The Radio Miracle

put a little love-flattened

It took more than one experience to bring me out of my deep spiritual darkness, kind of like when a sculptor has to first knock off huge chunks of rock from a bolder before he can begin to make it look like a statue.

Maybe a week or so after I had my experience with Lucifer and the white moths, here in Austin, I was in my tiny apartment. And in torment. Indecision or what the Bible calls “double mindedness” can kill you. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”, (James 1:8). That was really how I was.

I’d gotten a Bible from my parents and also taken some time to really apologize to them for the hurt I’d caused them over the last few years. We weren’t close but at least this was the beginning of a long term reconciliation.

But I was very far from the person that God would have me to be. In fact, as so often happened, I was going back to my old thought patterns of unbelief and skepticism. thinking-1-a-flattenedThings like, “That didn’t really happen! That was all in your mind! You just imagined all that, just stray thoughts bouncing around inside your brain!” That’s what I’d always thought before and now that I was “back to normal”; that was still my default mode of thought on all these things. But then another series of thoughts were there. “It sure did seem real. It was more real than what I am experiencing right now. thinking-2-flattenedAnd it wasn’t really the first time because you’ve had a lot of experiences that are unexplainable unless there is some kind of spiritual world.”

So I was lying in my bed in the middle of the night, just tormented between these two worlds of thought. And I was desperate. I’d been reading the Bible every day, for hours. I was getting very little out of it because there was so much I didn’t understand. I was reading from Genesis to Exodus and on through it like that, heavy going.

Finally I’d just had enough. I got up out of bed, in my pitch black room, clasped my bible to my chest and said this prayer to God: “God, if you are really there, you have to be bigger than my mind. You have to be stronger than me and my mind. And I am not going to do anything till you show me if you are there.”

Then in the total darkness I started trying to just shut down every single movement of my body, twitches, trembles, just any movement that would distract me from completely and utterly bringing my prayer to God, if He was actually there.

And alone in darkness at what hour of the night I didn’t know, suddenly my clock radio on my refrigerator came on. I certainly hadn’t set it to come on at what was around 3 in the morning. But just at that moment when I was the most desperate to have some kind of answer from God, the radio came on. And maybe you know this song that was playing right then because it was popular at that time,

“Lift up your fellow man, lend him a helping hand, put a little love in your heart.

You see it’s getting late, oh please don’t hesitate; put a little love in your heart.

And the world will be a better place, and the world will be a better place for you and me, just wait and see.”

Now maybe you’re an atheist and say right now, “Oh that was just an accident, just a coincidence.” At 3 AM my radio came on when I surly didn’t set it at that time. It came on right at the moment of my greatest desperation to have some kind of answer from God to overcome the domination my mind had on me. And on top of it all, an extremely significant song was on the radio right at that moment. You can call it a coincidence if you want to but I’d had things like this, although not this stunning, happen to me before.

contactI fell to the floor on my knees, overcome by that experience and the amazing answer to prayer. As I’ve shared in another post, it was for me almost like what happened to Jody Foster in the movie “Contact” when she first heard signals from outer space. Just indescribable amazement.

But there was more. As I was there in the darkness on my knees, I heard clearly two voices, with words I don’t think I’ll ever forget and which fundamentally spoke to my greatest weakness and changed my life. That story is going to be my next blog post, “Don’t ever ask again.

“God is chance!”

God is chance-flattenedI was a freshman in university in Austin, Texas years ago, in the middle of a conversation with my friends when I blurted out, “God is chance!” At the time it really seemed like an epiphany. If you’re an atheist, as I was, “Chance” seems to be the ultimate ingredient that’s caused everything. Atheists believe that everything “just happened” from a series of accidents. Those beautiful eyes of your loved one? Just a series of numberless mutations over trillions of years that ended up being a human eye. Or that flower, that strange bird, and on and on? Just chance, accidents, coincidences and happenstance.

My life back then was already on a huge rollercoaster with unseen forces I was totally unaware of. But I really believe that off Somewhere, Someone saw me say “God is chance” that day and kind of marked it down right then. Because for the next couple of years, things kept “happening” to me. And I gradually realized more and more that those things just defied the law of averages that I thought was the ultimate arbitrator of all that occurs on earth.

