Nick Poindexter

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Tag: David (page 1 of 2)

Against You Have I Sinned

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
-Psalm 51:4 (NIV)

After King David was exposed of his affair with Bathsheba, he expressed his sorrow through the words of this psalm. The domino effect of his sinful choices had sent piercing ripples throughout his own life as well as others.

David could have written, “Against Bethsheba have I sinned,” and that would be true. He took advantage of her sexually. He could have added, “Against Uriah have I also sinned.” Another fact, since David plotted his murder. He could have even threw in, “Against Joab too have I sinned,” since he made him force Uriah to the frontlines of battle.

If David had written his psalm using those examples, no one would argue with it. But David was honest and knew that no one had experienced more pain from his sin than God. Ultimately, David rebelled against him.

Sometimes when you sin, it only affects you. On the other hand, sometimes your sin affects others. And sometimes it affects you and others.

But your sin always affects God because it always breaks his heart. That’s why acknowledging our sin is an issue of our relationship of God more so than just our relationship with others. And thankfully David understood that.

Therefore, we’ve got to be careful when we start justifying certain behavior with comments like, “It’s not hurting anyone!” Because there will always be sinful things that don’t seem to do any damage to others on the surface. Even though that may be true, a better question is, “Is this hurting God?”

David couldn’t be more clear. With any sinful action, the answer is assuredly, “Yes.”

I think that perspective is the key to overcoming the battle with sin. The point isn’t that we have a sin problem per se… It’s that we have a God problem.

What I mean is that many people claim to love God above all others. But if you truly love God, will you blatantly choose to do things that cause him pain? When all is said and done, we must realize that our sinful choices are a direct punch into his gut. Whether they hurt someone on earth or not, God is still wounded.

Despite what we try to convince ourselves, our sin isn’t truly about ourselves or others. At its core, it is an issue between us and God.

In a moment of true repentance, David said it best… Against God, God only, have we sinned.

 

Shut Up And Say Wow

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

I recently had the incredible privilege of witnessing the birth of my first child, a son. I will never forget the feeling of seeing my little boy in flesh and bone for the first time. It was an indescribable experience and one of the best moments of my life. I can hardly imagine topping it.

But on the other hand, in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that consequential. I mean, statistically speaking, 4 children are born in the world every second. Expanding that further, 250 babies appear per minute, and 15,000 in an hour. That’s approximately 360,000 newborns entering into the world every, single day! Hardly something worth getting excited over. Babies being born is basically the equivillent of my heart beating. It’s cool and all, but it’s certainly not newsworthy. And clearly isn’t not something worth praising God over! Anything that happens 400+ times while I brush my teeth isn’t worth celebrating or giving the Creator any credit for.

Two wildly different opinions on the exact same event. And according to David the psalmist, the ideology of the second is thoroughly and utterly wrong.

Instead of looking at the human experience with a wide lenses, he instead focuses on the up-close details. Just look how full of amazement and reverence David is… “God, you created my inmost being? Woah! You knit me together in my mother’s womb? Yeah! I am fearfully and wonderfully made, by you? Wow!” It’s as if David is saying, “I couldn’t care less how ordinary a new baby’s conception or birth is… I’m still going to praise you for it because you care about it, you were involved with it, and ultimately you still did it!”

Because it really is all about perspective, isn’t it? One can play devil’s advocate about the so-called “works of God” simply being nothing more than humdrum, day-to-day events. A baby is born? Cool, but no big deal. A colorful sunset? Yeah, that’s nice. I woke up and didn’t die in my sleep? Oh well, another day.

Just because something is common doesn’t make it any less miraculous.

When I laid eyes on my little boy for the first time, my first thought wasn’t, “This is neat, but it happens more than a quarter million times per day.” All I could do is marvel in the surreal, supernatural moment and say, “Wow.”

The more I read the Bible, the more I find story after story of people who, like David, were fixiated on God’s power and ability. They didn’t take anything he did for granted. Everything they encountered, it was done through him and by him and for him. They didn’t look for reasons to deny praise to God… Instead, they looked for opportunities to praise him for anything. To them, everything was a testimony to God’s majesty.

You can downplay things against God’s greatness. Or, you can drop your jaw in awe of him. Sometimes we all just need to shut up and say, “Wow.”

Who knows? You might even start praising him for the ordinary.

Taste And See

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
-Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

I love being at the grocery store on days when they are giving away free samples of food. My stomach gets fed and who knows? Maybe I’ll discover a new favorite I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. It’s really a brilliant marketing strategy. The companies are basically saying, “We believe we have a good product. To prove that, give it a taste.” They are challenging the shoppers to take a chance and try it for themselves.

