As I contemplated what might be the first topic I might wish to discuss here, I realized something I wrote as a part of a ministry team serving with a Christian renewal movement called “A Walk To Emmaus” might do the trick. Therefore, with appropriate edits, I think we might spend at least a few weeks on that particular message to you that was given to the men our team recently ministered to:
Naturally understanding that there’s probably at least a few of you still scratching your heads about why on earth you allowed yourself to get dragged to something like this in the first place, I thought I’d take a quick opportunity here to say a thing or two that might help you get some of the answers you’re still seeking right now. I wish to start my own journey in doing that by first considering a few thoughts I had in contemplating your Walk theme Scripture of Psalm 129:23 & 24–
Artscroll English Tenach: 23 & 24 Examine me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. And see if I have a vexing way; and lead me in the way of eternity. (A quick note on this from the commentary in the Artscroll Tehillim on these verses from the Jewish sage Sforno: “…Search me, O God, study my situation, and You will [surely] know [that] my heart is completely faithful to You…If, O Lord, You have noticed that I have failed to perform a certain mitzvah (good deed), rest assured that it is due to some error or accident. If You examine me, You will surely know that I entertain no thoughts of rebellion against You…”)
But to me, what is particularly interesting to note is the way Eugene Peterson translates these verses in The Message Translation: 23-24 Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me; get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—then guide me on the road to eternal life. The way King David is talking here in this Psalm, it almost seems that he’s literally begging and pleading for his God to basically put him through a full-blown trial. BUT WHY MIGHT HE ASK THIS?
Let’s first consider the course of events that we find happening throughout David’s entire personal life span. Our God called him as a mere lad who was treated as the runt of the family, BUT YET God the Father in His grace saw fit to anoint Him a future king of Israel because David was “…a man after God’s own heart”. He slew a lion, a bear, and oh–some uncircumcised Philistine giant named Goliath, I recall? When David finally became king of first Judah and then ALL of Israel, he reunited all the tribes into one kingdom and even had it on his heart one time to build his God what would eventually be known as the Temple in Jerusalem (before the Almighty, of course, told him that David’s son would build it instead of Him).
BUT–David wasn’t a completely stellar character to work with either. Let’s see…among the items on the naughty side of the list include adultery, murder, turning a blind eye to incest and rape in his own family, absolutely abominable fatherhood skills up to complete emotional abandonment of his own kids, too much bloodshed on his hands due to the many battles against other nations he had to fight as king…Not to mention that some of his own sons tried to take away the throne, illegal census counts, and other acts of stupidity–and you at an initial glance could say that David’s overall track record as a king over Israel wasn’t necessarily anything you could surely write home about.
So what’s a king of Israel to do? As we’re forced to put the car in Park for this edition–you, dear reader, will need to tune in next week for more. Until next time (as He allows, of course), see ya at the CROSSroads–
CoyRHolley at the Crossroads