But like I said about reason in “Reason? Or the Miraculous”, it’s not like I don’t believe in chance. The Bible certainly talks about reason and it talks about chance too. In I Samuel 6:9 it says, “…it was a chance that happened to us.” And Ecclesiastes 9:11 says “…time and chance happen to them all.For your good-two-flattened On the other hand, some things are not chance. But so often our eyes are blinded to the spiritual cause and often angelic intervention that brought something on. I’ll give you an example.

For years I’d been an idol worshipper. No, not Moloch, Baal or Ashtoreth. I worshipped a certain kind of sports car. I’d had a picture of it on my bedroom wall since I was 14. I dreamed of it, I longed for it, I spoke of it and I was determined in my heart that I would have it, no matter what. And so, in university, I finally got it.

But it was like how the Israelites lusted after meat in the wilderness and finally God sent so many quail that they gorged themselves on the quail and many died.  Speaking about this in Psalms 106.15, it says of God, “And He gave them their requests, but sent leanness to their souls”. That’s how that sports car was, something I “just had to have”. So I got it but God really “sent leanness” to my soul. In fact, He got a lot of mileage out of that mistake.

A few days after I got the sports car, I was driving near the campus, just bursting with pride. The top was down, I felt so totally cool and I was virtually expecting that hot women would be jumping into the passenger seat when I stopped at a red light. What I didn’t notice was a car that had stopped in the street ahead of me. While I was distracted, I plowed into the back of that stalled car. Because my car was so low to the ground, it went under that car, seriously disfiguring its high class looks and somewhat damaging the engine.

shaking fistMy response? Shock of course. And anger. But somehow in my heart, I knew it was more than an accident. I remember so distinctly either that I literally shook my fist into the air or, if I didn’t do it physically, I certainly did it in my heart and mind. Who was I shaking my fist at? “The Fates”, as I called them back then. I just knew that it was something with a message to it.

“So you want this fancy car? OK, you got it; but now this is going to happen.”

“Why?” I screamed in my heart. I just instinctively knew that it was more than happenstance. It was part of something that was greater than me. What, I totally didn’t know. Had “the Fates”, some mystical Greek gods, done this to me? But God had smashed my idol.I will have no other Gods before Me,” He says. (Exodus 20:3)

Other things keep happening to me from time to time during those years.  Some were “incredible good luck” and other things were “really bad luck”. But I kept all these things and pondered them, trying to make sense out of it. Now I know that much of the time, it wasn’t chance. It was the hand of God, allowing some things and keeping me back from others.

UpAgainstTheWall_02-reworkedThere were so many incredibly foolish things I nearly did or actually did do.  But the hand of God either prevented me from doing them or kept me back from suffering very badly for my foolishness. Another example of this was when the police raided my apartment, looking for drugs. I wrote about this in “Up Against the Wall!

A man’s heart devises his way but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)  In time and ultimately, like I wrote in “Lucifer and the White Moths”, the Lord delivered me from my unbelief and darkened life, translating me into the world of His Spirit. more than meets the eye-flattenedI found that my idea of “God is chance” was a very dim statement. But it was almost like the Lord decided to take me up on that one and kept letting “accidents” happen for a couple of years, just to show me that “there’s more than meets the eye”, a whole world of spirits and spiritual activity that we mortals really need to realize, acknowledge and get on the right side of, the side of the God of Abraham and His Son, Jesus.

Angel Story 1: Lucifer and the White Moths

Angel Story 1 main pic-flattenedThe first experience I had with an angel is one I probably won’t relate right here and now. It was the most traumatic and basically indescribable. Sadly but righteously, it was with Lucifer. He came to claim me, as was his right at that point in my life. I won’t relate it all here as it is not easy to describe or explain but I’ll try to do that sometime in a post or a video.

