The Way of Healing
We live in a world that is full of hurting people. People who have deep hurts and emotional baggage. We have the blessed opportunity of giving the good news of the Bible to those who are hurting.
2 Samuel 24:1-25
David did what he knew he wasn’t supposed to. Joab even tried to tell him that he shouldn’t count the people. The law said that the king was to trust in the Lord and to worry about how large the army actually was.
There was something about this that pleased Davids carnality. He was probably a bit proud of the fact that his army was 1.3 million soldiers strong, seriously imagine the ego boost that this would have on you if you were in David’s place. His was probably one of the strongest armies at that time.
Because David was king, and Joab wasn’t the king, David eventually made the decision and Joab went out to count the people. Joab carried the job out to David’s satisfaction, while also leaving a few people out.
When Joab returned with the final count, David’s hear “smote him.” David went quickly to repent.
We know that there is constant spiritual warfare going on in the world. We don’t see the “unseen world,” but we do know that there are a lot of things going on. God knows what is going on here. There are angels here. Satan also knows what is going on here.
David made a choice to go out and count the people. There is always a punishment that happens when we sin. The wages of sin are death. David had to pay. His nation also suffered, for their own sins and also for David’s sins. The world around us is impacted by what we do…
In verse 14 David says, “let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercies are great.” God’s love is unconditional. God’s mercy on the other hand is conditional, we don’t always understand the reasoning. It’s God’s mercy that has put you where you are today, it’s God’s mercy and discretion that has you where you are. God is sovereign, he knows best, we submit to his plan.
The angel was ready to go into Jerusalem when God told him to “stay his hand…” David saw all that had happened and knew that he had sinned. God honored David’s repentance. David obeyed what God asked him to do, he went up and made the offering on Araunah’s threshing floor…
The altars that we build have to cost us something. It has to be our own resources. David recognized that here. He purchased the threshing floor and the animals for sacrifice.
God’s answer to pain isn’t to walk away from it. Instead his answer to pain is to worship. David was in pain, he was in deep sorrow… God led him to worship.
What do we do with pain?
– forgive first of all
– secondly worship, it is only through the strength of God that we can embrace our pain
- God is able to do whatever I ask him. So I pray.
- I believe that God knows best. So I submit to Him.
- I believe that God is in control. So I trust Him.
The Way of Reconciliation
Jesus makes it very clear here that there is a very clear connection between hatred and murder. The Old Testament law says that you are not guilty unless you kill someone. Jesus is saying here that it is the same to just hate someone.
The difference is the extent of the action. The root is the same. The motivation that is at the root of hatred and murder are the exact same thing.
When we come to our personal altar and remember that we have hurt someone else… we can’t find healing for our own hurts till we make reconciliation for the hurts that we are responsible for towards others.
The victims of anger are damaged. Their security and peace is threatened. Their self-worth is damaged. It can scar a person for life. Anger is very damaging, and most of us are guilty of it to some extent or other. It is so important to ask forgiveness, recognize what we do and confess what we did but also recognize why we did it.
The important thing here is to confess not only the sin and the actual bit behind our sin. Lust. Pride. Selfishness. Etc. It is important to recognize what is in our hearts and confess accordingly.
What do we do when we recognize that we have something between us and someone else? Change our direction, leave our gift at the altar and then go back and pursue the one we have hurt and be reconciled to them.
When we come to God with things that are not made right we are coming with a soiled gift to God. Here Jesus tells us to go our way and make it right before we give this gift to Him.
The problem with humility is that it is so humiliating… but its the only way.
It isn’t worth going through a lifetime or any length of time without seeking reconciliation. Often we don’t want to face what we’ve done. The consequences become more severe the longer we wait to seek reconciliation.
The Way of Restoration
People make mistakes. There are large mistakes. There are small mistakes. We all have faults. When there is sin in the church it needs to be dealt with.
If you are spiritually mature, it is your responsibility to reach out and work to restore those who are making mistakes. The goal here is restoration. To bring them back to peace with God and the Church.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
If we cut one of our fingers we will do whatever it takes to get it “restored” so that we can use it again.
This restoration should be done in a spirit of meekness. We all have the same propensity to fail exactly like our brother. It is important when we are working to restore someone who we are objective instead of subjective.
We are also to bear each others burdens. What does that mean? Jesus bore our sins we are told here… what did he do for us? He took our sins. That means that he went to the cross as though he did what we did, even though he did not do what we did. This is how we are to walk with each other, we need to fight our brothers or sisters battle with them.
Philippians 2:1-29, Romans 15:1
It is impossible to restore someone while we consider ourselves above someone else. We must realize that we are often guilty of the exact same things. We need to see ourselves for who we are, we are nothing without God.
At the end of the day every person is responsible for what he has done. We are responsible for our own history, we need to embrace our history, recognize that we are have made mistakes and move onwards and upwards.
We are in this together. We are working at this together.
Is God asking you to make some changes? Is he asking you to restore a relationship? What is God asking you to do today?