This week, my Bible reading has played out more like a scene from a soap opera, than a few pages from the Word of God. It's been so entertaining and lively, that I've laughed, gasped out loud, and asked myself over and over, "Why did God include this in his Word?"
Take for instance a few little juicy tidbits I've read from 2 Samuel:
In chapter 6, David and the house of Israel were "making merry before the Lord", having a good time with songs and musical instruments when this guy named Uzzah commits a bit of a party foul by accidentally touching the Ark of the Covenant when one of the oxen stumbles, and God flat out struck him dead because of his error. Then David was so horrified and afraid of the Lord that he doesn't want the Ark of the Lord anywhere near him. They decide it should go to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite, instead. The Lord blesses that entire house, and everyone who lives inside, and when David hears about it, he totally changes his mind and decides that he may want the ark of the Lord to be in his city after all so he can have some blessings too.I love it!
In chapter 10, David sends some of his servants on an ambassador mission to the new king of the Ammonites to console him over the loss of his dad. But the Ammonites think David's men are spys so they do the craziest thing! They shave 1/2 of each man's beard off, and cut off their clothing in the middle, at their hips, and then send them back home this way! How humiliating to have half of your beard shaved off, and to be exposing your lower half as you make your way home. David ends up totally pummeling the Ammonites and their allys for breaking off their diplomatic relations. Take that, you Ammonite beard shavers!
(For the record, I would not want to be forever etched into history as one of the men who got half of their beard shaved off and the bottom half of their garments cut off. Yikes!)
And don't even get me started on David and Bathsheba. It's a drama you'll have to read on your own!
But why did God put all of these scandalous details into the Bible? Why did he expose people's imperfections, and permanently cement them in history for all to read about?
I'll tell you why. Because God keeps it real. He wants us to know that he uses EVERYTHING for his purposes.
I've heard the following saying many times, but it's worth sharing again:
Remember God can use Anybody!
The Next time you feel like God can't use you, just remember...
Noah was a drunk, Abraham was too old, Isaac was a daydreamer, Jacob was a liar, Leah was ugly, Joseph was abused, Moses had a stuttering problem, Gideon was afraid, Samson had Long hair and was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute, Jeremiah and Timothy were too young, David had an affair and was a murderer, Elijah was suicidal, Isaiah preached naked, Jonah ran from God, Naomi was a widow, Job went bankrupt, Peter denied Christ, the Disciples fell asleep while praying, Martha worried about everything, Mary Magdalene was..., the Samaritan woman was divorced more than once, Zaccheus was too small, Paul was too religious, Timothy had an ulcer...AND Lazarus was dead!
This is GREAT news, my friends. It's big....HUGE! It means that God can use a sinner like me to accomplish his work. He can weave all the junk in my life, and make something beautiful out of it! He can trade my ashes in for beauty!
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."- Roman 8:28
Notice that it does NOT say that some things work together for good, but He says ALL things work together for good. Amen!
That's the best thing I've heard all day!