February 11, Saturday

REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on May 9, 2015.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“What I Learned About God’s Law After Getting a Speeding Ticket”

2 Sam. 12:9-14

“You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” 11 Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.”

I once got a speeding ticket in Arizona for driving 60 MPH back in 1985 when the legal limit was 55 MPH. It’s probably 70 or 75 MPH now. The speed limit is the rule of the road, much like how some countries have rules to drive on the right side of the road while others require the left side—they are completely arbitrary.  What isn’t arbitrary is the law of speed, which stipulates that the faster I go, the more time and distance it takes to stop. Ignoring that law may result in a serious accident that can kill or injure people.  This is to say, while it is no longer a volation to drive above 55 MPH in Arizona, that doesn’t abrogate the law of speed, which, once broken, can produce death.      

The same is true in the spiritual realm, for Paul states, “For before the law was given, sin was in the world.  But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.  Nevertheless, death reigned from time of Adam to the time of Moses, even those who did not sin by breaking a command” (Rom. 5:13-4).   Before the Mosaic Law was ever introduced, the law of sin (Rom. 7:23) was living and active, and reaping havoc on humanity who dared to ignore it.  King David challenged it head on and paid a dear price.   

This is what we can learn from David’s saga about the consequences of unmitigated and prolonged sin, with blatant hypocrisy to boot (even after God’s forgiveness has been granted): “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction” (Gal. 6:8a).   No one should be surprised to find, then, that Absalom later shames his father by “lay[ing] with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel” (2 Sam. 16:22).

Before I leave you all frightened, recall what apostle John stated: “There is a sin that leads to death. . . . All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death” (1 Jn. 5:16-7).  Whatever else John meant, he is saying this: while all sins are an affront to God, not all have the same consequences.  For instance, if you commit the kind of sin that David, as a top leader, committed—adultery and murder—you can expect steep discipline from God.  But, there are some sins that may not result in such devastating consequences meted out in such a swift fashion. 

But here is the good news: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Ps. 103:8-10).   Thank you, Lord, for being so gracious.

Prayer:  Holy Lord, I praise for your infinite grace and mercy.  Help me not to take your love for granted, but that I would fear You and hate sin.  Give me the desire to be holy as You are holy. Amen.    

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 6-7

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