Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Time And Distance (Doug White)

Tonight's entry is again by Doug White, a college friend from Harding University and now a pharmacist in Louisiana. Doug is a Biblical scholar and edits a great bulletin for his congregation. Prayers for me in Vietnam
 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid riding full throttle across the plains, with the posse in hot pursuit. Butch says, "Kid, we need to put some distance between us and them."
          Sundance, "No kidding there, Butch."
          The coach in the 8th inning of a 4-3 game. "Come on gang, let's string some hits together, we've got to put some distance between us."
          Obviously, the thought being in these examples, we run away from our pursuers, put distance between us, we win. Simple as that. We 'get away', so to speak.
          Some people expeience a bad, poor, traumatic (you fill in the word) personal experience, and they make statements to the effect of, "I think I'm just going to move to so and so, and get away from it all for awhile."
          Time and distance at work again. (P.S. Wherever they 'get away' to, their problem is still there).
          There have been numerous people over the years who have used time and distance in regards to their sins.
          They commit sins, particularly of a public nature, where most, if not all, of their congregation are aware of them. They get 'busted,' so to speak, for lack of a better word.
          So then, they take the 'time and distance' approach to dealing with their sin. What is that? They're unrepentant and they pack up and move to another congregation or another town.
          They figure, out of sight, out of mind. They have not taken care of their sin like God wants/commands them to take care of their sin.
          Here is their mistake. Time and distance does NOT equal repentance!
          Jonah disobeyed God (sinned), and tried to run from Him. To put time and distance between him and God. Ask him how that worked out.
          If you have an unrepented sin in your life and you move to the moon, and live their 40 years, you Still have unrepented sin in your life. Time and distancae does not change that.
          And unrepented sin affects the quality of your life tremendously. If it is a sin that has yet to be made public, the Bible sometimes uses the term 'hidden sins'. Same thing that we're talking about. They are simply unrepented sins in our life.
          Proverbs 28:13 tells us, He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.  
          Look what the great Moses said about our hidden sins.
Psalm 90:7  For we are burned up by Your anger, and by Your
wrath we are troubled. You have set our iniquities before You,
our secret sins in the light of Your face.

          You know, King David, for all of his warts, knew His God, and he mentioned secret, or hidden unrepented sins, more than once. Why?

          Because he was so guilty of that. Many students don't realize, but after David had his affair with Bathsheba and ordered her husband killed, he was unrepentant of those sins for 9 months!

          We often teach about the Bathsheba/Uriah sin and then fast forward to Nathan the prophet. That's a mistake.

          Those 9 months in between were very important. And they are very important in the lives of those today in the situation that we are discussing.
          When the prophet Nathan told David, "Thou art the man," it was only then that David felt remorse and repented at what he had done.  That was 9 months after the event. You see, their baby was born only a matter of days later.

          Here's what he wrote about life during those 9 months of unrepentant sin. The famous Psalm 51, verse 8. the bones which Thou hast broken.

          As David put it, God had broken his bones.

          David then realized what many today do not, time and distance do Not equal repentance.

          One quick true story before I close. I'm very familiar with a preacher who had an affair with a lady in his congregation. They were found out and all of the usual and expected reactions took place.
          The elders met with him, and told him that obviously, he was fired. They also told him that he knew what he needed to do to make this right with God.

          He packed up, took his wife and one year old son and left town. He never admitted his mistake and never took the blame for what had happened. As a matter of fact, he blamed the elders for 'not handling the situation correctly.'

          Obvioulsy, he could never work again in this area so he had to move. His father, also a preacher of many years, made contact with another preacher friend of his in another state and asked/implored him if he had 'anything' available for his son.

          "Why has your son left his previous job?" was the question. The answer? "Oh, it was just a misunderstanding between him and some of the elders, you know how it is sometimes in our business."

          The out of state preacher friend hired the son.

          Time and distance.

          A year later, the preacher son (the one who had been fired), his wife, and now 2 year old son, were out in the yard at their new location. (distance)

          A bolt of lightning hit a big tree, traveled all the way down the trunk to the ground, then traveled several feet through a large root across the ground, and struck the child, standing several feet away from the tree, killing him instantly.

          This was their only child and the only grandchild of the man that had got him the job by concealing the truth about his dismissal.

          What happened to David and Bathsheba's baby? 2Sa 12:15  "And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David."

          Q.  Who struck him?
          A.   the LORD

          The difference between David and others is, he recognized his sin, quit running from it, and dealt with it like God said. (took him 9 months but he got it done)

          And then he wrote this in the last two verses of Psalm 139. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

          That's the attitude to have. But, I must warn you. If you Truly ask God to do this is Ps. 139, 'Search you, Try you,' then you better strap it on and be humble, and you better be ready, because He Will bring your sins out.

          And, an unrepented sin from last week, last year, or 40 years ago?................................He does not miss a one! 

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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