But that experience when I was 20 was I suppose the pinnacle experience of my life. The Bible talks about “some saved by fire” (Jude 23), that is certainly true with me. Or like Jesus said of Thomas, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed.” (John 20:29) A lot of things are not as much “by faith” for me because the Lord somehow let me see things so I sometimes feel like Thomas in the Bible. Some people in life-after-death experiences have an angel of God come and take them to heaven. It is such an incredibly wonderful experience that often they really don’t even want to come back to this world. In my case it was the opposite. But more about that at another time.

Fundamentally, categorically, absolutely that changed my life. At that moment when I struggled with every iota of soul and spirit I had within me just to not be taken from my body, I said in my mind, “If this is real, then there’s supposed to be the opposite of this. There is supposed to be a God of Love, a God of Truth and Light.” So I “prayed” at that moment to the God of the Bible to help me not die right then. I put “prayed” in quotation marks there because we so often think of prayer as a subdued religious ceremony, with our eyes closed and our hands folded. My prayer back then was from the deepest place of my existence, with every ounce of meaning I had in me.

I didn’t die and go with the devil to hell then. I couldn’t sleep for 3 days because I didn’t have the faith to sleep. I didn’t know what would happen to me if I went to sleep. But gradually, very gradually some sense of normalcy came back to my life. But it had changed, utterly. Paul, speaking of how God delivers people from Satan said “Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.” (Colossians 1:13)

For me, I wasn’t even there yet. I heard someone say one time about great sculptors, when they’re going to make a statue, the first just start off with a big chunk of rock. Whack! They knock off one big piece. Whack! There goes another chunk. For me, it took quite a few whacks before I was even ready to become a Christian. First and biggest was just getting me to understand that there is a real, true, spiritual world. Seeing Satan and being drawn out of your body by him for your eternal damnation will do a lot to destroy your unbelief.

But there were other angels. And I think I’m going to try to make some kind of rating system for all this. Angels are not always, not even usually, 10 feet tall with white robes and big wings. I’ve never seen one of those. And some things are supernatural but you don’t see the angels involved although you know they must be there.

Here’s one like that. This event with Lucifer took place in a tiny efficiency apartment near the University of Texas campus. It was so traumatic and all consuming that I remained in something of a condition or state for a few days where the spiritual world was closer to being my real world than this physically one we all usually consider “the real world”.

But a somewhat lesser or minor thing that happened at that time was that one evening, probably 2 days after these huge events, I was in my bathroom. And it filled up with maybe 100 tiny white moths or butterflies. They were very benign and non threatening and I remember at that time that they seemed like angels or that perhaps God had allowed this to happen in the physical to represent what had happened in the spiritual. It says of Jesus, “Then the devil departed from Him and angels came and ministered to Him.” (Matthew 4:11) I didn’t know that verse as I didn’t know any verse in the Bible at that time. But I felt all those little white fluttering insects were symbolic of angels who’d come to be with me after I’d turned from my evil ways and had chosen the God of Abraham rather than the devil.

Bottom line for this first story: it was definitely an angel, just the wrong kind and the wrong one. He’d been allowed by God to come and claim my soul after I’d gone so far away from the truth and the light. As for the little white moths or butterflies, they weren’t angels. But God allowed them there right then to be a symbolic sign of the beginning of my altered spiritual condition.

Have Daily Devotions

Have Daily DevotionsOne of the things that has stuck with me the most from the 36 years I spent abroad, serving God, was the need to maintain my relationship with the Lord. One of the mainstays in this, during those years, was having daily devotions.

There was virtually never a day where I didn’t meet with my fellow workers in the Lord to have a time of morning devotion. This would usually include singing songs, reading some devotional material for maybe 20 or 30 minutes, and then closing with united prayer. It was one of those good habits that helped the day to start off right, to really “acknowledge Him” (Proverbs 3:6) and to try to spend time in His presence, and in unity with the believers.

If you study the history of Christianity and the history of Israel, you can see that this daily time of prayer and devotions, often done unitedly with other believers, has been a constant for literally thousands of years.

Nowadays we don’t have time for that, right? Like some of the Jews said to each other in the time of the kings, “Every man to his tents!” (II Samuel 20:1)  Besides, many of us go to church once a week. There we can sing some songs and hear a sermon, sort of have united prayer and then go home. That should do it, shouldn’t it?

