But God was displeased

2 Samuel 11:27 When the period of mourning was over [for the death of Bathsheba’s husband], David sent for her and brought her to the palace . . . But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.

There’s something very satisfying about pulling crab grass out of my garden.  Especially since I’ve been away from weeding for three weeks and there’s been plenty of rain, so the unsightly things have had the chance to stretch their ugly tendrils in all directions. Find the root and with one good yank the whole thing comes free.  I can almost feel the flowers taking a deep breath of relief.

As I was weeding early this morning before my grandson Caleb arrived to play while his mommy and daddy work, I wondered whether the Master Gardener has the same sense of satisfaction when I let him pull weeds out of my heart-garden. Then over breakfast I came to this verse in my daily reading.

Adultery. Lying. Murder. It sounds like a soap opera. How did David, the man after God’s own heart, get to this place? I am SO GLAD that the Lord was displeased. What if he hadn’t cared? Out of his displeasure, God took action to confront David with what he had done. And to give David a path forward, out of that dark, awful place he was trapped in. A way to pull the weeds that were flourishing in his soul.

When I was little, maybe seven years old, I lied to my father. I did it to escape punishment for something I had done wrong. I don’t remember now what that wrong thing was—perhaps it was just a childish mistake, not an intentional wrongdoing. But I remember clearly the torment I experienced as I tried to go to sleep that night, the lie I had told burning into my conscience. It’s my most vivid early memory of recognizing myself as a sinner, capable of deliberately choosing to do wrong. I tossed and turned in my bed for hours.

Finally, when I could no longer bear it, I eased myself from the covers, tiptoed through my sleeping brother and sisters (four others of us in that bedroom), out into the darkness of the corridor, across our little patio to my parents’ room. Shaking so much I could hardly manage the few steps to my father’s bedside, I touched his shoulder. He didn’t wake up right away and I almost bolted. But finally he did rouse, and saw me, and quietly got up and out to the patio to find out what was wrong without waking my mother.

Making my confession was possibly the hardest, most liberating thing I had ever done. Dad listened attentively, acknowledged my sin, and granted me absolution. Hearing the words “I forgive you” has never since been as sweet as it was for me that night. It was the yank of the weed from my heart.

I went back to bed and slept soundly, with relief, peace, and joy sprouting. Dad never mentioned the incident again, and neither have I, until writing these words!

You may be thinking that my “little” lie doesn’t even fit into the same space as King David’s wrongdoing. But I don’t think God sees things like that, because every sin hurts not only us but others as well. And little ones, if not pulled out, soon send out tendrils in many other directions.

3 thoughts on “But God was displeased

  1. Wow, Debbie, this is a powerful story and imagery, and of course I can picture your steps in our little Nebaj home. For all of us who are privileged to read your reflections, may this be a reminder not only of the power of sin but also of confession and forgiveness!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The little foxes spoil the vine (SofS 2.15). You’re absolutely right, Deb! Whenever the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin we need to deal seriously with it. If not, we get cauterized. Our hardened hearts don’t hear nearly as well as they should. And hardness or footholds grows into strongholds. Then it takes major breaking to destroy them (2Co 10/4-6). No fun at all! While it’s painful to confess and repent and make restitution of smaller things, it is sure a lot better than letting them grow and having to go through a much bigger breaking. Cloud and Townsend’s laws of boundaries, specifically their law of consequences says that when we don’t suffer the consequences of our actions in the present, we will suffer them in much greater ways in the future. Lord, help me suffer in the present!

    Liked by 1 person

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