David: A King with a Heart for God - Part 6
Was David larger than life, or was God larger than life to David? David believed in God; this truth is unavoidable. In 2 Samuel 8, the Bible records David's victories. He lived the life of a warrior, a mere man living a life on the edge for God and by God's sustaining and protecting power.
However, David was nothing special as a man; there are no special men, only God's grace to use common men in uncommon ways. Jesus chose twelve ordinary men to be the foundation of the Church. They argued about who would be the greatest up to the last supper. Jesus was about to go to Gethsemane and death, and they were arguing. These were common men.
David had in his possession the Word and Law of God. "The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;" (Psalm 19:7; A Psalm of David). The 7th commandment given to Moses says plainly, "You shall not commit adultery." David possessed the seventh commandment in writing, but he resisted it in practice. He committed adultery with every wife/woman he slept with after his first wife.
Men make excuses for Old Testament saints as if the Word of God were not clear. Job understood the sanctity of marriage, and he probably lived before the giving of the law. Yet he is recorded as saying, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I look at a virgin?" Men who choose not to look at other women do not take other women to be their wives. God's grace toward David does not mean he did not sin, and they did grieve God. Just think about how much grace God gives us in our lifetime.
David desired to move the ark of God to Jerusalem; therefore, "They had mounted the ark of God on a new cart and moved it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart." God explained how to carry the ark in the Law of Moses. "You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark with them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it." (Exodus 25:14, 15). Had David known and obeyed the Lord's command about carrying the ark, Uzzah would not have lost his life.
When the Church Allows Godly Men to Divide it
We can cite many more instances of David's shortcomings and sins. When will we stop regarding godly men as more than mere men? Some will say we don't. The Church would not be fractured into a thousand little pieces if that were true. Let us consider the words of the Apostle Paul. "Each one of you is saying, "I am with Paul," or "I am with Apollos," or "I am with Cephas," or "I am with Christ." Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he?" (1 Corinthians 1:12,1 3). Can you imagine being crucified for others? Why do we sometimes regard earthly leaders as if they had been? That is Paul's point!
The Church divided for this reason because men follow other men and not God. Leaders need to be accountable, as we all do, only leaders more so. Only the Church on their knees with the Bible open before them is up to the task. If you think my last remark sounds backward, who was Paul referring to when he wrote? "For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace." (1 Corinthians 14:31-33). If the big umbrella Church looks like anything to the world, it looks confusing because of divisions.
They did not have the completed Bible; therefore, they needed prophets, some will say. However, we are more responsible for discerning true from false teaching because we possess the Word of God. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1). We test men according to the Bible!
The problem is large because godly men make errors, which brings us to my point. When will we stop regarding godly men as more than mere men? Division in the Church should never result from holding leaders accountable because division always results from the sin of pride. Godly leaders do not want division in the Church, and they do not trust members to hold them responsible. Members either idolize or criticize to the detriment of the Church.
My dear readers, these things ought not to be this way.
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