For me, it really doesn’t. It’s been close to four years now since I returned from abroad to live here in the States and I’m just not in a situation anymore to have daily morning devotions with others. But I still do it on my own, virtually every day.

This is an essential in my life. I’ve just learned it so clearly over the years that we have to maintain our spiritual life and walk with the Lord. If we want to stay close to the Lord, to hear His voice, to please Him and to have His protection and leading and blessing, we just have to take time to cultivate that relationship with Him, daily.

For me, that means personal devotions every day. It’s not as long as it used to be when I had this time with others. But every day I take some time to read some devotional material. One of the things I read is “Daily Light”, complied by the Samuel Bagster family hundreds of years ago. I read other material like that and then I review my verses for the day. I usually review around 30 verses each day that I have memorized over the years. So many of these are like dear old friends because I can associate the times when I’ve used those verses in my personal life or I remember the event that brought that verse so clearly into my life.memorization art-flattened I wrote another post about all this in Memorizing God’s Word. This linking up with the Word I’ve memorized has helped to keep God’s Word fresh in my mind and conscious over the years and has been a real key in my life.

Then I go out and take a walk to a nearby park. This is not really for exercise but for me I find that I can pray better when I’m out in nature and sometimes even when I am walking. Also it seems that the Lord’s presence is sometimes closer during those times. Several of the blog posts I have written came from events that actually happened on these walks. “Hawks and Doves” was written from an experience that happened while I was walking down the sidewalk to the park. “Red lights and the Sabbath” was also something that came from walking down the same sidewalk. The idea for this post right here came while I was out for my walk this morning.

And also maybe that’s why I wrote that thing about “Was David a failure?” If there was anybody in the Bible who knew how to maintain, cultivate and grow in his relationship with the Lord, it was King David. That’s why the Psalms are about as good as it gets when it comes to learning how to “draw nigh to God” (James 4:8).

OMG-flattenedWe’re all so busy. Probably none of you are sitting off on the hillside, tending sheep throughout each day. We’re on line, we’re wired, we’re working overtime, we’re up at 3 AM with the baby, and on and on. But it’s very much like what Jesus said to Martha who was so busy “tending tables” (Acts 6:2). She was upset that her sister, Mary, was not up and busy helping her but she was just idly sitting there listening to Jesus. But then Jesus said to her, “Martha, Martha, you’re worried and troubled about many things. But Mary has chosen the good part that shall not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41 & 42) And it’s still true today, probably more than ever.

I hope, with all you do, that you have time—no, take time—for daily devotion. Without the presence and blessing of God on your life, you’re just going through the motions of faith and you surely won’t have the grace and fruits of the Spirit to survive and thrive as God wants you to do. Have daily devotions!

Reason? Or the Miraculous

For Reason post-flat-flattenedDon’t get me wrong, I’m not against reason. Isaiah 1:19 says, “Come, let us reason together” says the Lord. And it says that Paul “reasoned” with the Roman governor, Felix (Acts 24:25). But let’s face it, the devil has gotten in somewhere with the whole thing about “reason” in more modern times. Because it seems like 9 times out of 10, when people talk about reason, the implication is that we should forget about the miraculous. “We should depend on our own reasoning”, they say, “our minds and our intellect.” The idea is that there really isn’t anything other or better or higher than that.

That’s a serious mistake. It’s “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. Or letting the pendulum swing too far in the other direction. It’s like what Jesus said, “These ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”(Matthew 23:23)  In other words in this case, we ought to use our minds but not to where we reject the supernatural and miraculous intervention of God.

Our minds don’t have to be considered our enemies. (Of course the unbelievers would hoot and squawk immediately at that idea there, if we were to even think that our minds could be our enemy.) But in the same way that our bodies can be our enemies if we let our physical desires and impulses take us over, our minds can be our enemies if we let our “carnal mind” (Roman 8:6) take first place in our decisions.

It’s a big subject but really important. Many people have faith in God, but it’s like they say, “Let’s not take this thing too far!” “Let’s not think that God can do anything outside of the rational laws of science that we all believe in today.” This seems to be the often unspoken faith of multitudes. So they limit God by their minds. It ends up just being unbelief or a very limited form of faith.

