Archive for the ‘Righteousness of Faith’ Category

Righteousness of Faith #4

Posted: November 19, 2011 in Righteousness of Faith

Nathan’s response to David’s confession was both comforting and disturbing. Although he deserved to die for his sins, David would not die because God had taken away his sin (12:13). What a relief these words must have been. But what followed would pierce David through: the son his sin had produced would die. It is David’s response to the death of this son that catches my attention.

Before i go to the story itself, I would like to make a few observations.

This is the first of a number of painful events David will experience as a result of his sin regarding Uriah and Bathsheba. David will suffer the loss of the child conceived through the sinful union of David and Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. Next, David’s daughter will be raped by one of his sons. In retaliation for Amnon’s sin, Absalom murders him. Later, David’s son, Absalom, will rebel against his father and temporarily take over the throne. In the process, he will sleep with some of David’s concubines, before all Israel, and on the roof of the palace from which David first looked upon Bathsheba. All of these things are directly or indirectly the consequences of David’s sin with Bathsheba.

The tragic death of David’s son is a consequence of David’s sin, but it is not the penalty David deserves for his sin. The penalty for adultery and murder is death, on each count. David deserves to die, on two counts: adultery and murder. But Nathan has made it very clear that David’s sin has been “taken away.” The death of this child is a painful consequence of David’s sin, but it is not punishment for his sin, per se. That punishment has been taken away, borne by the Lord Jesus Christ.

The fast which David observes is a very serious one. In the Hebrew Old Testament, there is a unique way of emphasizing a point. The Hebrew language of the Old Testament repeats the word for emphasis. Thus, when God told Adam that he would “surely die” (Genesis 2:17) He said something like this: “You shall die a death.” Thus, Young’s Literal Translation reads,

“And of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it–dying thou dost die.”

In our text, God uses this doubling method to emphasize the certainty of the child’s death:

“However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die” (2 Samuel 12:14).

The same doubling is found in verse 16:

David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground.

Only in the marginal notes of the KJV do we see the literal rendering, “fasted a fast.” The point is that David’s fasting was not entered into casually. He was dead serious about this fast, for it was a matter of life and death.

Bathsheba is not prominent here, but David. The sin of adultery was David’s doing, while (in my way of reading this story) Bathsheba was a victim. So it is only fitting that it is David who is fasting and praying, pleading with God for the child’s life.

The author changes the way he refers to Bathsheba. In verse 15 he speaks of Bathsheba, the mother of the child who died, as “Uriah’s widow.” In verse 24, there is a very significant change. Here, the author refers to this same woman, the mother of David’s second child Solomon, as “his wife Bathsheba.” Not only has God come to accept this second child, He has come to accept Bathsheba as David’s wife.

The final events of chapter 12 give us a definite sense of closure. David’s sin is to be understood as the exception, rather than the rule in his life:

Because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite (1 Kings 15:5).

Chapters 11 and 12 of 2 Samuel are almost parenthetical, then, as they depict this exceptional period in David’s life. This was a time when he was not a “man after God’s heart.” And so we find chapter 11 beginning with a description of Israel going to battle, while David stays at home (11:1). We find verses 26-31 of chapter 12 reporting how David showed up for the war, and when it was won, all Israel returned home to Jerusalem. There is a sense of closure, of finality, here, which I think the author intended us to feel. In addition, we find that our text records the death of Bathsheba’s first son, followed rather quickly by the account of the birth of the second, Solomon, who was to rule on the throne of his father, David.

after seven days the child died.52 David had mourned when Saul and Jonathan died in battle (2 Samuel 1), when Abner was killed by Joab (2 Samuel 3), and even when Nahash the Ammonite king died (2 Samuel 10). His mourning here, however, is not a mourning over the death of his son (for he has not yet died), but is instead the mourning of repentance. David mourns as a sign of his repentance as he beseeches God to spare the life of his son.

Is it right for David to beseech God to spare the life of this child when He has already said that He is going to take the life of the child? I believe the answer is “Yes!” David knew that some prophecies were warnings of what God would do unless men repented.

David found consolation and comfort in the death of the child because he was assured that, although the child could not return to be with him in life, he would go to be with the child in heaven.

While i do not understand righteous faith in the way i would like i do see that i must continue the pursuit and let God take care of the rest.

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Righteousness of Faith #3

Posted: November 19, 2011 in Righteousness of Faith

For me the woman with the issue of blood had righteous faith. She makes her way against all the laws to where Jesus is on His way to heal a young girl. In spite of the law she touched the robe of Jesus and His robe of righteousness healed her. i love it that Jesus turns around and looks at her. She now sees the love and grace of Jesus and will never think that she stole the touch of His garment. Righteous faith brings God’s grace. The law will void out my faith. If the woman had followed the law she would never have been healed.

