Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Lion's Fair

Image & quote internet found and uncredited
Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 160: Today, I am grateful for a lesson from a lion.

If you grew up in a house with more than one child, you heard these words. "That's not fair...(insert sibling's name)..." and you can finish it from there.  

You, also, heard this parental response, "Life's not fair. Get over it."  

We long for fair treatment. Sometimes, it happens. Sometimes, it doesn't. Sometimes, we don't have all the knowledge or experience to understand that that what feels like unfair treatment, is truly for our own protection. 

Just as a child cannot see with a parent's eyes, we cannot always see with God's eyes. Still, we are called, instructed and expected to behave as His kids...reflecting His character and not that of "the world". 

This is a great quote: "If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you're fooling yourself. That's like expecting a lion not to you because you didn't eat him." 

A lion is a lion. The world has a different master. Fairness given is not always reciprocated in a world where Satan and his evil minions prowl like a lion.

Yes, we long for fairness...until it is our own sin facing the judgement stand. Then, we cry out for mercy and grace. Thank God for his gift and the love spilled in blood red that blots out our sins. 

King David had a heart for God...but when he blew it, it was huge! Because he was king, he could call the shots. But, God was still the King of Kings. What the world would allow and tolerate from the "rich, powerful and famous" - God would not. His standards are the same for all. 

Still, when David humbled his heart and asked forgiveness, his sins were forgiven.  His purposeful pursuit of a relationship with God was what made him stand out. Some were awed by the relationship and favor he found with God. Others thought he was nuts and too religious. Drunks made fun of him...making up songs about him. It's true. It's in the Bible.

I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,  and the drunkards make songs about me. -Psalm 69:12

David was grateful that he didn't get what he deserved for his sins. 

David wanted Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, who was an officer in David's army. After seeing her bathing on a roof, he lost his mind with lust.  He neglected leading his troops into battle to seduce her. He got her pregnant. Then, he devised a plan to eliminate her husband when his plan to trick him into believing the child was his failed. Knowledge of his wrongs made him desperate and a bit crazy. (2 Samuel 11) Yes, the good King David plummeted quickly into the downward spiral of sin. 

Sin happens. David's example is humbling because if he was susceptible...we all are. Now, most of us will not commit adultery or plot to commit murder, but we all will fall and fail. David's example is beautiful in his passion for reconciliation. He didn't just want it to be right between him and God, he needed he needed air to breathe. 

David sought the Lord humbly with prayer, fasting, ashes and sackcloth.  His sin crippled him. He could not bear the lonesomeness of being out of step with God. Surrounded by a court full of men and women waiting to do his bidding...David felt empty and alone... until he reconciled with the Master of the Universe. They did reconcile. 

Of course, it is best to avoid sin in the first place. Joining hearts, hands and prayers with brothers and sisters in Christ makes us more diligent and stronger. 

 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.-1 Peter 5:8-9

We can't forget that Satan prowls. David's story is a reminder that we are called to a higher standard. We must do the right thing and act fairly....even if the world doesn't.  

 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.  Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. -1 Peter 2:11-12

Integrity matters. Behave with honor.  Be fair. Do right. Protect the soul. 

We can't be arrogant...or get too comfortable...because we are all one lustful look, jealous thought or careless act away from stumbling.  Satan is like a lion on the prowl...and he can be very patient before the pounce. 

Today, I am grateful for a lesson from a lion.

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