Teach forgiveness by living a life of forgiveness.

forgiveness

Psalm 51

Saw this on the wall at a school function last night. It is a wonderful way to teach children how to get along with each others. Adults too!!
When someone hurts you, or you are aware that someone has hurt someone else and you spread it around – you are creating a barrier – relationally- for that person they will never be able to befriend anyone in your circle of friends.  Children are learning at a younger age to be unforgiving because adults are perfecting the skill right before them and children are listening and watching.
I always go back to David.
What did Nathan the prophet do when God revealed David’s sin to him? There was a school of prophets back then.
The Bible does not record him sharing:
1). David’s adultery (“Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” 2 Sam 11:4-5).
2). the multiple homicides he committed (not only did Uriah died but so did all of the men who were sent to the wall to fight with him–” In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.  In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died ( 2 Sam 11:14-17).
Nope he went straight to David told him what God said. David’s Response, “Against thee only have I sinned!” (Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Ps 51:4).
1). Not that Bathsheba did not matter.
2). Not that his sin caused the entire nation to fall under covenant violation didn’t matter.
3). But his relationship of being God’s vassal was broken and could have had dire consequences for the nation.
What was God’s response?
1). Go to Joab and apologize to him for forcing him to commit multiple murders?
2). Go to Bathsheba and apologize for using your position to force her into a relationship with the king – she didn’t have a choice – he could have done something to her and her family?
3). Go to the priest and or the people and reveal your sin to them?
He acknowledged his sin – Nathan did ask him for proof of his brokenness.

 “Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die” (2 Samuel 12:13-14).

When a child acknowledges his misbehavior – forget it. When he/she does not – doing the guilt trip thing is not going to change the behavior or transform the child.It takes time and loving care.
God did that with David. Of course, he suffered the consequences for his behavior. His own son turned against him. Not only that he openly did the same thing with David’s wives and concubines that David did in secret with Bathsheba, It happened many years later, but it did happen (“This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel” (2 Samuel 12:11-12;).
Prophecy Fulfilled: “Ahithophel answered, “Sleep with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute.” So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
Sin has its consequences, but so does the sweet aroma of unconditional forgiveness(2 Sam 16:21-22).
Remember to model forgiveness or we will reap the reward of unforgiveness in our own lives.

Psalm 51 (NIV)

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,  in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Do we have a Moses, Ezra or Nehemiah in America or is that our job?

Moses mapped out under God’s revelation, and directives – way before Samuel, David and or even Solomon the cultus of the Priesthood, and the roles of each person in priestly or kingly leadership was set. He even mapped out what the intended tabernacle should look like and the roles of prophets. He also mapped out the rulership based on a the “kingly” rule. No God was not telling Samuel that he didn’t want the nation to have a king.

AN OUTLINE OF DEUTERONOMY

  1. The Covenant Setting (1:1-5)
  2. The Historical Review (1:6-4:40)
    1. The Past Dealings of Yahweh with Israel (1:6-3:29)
    2. The Exhortation of Moses (4:1-40)
  3. The Preparation for the Covenant Text (4:41-49)
    1. The Narrative Concerning Cities of Refuge (4:41-43)
    2. The setting and introduction (4:44-49)
  4. The Principles of the Covenant (5:1-11:32)
    1. The Opening Exhortation (5:1-5)
    2. The Ten Commandments (5:6-21)
    3. The Narrative Relating the Sinai Revelation and Israel’s Response (5:22-33)
    4. The Nature of the Principles (chap. 6)
    5. The Content of the Principles (chaps. 7-11)
      1.  261Dispossession of Nonvassals (7:1-26)
      2. Yahweh as the Source of Blessing (8:1-20)
      3. Blessing as a Product of Grace (9:1-10:11)
      4. Love of Yahweh and Love of Men (10:12-22)
      5. Obedience and Disobedience and Their Rewards (11:1-32)
  5. The Specific Stipulations of the Covenant (12:1-26:15)
    1. The Exclusiveness of Yahweh and Worship of Him (12:1-16:17)
      1. The central sanctuary (12:1-14)
      2. The sanctity of blood (12:15-28)
      3. The abomination of pagan gods (12:29-32)
      4. The evil of false prophets (13:1-18)
      5. The distinction between clean and unclean animals (14:1-21)
      6. Tribute to the sovereign (14:22-16:17)
    2. Kingdom Officials (16:18-18:22)
      1. Judges and officials (16:18-17:13)
      2. Kings (17:14-20)
      3. Priests and Levites (18:1-8)
      4. Prophets (18:9-22)
    3. Civil Law (19:1-22:4)
    4. Laws of Purity (22:5-23:18)
    5. Laws of Interpersonal Relationships (23:19-25:19)
    6. Laws of Covenant Celebration and Confirmation (26:1-15)
  6. Exhortation and Narrative Interlude (26:16-19)
  7. The Curses and Blessings (chaps. 27-28)
    1. The Gathering at Shechem (27:1-10)
    2. The Curses that Follow Disobedience of Specific Stipulations (27:11-26)
    3. The Blessings that Follow Obedience (28:1-14)
    4. The Curses that Follow Disobedience of General Stipulations (28:15-68)
  8. The Epilogic Historical Review (chaps. 29-30)
  9. Deposit of the Text and Provision for Its Future Implementation (31:1-29)
  10. The Song of Moses (31:30-32:43)
  11. Narrative Interlude (32:44-52)
  12. The Blessing of Moses (chap. 33)
  13. Narrative Epilogue (34:1-12)
(Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti, p 279-280).
He had already planned that out, and He had already determined that it would be David. He had already determined that Christ would be his direct descendant.
No, the people were not spiritually ready for that yet.