Law or righteous faith? The choice is mine.

What is righteousness? It is an attribute that implies that a person’s actions are justified, and can have the connotation that the person has been “judged” or “reckoned” as leading a life that is pleasing to God.

What is faith? In Christianity faith causes change as it seeks a greater understanding of God. Faith leads to an active life aligned with the ideals and the example of the one being trusted. It sees the mystery of God and his grace and seeks to know and become obedient to God.

Those are the educators words. i would change the definition of faith and say that, “it sees the mystery of God, his Grace and seeks to know Him personally and intimately.

All those definitions leave me with my conclusion that when i walk in Righteous faith God does not see my faults or short comings. Really? What’s the standard? Where are my boundaries? Is it just an issue of the heart? Abraham didn’t totally lie as Sarah was his half-sister. They shared the same father and not mothers so…. i guess that get’s him by? It appears as though Abraham doesn’t struggle with his lie… me, well i struggle with everything. Did Abraham know who he was in relationship to God more than i do, in spite of his junk?

At least with David there is a consequence… that sounds so wrong, as though i am the judge. But in all that David did he gets the title of being a man after God’s own heart. Do i sound jealous? So how did David deal with his decisions?

In the end, i must cast myselves upon the God to whom i have entrusted my soul and my eternal destiny. As Abraham said so long ago, “Shall not the judge of all the earth deal justly?” (Genesis 18:25).

Having said that, i think that David had a remarkable peace about the death of his first child by Bathsheba, a peace which caused those who witnessed it to marvel, and to question David about it.

After becoming King of Israel, things were going very well for David, perhaps too well. He seemed to have the Midas touch — everything he touched turned to gold. God had given him success in all he undertook. Like Israel of old, David appears to momentarily forget that his success was the result of God’s grace, and not a tribute to his efforts alone. The first glimpse of this overconfidence comes in 2 Samuel 7, where David expresses his desire to build a house for God. In response, God reminds David his successes are the manifestations of His grace (7:8-9). He goes on to assure David that there are good things yet in store for Israel, and that these too will be His doing (7:10-11). Having gently rebuked David for supposing that He really needed a “house,” God promised to build David a better “house,” one that is an eternal dynasty:

‘“The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you. 12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever (2 Samuel 7:11b-16).’”

David’s arrogance seems to increase. It is most evident in 2 Samuel 11. Israel is at war with the Ammonites, and in the Spring (the time that kings go to war), David sends his army to besiege Rabbah, the capital city of the Ammonites, where the last of the Ammonite opposition has sought refuge. David does not go to battle with his soldiers, but stays at home in Jerusalem, indulging himself in the good life while his soldiers camp in an open field. David gets up from his bed about the time his soldiers (and others) usually go to bed. As he is strolling on the roof of his palace, David happens to see something that was not meant to be seen — a young woman cleansing herself, most likely a ceremonial cleansing ceremony done in keeping with the law. The woman is beautiful, and David decides that he wants her. He sends messengers to find out who she is. Their answer — that she was Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite — should have ended the matter, but David had no intention of being deprived of anything he wanted. He sent for the woman and lay with her.

For David, it was all over after that one night of self-indulgence. He did not want another wife; he did not even appear to want an affair, just a night of pleasure. But God had other plans. Bathsheba conceived and eventually sent word to David that she was pregnant. When David’s efforts to deceive Uriah (and the people) into thinking Uriah had fathered this child, he had Uriah killed in battle with the help of Joab. After she had mourned for her husband, David brought Bathsheba into his home, taking her as his wife. Now at last, David hoped, it was over.

David displeased God, however, God would give David no rest or peace until he had come to see his sin for what it was and repented of it. After some period of distress (see Psalm 32:3-4), God sent Nathan to David with a story, a story which deeply upset David. David was furious. He insisted that the rich man who stole the poor man’s pet lamb deserved to die! Nathan then stopped David in his tracks with the words, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). As David heard Nathan’s recital of his sin, he broke, declaring to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13).

Righteousness of Faith #2

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Righteousness of Faith

A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world. Joseph Addison

Then Abraham does it again in Genesis 20 1-18 1NOW ABRAHAM journeyed from there toward the South country (the Negeb) and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he lived temporarily in Gerar. 2And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister. And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah [into his harem]. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said, Behold, you are a dead man (A dead man?) because of the woman whom you have taken [as your own], for she is a man’s wife. STOP AGAIN! Abraham lies and Abimelech is told by God in a dream that he is a dead man. How was he to know? Abraham is righteous by faith…? Shouldn’t there be better conduct when righteous is put together with any one?

