any way considered righteous.

In the book of Job, God brags on Job at the beginning of the story saying, “My servant Job is righteous, nothing will pull him away from me.” Job loses his home, his family, and ultimately his health and though he questions why God would be angry with him and he struggles with his experience, he does remain faithful.

God didn’t make the same claim about David. Of course, we know David was far from righteous. He committed adultery. He was a murderer. In addition to all that, he wasn’t a very good parent either. It is enough to convince us that David wasn’t as righteous as he might want you and me to think.

For David, or for any of us, we step into real spiritual danger when we make ourselves better than everyone else. When David thinks of himself as being the world’s lone righteous person, he has become far from faithful.

The second danger David shows us we face is, having it all and that being evidence of God’s blessing. There are many in the world that have great physical wealth and are living, by their own admission, outside the faith. And, would we remain as faithful if all we have were somehow taken away?

I hope we would but in truth, I don’t know that we can truly answer that question. We still remain, however, living in the grace of God and in the end, that is all we need.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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