10 March 2011 (Chamashee/Teruah)|
Day #359, 5935 AM
One Night of Shame
How Easy to Blight Your Reputation
There is a mistaken tendency amongst casual, lawless believers, to think that sudden grace will wipe away serious sins both in heaven and on earth. Well, yes, it is, of course possible for someone who has committed a serious sin to obtain instant forgiveness and renewed life in Yah'shua (Jesus) upon sincere repentance and deep contrition, but that does not mean that his reputation will be easily restored, or at all. Grace is not, in any case, cheap, and it was not made available to us casually either. It cost a fortune - the death of Yah's Son on the cross.
"Dead flies can make a whole bottle of perfume stink, and a little stupidity can cancel out the greatest wisdom" (Eccl.10:11, GNB).
One night of shame was to blight a king's later life. Though he repented in tears and obtained Yahweh's forgiveness, it cost him several members of his family - infant death, rape, murder, rebellion and enough trouble to weigh down a man for the rest of his life even after repentance and forgiveness. I speak of King David, of course, whom scripture says did right in the eyes of Yahweh "except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite" (1 Kings 15:5, NKJV). That one "matter" was what caused all that other woe...and it was far more than what I have mentioned. It actually cost the lives of tens of thousands of people because of civil war instigated by one of his sons, Absalom. who presumably thought that he, too, could get away with murder. After all, his Dad did.
One act of adultery which led to premediated murder cost David his reputation, for one thing. That one indiscretion cost him his authority over his family and encouraged his enemies to take advantage of his weakened honour - worse, it led the enemies of Yahweh to mock the Almighty:
This one moment of weakness affected not only David's family but the whole of Israel, bringing curses upon the nation, and was probably the catalyst that would in the next generation under his son Solomon and his apostacy cause the disintegration of the United Tribal Kingdom. Though David was forgiven by Yahweh his moment of wickedness was not forgotten by men.
"And Nathan (the prophet) said to David, 'Yahweh also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of Yahweh to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die'" (2 Sam.12:13-14, NKJV).
When in my youth I shot at a sparrow in a tree with my air rifle and killed it accidentally, though I was heart-broken and sorry for what I had done and never shot at a living thing again after that, I could not undo what I had done. You see, there are consequences that not even divine forgiveness can stay.
Never, never be tempted to think that you can sin and get away with it because of divine mercy. You may indeed obtain grace upon the proper repentance but a "dead fly" - a little folly, a little sin - can be responsible for turning people away from the very Emet (Life) and Chayim (Life) which you wish to attract them to, namely Christ (Jn.14:6). A major indiscretion can turn our testimony into a "stink" and be a constant stumbling block in our desire to live nobly for the Master. David may have had a right heart in all but this one terrible pair of deeds but it did no good for his reputation and the respect a godly life that Yahweh commands we present to the world as His ambassadors.
Don't mess around with grace or you may find the world messes with you and opposes and defeats your purposes. Stay clean. Stay pure.