In Psalm 34, the author David is sharing that the Lord is good. And if you don’t believe it, then he says to just taste and see for yourself.

I think it’s interesting which of the five senses was used in this verse. Putting your faith in something you just have to hear, smell, touch or see is a relatively safe gamble. If you hear something that’s irritating, you can cover your ears. If you smell something disgusting, you can pinch your nose. If you touch something unpleasant, you can wash your hands. If you see something unattractive, you can look away. Yeah, there might be some short-term discomfort with each of those scenarios, but no harm, no foul.

But when you actually taste something, you are taking a chance. What you eat is either going to be beneficial for you, or it is going to harmful. If the result of the test is bad, it might leave a gross taste in your mouth or make your stomach hurt. Or, if you’re not so lucky, what you ate could even poison and kill you. And that’s the thing with tasting… Once the act is done, there’s no turning back.

Whether you’ve thought about it before or not, tasting is serious business.

That’s why it’s so important that we understand the psalmist’s word choice here. He didn’t say to simply listen, sniff, feel or look… There’s no real risk involved there. He said to trust the Lord, go out on a limb and taste his goodness directly.

You see, you’ll never know just how delicious that food is on the shelf next to you is until you take that first bite.

Likewise, God is daring us to give him a try so he can prove that he is good indeed. He’s declaring, “Don’t take my word for it… You’ve got to experience it firsthand. Trust me completely with your life. Follow me obediently with your heart, soul and mind. Surrender your will exclusively to me. I stand by my product… I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.”

Just taste and see.

I Yam What I Yam

Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.

“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
-1 Samuel 17:38-40 (NLT)

One of my favorite cartoon characters has always been the spinach-lovin’ sailor Popeye. In particular, I love his personal mantra, “I yam what I yam.” No matter what his others said about him, Popeye stood firm in understanding his identity.

In 1 Samuel Chapter 17, right as the young shepherd David finally convinces King Saul that he should be the one to fight the Philistine warrior Goliath, an easily-overlooked conversation occurs between the two. Saul gave the boy a helmet, armor and a sword — everything one would need for battle. But when David tries them on, it just doesn’t work. I can imagine the helmet sliding on his head, the mail weighing him down, and the sword almost tipping him over.

A solider just isn’t who David was.

Instead, true to his character as a shepherd, David picks five stones and heads toward the giant with only his staff and sling. And of course, as the story goes, David defeats and kills Goliath with one quick hurl of his sling.

I believe we often think about ourselves in the fashion that Saul thought about David. We essentially try to make ourselves into people we’re not, many times at the suggestion of others. Instead of focusing on maximizing who God has made us to be at this very moment in time, we are enamored with being everything that we think we should be. So we cover ourselves with “armor” — things that are cumbersome and a hindrance. Things that aren’t in accord with who God has made us to be right now.

Despite Saul’s best intentions, the story probably would have ended differently had David waddled out into the valley dressed up as a solider. I wonder what part of God’s story for my life I might have hindered by playing pretend as well?

I can try to make my self into someone I’m not, but who am I fooling? Certainly not God.

I yam what I yam.

From The Sheep Pens

He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens. He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—God’s own people, Israel.
-Psalm 78:70-71

When it comes to the great heroes of the Bible, David is a clear favorite. He was a righteous king, a courageous warrior, an acclaimed musician, and an incredible poet. I mean, what’s not to like? The guy did it all.

I think it’s important to remember that while God did do amazing things through King David’s life, he wasn’t born into royalty. David wasn’t handed anything on a silver platter. These verses from Psalms are a nice reminder of David’s humble beginnings. Yes, he did eventually lead God’s chosen people as king of Israel. But he first had to lead sheep.

First of all, being a shepherd wasn’t exactly the most prestigious job of the time. It was hard, dirty, stinky work, but it took a lot of responsibility. Sheep turned to their shepherd for direction, for needs, and for protection — just like Israel would for David later on. Unbeknown to him at the time, it was just the type of experience he would need down the road as Israel’s king. This was his training ground.

This idea made me think of what the  “sheep pens” of today are. Those simple, ordinary, day-to-day situations that we take lightly. God may have already chosen us from the classroom, sports team, restaurant, delivery truck,  or cubicle, and is using that moment to prepare us for our future.

God, I know you have great plans for my life. Wherever I’m currently at, teach me and use me. And if I must care for “sheep” first, so be it.

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