36. Stay close to God

Last week we learned a valuable lesson from David. He kept his promise to look after the descendants of Jonathan and Saul. He didn't back down, even though no one would have expected him to keep his promise. The same is true of us. We should keep our promises. We should do what we said we will do and we should keep to engagements that we committed to. We are children of the Most High God and people should be able to trust us. So in future remember, your 'Yes' should be your 'Yes' and your 'No', 'No'.

This is now my 36th devotion on the life of David and so far his life has been exemplary. He hasn't set one foot wrong and consulted God on all his decisions. He didn't move if he didn't have God's permission. He truly was a devoted man of God. But unfortunately his misstep also became one of the things people remember about his life. If you asked most Christians what they know of David's life, they will tell you of how he defeated Goliath and they will tell you about his encounter with Bathsheba. It is just sad for me that this one misstep tainted his character, as he was truly an exceptional man.

It was during spring, at the time that kings go to battle, that David sent Joab and his men to destroy Ammon and to besiege Rabbah. David stayed in Jerusalem. One night David walked on his roof and he saw Bathsheba bathing. She was very beautiful and he sent for her and slept with her and she became pregnant due to this. She told David about it and David tried to rectify his mistake. He sent for her husband, Uriah, who was away with Joab and his men. He hoped by sending for him that Uriah would sleep with his wife, then no one would suspect that the child was David's. But unfortunately for David, Uriah was a just man and refused to go to his wife while the armies of Israel were out fighting. David tried everything, he even got him drunk, but to no avail, Uriah stayed true to his principles. David then resorted to evil measures. He wrote a letter to Joab to ensure that Uriah be killed in battle. This happened indeed. And after Bathsheba's time of mourning, she became David's wife and bore him a son. David thought he had gotten away with his evil act, but God was not pleased.

David was a man after God's heart, God gave him everything his heart could ever desire and once He did, sin started creeping up on David. David was bored at home while his army was away and his boredom led to adultery and murder. At the pinnacle of his success, he displeased the Lord. God gave him everything he could ever want, and yet he wanted more.

The same happened with the Israelites if you read their whole history. The moment they had peace and were prosperous, they forgot all about God and served other gods. And then God would send enemies to suppress them, then they would repent and cry out to the Lord to save them. Then He does and the moment that they have peace again and are prosperous, the cycle starts all over again. It went on like this for centuries. And I am afraid that we are no different. Yes, we are fortunately under a New Covenant and our sins have been forgiven, but the moment all goes well, we tend to spend less time with God. But the very next moment we are experiencing stress then we rush to Him to help us. Wouldn't it just be better if we stayed close to Him all the time? Wouldn't it be better if we can humble ourselves before Him when it goes well as well as when it doesn't? Shouldn't we praise Him when we win and also praise Him when we lose? Why do we do this yo-yo act? Close to Him, far from Him, close to Him, far from Him?

Stay close to God, especially when all is well, when your dreams have become a reality and when all you have hoped have materialized. Stay within the Holy of Holies and breathe in His will for your life. When you stay there the bad times will become less and less, because you will be so consumed with Him, you will be living in Heaven already, and you will be breathing in His presence. Then your actions will be in line with His will and your pathway will be marked clearly by His Spirit. Just stay there; that is all He asks of you.

Father, thank you so much that we can come into Your presence at all times. Thank you for the wonderful privilege. You are such an awesome, amazing God. In Your presence is all the answers to life and everything we need to know. We want to stay close to You, no matter our circumstances. Jesus, you made it all possible and we praise You. Amen


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