Monday, July 18, 2011

Gone in an instant

"You do not know what tomorrow will bring."
~ James

In 1974, "Gone in 60 Seconds" told the the tale of car thieves. You run into Stripes to grab a soda and come out to find an empty parking spot. You have a car one minute and faster than you can say Penn & Teller, you're a pedestrian.

The Japanese know this full well. A beautiful morning. The earth trembles and the coastline disappears beneath the heaving sea. Thousands did not understand that they would face their creator in a few brief hours.

One moment you have a job, then your boss calls you into his office and you become just another useless bit of weight tossed overboard trying to keep a boat afloat.

God has warned us about life in a fallen world. The sun rises and sets with hypnotic regularity.  Surely, I will see the sunset tonight. In this world, we have to come to terms with sudden crises. At the beginning of May, the folks in Joplin, Missouri, looked forward to another normal summer. Today, they're still picking up the pieces from the tornado that bulldozed their town on May 22nd.

Dealing with such devastation is bad enough. Inflicting it is much, much worse.

One fateful night three thousand years ago, David strolled the rooftop of his palace. Before that night, in 2 Samuel 7 we read of God's covenant with the man after his own heart, a covenant to establish his kingdom..  In 2 Samuel 8 and 10, we read of the security and strength God brought to Israel through the hand of David and his strong leadership among his people (8:15). 2 Samuel 8 reveals to us the tender heart to this mighty warrior.  Then comes 2 Samuel 11.

From the rooftop, David catches a glimpse of Bathsheba in all her glory. Understand, David had other wives (plural) within his palace. Had he simply gotten his libido into a dander, certainly one of his wives could have satisfied him. But he lingered and ensnared himself in a devastating endeavour. James 1:13-15 in story form.

His consolidated kingdom became a place of chaos as rebellion burbled to life even within his own palace. Did the sins of the father lead to the ultimate demise of Israel (1 Kings 11:3)?

Here's the deal.  Do you really think that on that singular evening, David intended to bring about the demise of his kingdom and God's people?  I doubt it, but that is what he did. The pain, the death, the sorrow, and the agony heaped upon his head and the head of so many others for the oh so brief pleasure of sin for a season?

While none of us is king to a nation, your life has enormous impact well beyond the reach of your arm. You are one flesh with your woman. You may have sons and daughters who look to you to lead them toward the Lord. Many in the church depend upon you and your service. You are, if you name the name of Christ, his ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20) to a lost and dying world in your neighborhood, in your workplace, and in your community. If you let your guard down for an evening, you may find yourself mauled (1 Peter 5:8).

Take a few moments and read this article by John MacArthur on the fragility of our character and our reputation, but I ask you to consider it in light of your role as a husband. Many of us will have to deal with catastrophe from the world around us, but let it not be so that catastrophe comes upon us through our own hands.

Gents, always, love your wives!

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