“The account opens where Chronicles ends—with a Hebrew version of the edict of the Persian king Cyrus authorizing the Jews of the exile to return to their homeland “(Ezra 1:1-4; cf. 2 Chr 36:22-23; Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti, 344).

When Ezra was called by God to go back to the exiles to reinstitute the cultus of the priesthood and reinstitute the temple worship he could not even begin there.

The narrator then recounted the preparations for return including the amassing of precious metals Ezra (1:5-11). 

Next follows a list of the returnees (chap. 2), the total number of which was 42,360 (2:64). 

To this list should be compared a nearly identical one in Neh 7:5-73. 

On their return, the leaders of the community assembled with the populace to rebuild the great temple altar and to offer on it the festival sacrifices, all, so far, without the benefit of a temple (Ezra 3:1-7). Burdened by this deficiency, Zerubbabel, the governor, and Jeshua, the priest, undertook the temple construction in the second year of the return (c. 536 BC; 3:8-13), an undertaking whose very commencement gave rise to intense local opposition (4:1-4).  (Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti, ibid).

The remnant had become so polluted in every way through interfaith marriages that led to spiritual adultery and idolatry – which was totally contrary to what was laid out in Deuteronomy – well let’s just say the Pentateuch, that He had to begin with the personal cleansing of the people.

Having arrived in Jerusalem with a large entourage, Ezra confronted some problems that had engulfed the Jewish state since its reestablishment 80 years earlier. 

   Chief among these was the intermarriage of Jews with Gentiles, a matter which, after much prayer and confession (9:1-10:4), he addressed head-on by mandating divorce across the board (10:5-44).

He ordered all of the men who had married women who were pagans to divorce their wives. Now we in or the modern world would think about the psychological damage that would have done, the unfairness of it all.

NEHEMIAH COMMISSION: Meanwhile Nehemiah had heard reports of these and other calamities from his vantage point in Susa and, having gotten permission from King Artaxerxes for a leave of absence to go to Jerusalem (Neh 1:1-2:8), undertook to do so (2:9-11). 

Once there he assessed the ruinous condition of the city (2:12-16) and determined to do something about it (2:17-20). The work of rebuilding the walls, though carried out with the most well-thought-out strategy (chap. 3), was impeded in every way possible by locals who were determined to subvert it (chap. 4). Meanwhile, Nehemiah had to contend with internal problems such as the exaction of usury by one Jew against another (5:1-13), a practice much at odds with Nehemiah’s own self-sacrifice even though he was governor (5:14-19). Having dealt with this, he had to continue to resist the blandishments and threats of his enemies (6:1-14)  until, at last, the walls were finished (6:15-19; Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti, 344-345).

 

Israel was supposed to be God exemplary nation. It was meant to be the country that all countries looked to as an example of how to live a Holy Life – there is a point to this.
God promised the patriarchs of old that there would always be a remnant left in Israel, but for multiple generations, His chosen people had chosen Baal over Him. The book is very intense but loses its validity if it is not read at the same time as Nehemiah, and if one does not know the history of the nation of Israel…that is why the Bible has to be read according to the MT order and not our current order of the Bible. Anyway.
Ezra went back home with the Pentateuch to set up “shop” so to speak, but transformation had to take place first. The people of Israel had lived 70 years in exile, and spent numerous dynasties is absolute disobedience to God’s law.
Juxtapose Ezra & Nehemiah with 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles and you will begin to get a picture of the base depravity of that nation.
Then read what Jeremiah had to do when he was sent to the nation to tell them to accept simply the just punishment that God was going to rain down on them. It is really easier to listen to these books of the Bible; it sinks in more.
Th priesthood was in shambles. Holiness did not exist in the temple. God’s presence was not there because the people who were responsible for “maintaining” a holy environment and created “an unholy mess”. Now let’s jump back to our present day.
America is where it is because of the state of our churches. Let’s just take the blue pill and deal with it.
Go back into our own history and see how well we have adhered to Matthew 5,6, and 7. I am not even going to go into the NT after Acts. In what way have, we treated the strangers in our gates with love and respect as dictated by the love of God?
“Let’s clean up the church house and leave the Whitehouse to God because He and only He can fix that.”
We have a biblical responsibility to that building and the people who are in DC.
Let’s us maintain that biblical responsibility.
We have local responsibilities to our neighbors – who are our neighbors? Every living human being whom we are in contact with, not just the people who we go to church with and our family members.
Our nation is a mess because we – the church is a mess.
What would happen in this country if we were all on mission for Christ??

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