Archive for October 31st, 2019

1 Chronicles 14: Competing Well

Thursday, October 31, 2019

David and Nathan

We see in today’s reading that David has conversations with God in which he receives specific information and we wish that our questions of survival might be reduced to such simple inquiries: Do I move or wait; do I confront my enemy head on or go through the back door?  We might wish for clear signs such as David’s: a king sends him timber to build his own royal house, his battles are all won, he suffers few losses if any.  When we read the whole of David’s story we realize that he rises and falls like the rest of us, and this might bring us comfort.  David has learned how to work with God rather than pray at God.  David has learned that religion is not a means to a gain; neither is it something to be purchased.  It is something to be lived.  It is something to share.

Today we spend time with David when all is going well, when demons and adversaries are driven away and the faithful are protected.  Part of the Morning Prayer is from Zephaniah 3: Fear not . . . be not discouraged!  The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.  I will remove disaster from among you, so that none may recount your disgrace. 

The God of David and the God of Zephaniah is our God, even when we feel alone or abandoned.  He is Jesus Christ who sees, as Paul reminds Timothy, that: Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes.  From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supporting religion to be a means of gain . . . Avoid all this.  Instead pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Compete well with faith.  Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called . . . (1 Timothy 6)

And so this is the lesson we see David learning today: How to compete well.

This is the lesson David knows, sometimes forgets, but to which he always returns: supporting religion is not a means of gain.

It is a lesson we can also know: Compete well with faith. 

It is a lesson to be lived each day no matter our circumstances: Lay hold of eternal life . . .

It is a lesson which will carry us from this world into the next: Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called . . .

It is the lesson of how to compete well.

Written on September 18, 2009 and posted today as a Favorite. 

Image from: http://lynnaustin.org/2014/03/editing-and-life/david-and-nathan/

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