4But Abimelech had not come near her, so he said, Lord, will you slay a people who are just and innocent? (GREAT QUESTION?)  5Did not the man tell me, She is my sister? (Go for it make your case!) And she herself said, He is my brother. In integrity of heart and innocency of hands I have done this. 6Then God said to him in the dream, Yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your heart, for it was I Who kept you back and spared you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not give you occasion to touch her. 7So now restore to the man his wife, for he is a prophet… really i though he was a liar? and he will pray for you and you will live… God agrees that Abimelec acted in integrity of heart and innocency of hands but let Abraham pray for him and he was healed.. (Shouldn’t Abimelec pray to deliver Abraham from his sin?) But if you do not restore her [to him], know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours. 8So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were exceedingly filled with reverence and fear. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, What have you done to us? And how have I offended you that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? ( i love this about this man. He goes right to the source.) You have done to me what ought not to be done [to anyone]  10And Abimelech said to Abraham, What did you see [in us] that [justified] you in doing such a thing as this? (Serious conflict resolution.) 11And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely there is no reverence or fear of God at all in this place, (i guess Abrahms discernment needs a little work.) and they will slay me because of my wife. 12But truly, she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father but not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13When God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, This kindness you can show me: at every place we stop, say of me, He is my brother. 14Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham and restored to him Sarah his wife. 15And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before you; dwell wherever it pleases you.  16And to Sarah he said, Behold, I have given this brother of yours a thousand pieces of silver; see, it is to compensate you [for all that has occurred] and to vindicate your honor before all who are with you; before all men you are cleared and compensated. 17So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, and they bore children, 18For the Lord had closed fast the wombs of all in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

i still don’t get any of this and how Abrahm is righteous in any way. And as for righteous faith… it seems as though Abraham has no faith and is all about working it out on his own and for his own benefit.

Righteousness of Faith #1

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Righteousness of Faith
I lay in the bed at the hospital and said, ‘let’s see what I have left.’ And I could see, I could speak, I could think, I could read. I simply tabulated my blessings, and that gave me a start. Dale Evans

The blessing of Abraham include more than health and wealth. The major blessing of Abraham was righteousness. Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law so that the blessings of Abraham could come on me. The promise of Abraham was that he would be the heir of the world. If i was going to be the heir of the world i would have to own some land. i would also have to be healthy and i would be fairly wealthy as well. It would be hard to be the heir of the world with no place to call home, with no money, and to do it while lying on my back dying from sickness.

Years ago i wrote a song called Abrahams Blessings are Mine. That’s what the word says, “i am his seed,” but the way i was thinking of blessings have not shown themselves? Romans 4:13 says, “For the promise to Abraham or his posterity, that he should inherit the world, did not come through [observing the commands of] the Law but through the righteousness of faith.

Did NOT come through the law BUT THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH! How have i missed these words for so long. The first verse of my song is, “If you fully obey the Lord your God and you carefully follow His word.” Anotherwards my song says, “if i follow the law.” What i see here is that Abraham’s blessings are not about my obedience. There might be a rewrite of my song coming out of this. Abraham did not get his blessings because he was obedient or had all his stuff in order. Abraham was a liar. He lied about his wife twice. He is not a perfect example of a man keeping the law, but his imperfections did not keep him from being a man of faith.

i’m a little confused about righteous faith when i read Genesis 12:10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down into Egypt to live temporarily, for the famine in the land was oppressive (intense and grievous). 11And when he was about to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, I know that you are beautiful to behold. 12So when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. (is the following an example of  righteous faith?) 13Say, I beg of you, that you are my sister, (seriously? His sister) so that it may go well with me (sounds like it’s all about him?) for your sake (who’s he trying to convince?) and my life will be spared because of you (this is the bottom line)14And when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into Pharaoh’s house [harem]. 16And he treated Abram well for her sake; he acquired sheep, oxen, he-donkeys, men servants, maidservants, she-donkeys, and camels. 17But the Lord scourged Pharaoh and his household with serious plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. STOP! This baffles me. Pharaoh did nothing wrong, it was Abraham that lied and Sarai who went along? But Pharaoh gets serious plagues.

18And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that you have done to me? (Pharaoh wants to know why?) Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19Why did you say, She is my sister, so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her and get away [from here]! 20And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him, and they brought him on his way with his wife and all that he had. Abraham lies, is the cause for Pharaoh’s sickness, and leaves with more than he came with.

Abraham’s blessings were not just spiritual in Genesis 13: it says Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. Abraham also lived to be 175 years old so his blessings also included physical health, at age 100 God renewed his youth and he bore children. And look at Sarah who at age 65 was desired by Pharaoh to be a part of his harom and then at 90 Abimelech wanted her for his herom, two heathen kings wanted this old woman. Abrahams blessings!