Faithful Fathers: David
So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” 2 Samuel 12:13
It is not a matter of “if,” but of “when”—that moment when a father realizes he has sinned against his child. Perhaps it’s a moment of anger or a promise not kept, or a prolonged occupation with other things besides fatherhood leading to a loss of intimacy. Regardless of the reason, the failure brings a need for one thing, perhaps the hardest in a father’s life: confessing sin to a child and seeking forgiveness.
King David was far from a perfect father. Two of his sons, Amnon and Absalom, called David’s fatherhood into question by their acts. But the one thing David learned to do in perhaps his hardest moment was confess his sins. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and was complicit in the death of her husband, his sins were found out. To his credit, David confessed his sins to Nathan, the prophet, and to God in the heartfelt words of Psalm 51. David had many sons, most of whom we know little about. But we know they had a father who learned, painfully, to say, “I’m sorry.”
If you need to confess a failure to your child today, follow David’s example as a faithful father.
The way to cover our sin is to uncover it by confession. Richard Sibbes
2 Samuel 13 – The Sins of the Fathers
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again. Ecclesiastes 1:9
I was intrigued when I noticed a tattoo of a bowling ball knocking down pins on my friend Erin’s ankle. Erin was inspired to get this unique tattoo after listening to Sara Groves’s song, “Setting Up the Pins.” The clever lyrics encourage listeners to find joy in the repetitive, routine tasks that sometimes feel as pointless as manually setting up bowling pins over and over again, only to have someone knock them down.
Laundry. Cooking. Mowing the lawn. Life seems full of tasks that, once completed, have to be done again—and again. This isn’t a new struggle but an old frustration, one wrestled with in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. The book opens with the writer complaining about the endless cycles of daily human life as futile (1:2–3), even meaningless, because “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again” (v. 9).
Yet, like my friend, the writer was able to regain a sense of joy and meaning by remembering our ultimate fulfillment comes as we “fear [reverence] God and keep his commandments” (12:13). There’s comfort in knowing that God values even the ordinary, seemingly mundane aspects of life and will reward our faithfulness (v. 14).
What are the “pins” you’re continually setting up? In those times when repetitive tasks begin to feel tiring, may we take a moment to offer each task to God as an offering of love.
Reflect & Pray
How might you do a task differently today knowing God values it? How does knowing this bring meaning to the mundane?
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving value to the ordinary activities of life. Help us to find joy in the tasks before us today.
Human beings like to think of themselves as good. That’s why many people find it hard to admit they are sinners who can’t save themselves. Even if they admit their need for a Savior, they want to believe that something within them makes them worthy of salvation. But clinging to such false concepts is actually what keeps them from being saved.
Salvation can be defined as the work of God’s grace by which He pardons our sins and bestows upon us the gift of eternal life. This means we are saved not by our works but by God’s love and undeserved favor.
When Jesus died, He paid our sin debt in full and opened the door for mankind to be saved. And while salvation is a gift from God, it’s not ours until we accept it. To do so, we must respond in the following ways:
Belief. Saving faith is trust in Jesus as the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and eternal life (1 John 5:13).
Submission. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, we are acknowledging that He is Lord (Rom. 10:9-10). This means He has the authority to guide and rule our life according to His will.
Repentance. If Christ is our Savior and Lord, then we must turn from our old sinful lifestyle, which previously ruled us (Acts 2:38). We now hate sin and have a new desire for righteousness. Although patterns from our old flesh nature sometimes resurface, each time we fall, we have the privilege of turning back to God for forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9).
Have you received God’s gift of salvation? If not, won’t you accept it today?
“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalm 119:18)
Wondrous indeed is the marvelous universe God has created. “Hearken unto this,” we are challenged, “stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14). And as we “consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained” (Psalm 8:3), we can only “stand still” in awe at God’s infinite power.
We are even more amazed as we study the intricate complexity of living creatures—especially human beings. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works” (Psalm 139:14). God’s omniscience is more wondrous than even His omnipotence.
Then there is His miraculous ordering of history for the accomplishment of His purposes. “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done” (Psalm 78:4).
But even greater than the wondrous world He created or His wondrous works in history are the wonders of God’s written Word, for “thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2).
Note the testimony of the familiar 19th Psalm: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” But then: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:1, 7). As far as God’s works in history are concerned, God’s Word was completed before history began, and will endure after the present world is gone. “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
There are “wondrous things” without end in “thy law,” and we will continue discovering them forever. HMM
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
Without worship we go about miserable; that’s why we have all the troubles we have. You wonder why young people act like such idiots. Some young people have a lot of energy and don’t know what to do with it, so they go out and act like idiots; and that’s why gangsters and communists and sinners of all kinds do what they do. They are endowed by God Almighty with brilliant intelligence and an amazing store of energy, and because they don’t know what to do with it they do the wrong thing. That’s why I’m not angry with people when I see them go off the deep end, because I know that they have fallen from their first estate along with Adam’s brood and all of us together. They haven’t been redeemed and so they have energy they don’t know what to do with; they have capacity they don’t know how to use. They have skills and don’t know where to put them, and so they go wild and police have to arrest sixteen-year-olds and put them in jail. If they had been taught that they came into the world in the first place to worship God and to enjoy Him forever and that when they fell Jesus Christ came to redeem them, to make worshipers out of them, they could by the Holy Ghost and the washing of the blood be made into worshiping saints and things would be so different. WMJ008-009
Lord, I pray especially for young people today. Reveal Yourself this morning to some who really need to see You and need to see the purpose for which they came into the world. Amen.
Put on therefore, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye.—Colossians 3:12, 13 (R. V.).
The discord is within, which jars
So sadly in life’s song;
‘T is we, not they who are in fault,
When others seem so wrong.
Frederick Wm. Faber.
Self-preoccupation, self-broodings, self-interest, self-love,—these are the reasons why you go jarring against your fellows. Turn your eyes off yourself; look up, and out! There are men, your brothers, and women, your sisters; they have needs that you can aid. Listen for their confidences; keep your heart wide open to their calls, and your hands alert for their service. Learn to give, and not to take, to drown your own hungry wants in the happiness of lending yourself to fulfill the interests of those nearest or dearest. Look up and out, from this narrow, cabined self of yours, and you will jar no longer; you will fret no more, you will provoke no more; but you will, to your own glad surprise, find the secret of “the meekness and the gentleness of Jesus”; and the fruits of the Spirit will all bud and blossom from out of your life.
Henry Scott Holland.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5
“If any of you lack wisdom.” There is no “if” in the matter, for I am sure I lack it. What do I know? How can I guide my own way? How can I direct others? Lord, I am a mass of folly, and wisdom I have none.
Thou sayest, “Let him ask of God.” Lord, I now ask. Here at thy footstool I ask to be furnished with heavenly wisdom for this day’s perplexities, at, and for this day’s simplicities; for I know I may do very stupid things, even in plain matters, unless thou dost keep me out of mischief.
I thank thee that all I have to do is to ask. What grace is this on thy part, that I have only to pray in faith, and thou wilt give me wisdom! Thou dost here promise me a liberal education, and that, too, without an angry tutor, or a scolding usher. This, too, thou wilt bestow without a fee — bestow it on a fool who lacks wisdom. O Lord, I thank thee for that positive and expressive word, “It shall be given him.” I believe it. Thou wilt this day make thy babe to know the hidden wisdom which the carnally prudent never learn. Thou wilt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory.