Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stumbling Block!

 5O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
 6Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
 7Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
 8I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.
 9For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
 10When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
 11I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
 12They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards. 

Stumbling Block!

When we think of David, the king of Israel, we envision a mighty king, a great leader in battle, and a man humbled before God. These are things we gain from the pages of the Old Testament, but we did not have the privilege to walk and talk with David as we would a friend or even just an acquaintance. The concern David voices in these verses from Psalm 69 are concerns that each of us, as Christians, face every day. Knowing that his life was filled with sin, David was concerned that he would not be a stumbling block to the people.
Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
It is true that for many people, the closest they will ever come to the Word of God is through the testimony of God's people around them. That is a frightening thought, is it not? Which of us could ever truly undergo the criticism and scrutiny of the world 24/7?

The nature of man is such that criticism is just a way of life. Rather than patiently accepting the differences we find in other people, it is easier to criticize. Even among believers there is rampant disagreement and criticism. No wonder people of the world have so little desire to follow the examples they see of Christians they have known.

Like David, let us pray that, in spite of us, people would desire to love and follow Christ. May they understand that there will always be inconsistencies in our lives, but in Christ there is no inconsistency neither shadow of turning. In Christ all hopes are met and satisfied!

There is another lesson in all of this as well. As Christians, we must not become overly discouraged by criticism from others. We must remember that the world hates God, and often vents that hatred through Christ's followers. Even Christ experienced the hatred of the world, and especially the religious world, which eventually led to His death. Yet, without that death there would be no salvation!

However, unlike Christ, we are not without sin. The sin which so easily besets us can easily be used by Satan to tarnish and destroy our testimonies. Sometimes we just need to fall before Christ, asking His forgiveness, and then go on. In our own power we will always fail, but with the power given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ, we can go on and live to and for His glory.

We do not want to be a stumbling block to others, but even then, God will use our experiences for His glory and eventually bring honor and glory to Himself through them. We are reminded in Matthew 6:33: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

What an amazing God we serve!
God Bless You,

No comments: