Jill Jarrell Newsome
I guess I thought of these stories when Franklin Graham was talking about sin and asked if you had ever taken anything. He also said even if you were a child it was still a sin. When I was a little girl my Granny and I went to Woolco. I saw a wallet I wanted and I hinted (because it would be rude to ask) but Granny did not offer to buy it. So, I took it. What I remember is that when my mom saw that wallet and asked me where it came from and I told her.......we went back to Woolco - with the wallet - and I confessed and gave the wallet back. I was disciplined. I would like to say I never stole again but there was this time in the third grade but that is another blog.
I never liked being disciplined. I guess no one does. But I do know discipline is for our own good. Hebrews 12: 11, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." God disciplines us. We have to submit to God's loving hand on our lives. When God disciplines us He is being loving and merciful.
Two of Israel's kings stand out in their responses to a divine rebuke. King David and King Uzziah, both, had sinned and were confronted by the Lord through one of His prophets. David's response was I have sinned against the Lord. 2 Samuel 12: 13, "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.'" King David was truly heart broken when he was confronted. He repented and turned away from sin. He changed his ways.
King Uzziah's response was different than King David's. 2 Chronicles 26: 19, "Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead." Uzziah became furious. Instead of humbling himself and repenting he got mad.
The rest of their lives were very different also. King David was successful and loved the Lord. 1 Kings 2: 10-11, "Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. He had reigned forty years over Israel—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. King Uzziah was struck with leprosy for disobeying God. 2 Kings 15: 5, "The Lord afflicted the king with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house. The king’s son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land."
We are all in need of a Savior! Some of us will respond better to this message than others. Some of us will be hurt, offended, and furious. Some of us will be glad because we know that, despite our sin, God loves us. We tend to be blind to our own faults, feeling righteous. Sometimes we need a rebuke from the Lord. Because He loves us, He rebukes us. Just like we may have told our children. Let's choose to respond with humility.
I like Thomas Moore's, "Humility, that low, sweet row, from which all heavenly virtues shoot."