Job-flattenedBut as God so succinctly spoke to Job around 4000 years ago, “Should it be according to your mind?” (Job 34:33) Things were going really bad for Job. He’d been so good, really, and he’d tried so hard, sincerely. But then it seemed all hell was breaking loose. It just didn’t make sense! It wasn’t fair! And he was right in many ways; it didn’t make sense and it wasn’t fair, according to the natural, normal way that most people in their natural reasoning would look at things. But in the end it all worked out, totally contrary to how Job saw things happening and he ended up being doubly blessed.

In Isaiah 55: 8 & 9 God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are you ways My ways. For as the heaven is higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Our natural reasoning and understanding might make it through some situations but those things totally fail at other times.

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Thomas Paine, author of “The Age of Reason”

But “reason” came to virtually replace God long ago. “The Age of Reason”, as they called it. It looked pretty good and there were a lot of good points there. But what was the end result? In turning to exalt and embrace Reason, the miraculous, the supernatural, the living presence of God not only took a back seat, it was kicked out of the car and left by the side of the road.

It certainly was not through Reason that I came to faith in God. It was the miraculous. But how many people of faith, regardless of their religion, really are looking for the miraculous intervention of the God of Abraham in their lives in these times? For so many, their faith is subservient to their reason. And perhaps this is because they are partially ashamed of their faith and don’t want others to think of them as strange or out of line with modern times.

guardian-angelsThis is what I wrote about in “Will He find faith on the earth?” Jesus virtually predicted that at the time of His return, the level of faith in the world would be at a very low ebb.  It was the utterly miraculous that turned me from an atheist to a believer, even before I became a Christian. And that wasn’t just something that happened long ago. You can read “God’s Little Miracles” to find a miraculous thing the Lord did in my life just a few months ago.

first road picture-flattenedSo I’m thinking about writing some articles on some of the things I’ve experienced personally, not stories from centuries ago but things that have happened to me personally, that hopefully will inspire faith in others to know that God is not dead or even sick. I think I’ll call them Angel Stories. Here’s one about an incredible experience I had where angels saved me from death when I pretty much deserved death at that time. It’s called “Lights on the Road”.

Faith in the miraculous should come first, before our reason. We need both to be well balanced. But the presence of God should have first place in our sight, not our own reasoning. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5 & 6

A flock of Whooping Cranes

I go to a mega church here in Austin. I enjoy the fellowship and the sermons. But one of the things I do each Sunday is to sit in the foyer, drink a tea, and just look at people coming there before the service. I often think that it’s like being in a large flock of Whooping Cranes.whooping cranes

Whooping Cranes are a bird species that very nearly became extinct, back in the 1940’s. The number of Whooping Cranes in the whole world got down to 23. Only 23. That group would spend winters on the Texas coast, not far from here. Now maybe there are 600 in the whole world, a little better

megachurchWhy in the world would I relate going to a mega church to being in a flock of Whooping Cranes?! Here in Texas, Christianity is pretty much doing ok. At least there are a good many professing, born again, Bible-believing Christians. But if you travel around, you’ll know that the “flock is dwindling” worldwide. It’s even true in the US. If you’re an unashamed, professing Christian who believes in sharing your faith with others and you live in New England, you may feel you’re in a distinct minority. Maybe 40 or 80 years ago this wasn’t nearly as true as it is now.

But if you really want to see a loss of the species Christianos Fidelis Disciplos (I made that up), then go to Europe. And this is no pro-American, anti-European rant here. Far from it. I spent 27 years of my adult life in Europe, east and west, north and south. Europe has a huge and special place in my heart. But I know from firsthand experience, if you’re an unashamed Christian in Europe nowadays, especially Northern or Western Europe, you’d really better be ready to face ostracism and disdain from a lot of people. As far as I know, there just isn’t really very much left of a healthy Protestant Christianity in much of Europe. It’s by in large an extinct species.

Correct me if I’m wrong here since that’s a pretty broad statement. I’m sure there are individuals full of faith and power and perhaps even “pockets of resistance”, little groups of believers who still meet together and try to hold on. One thing that’s been successful has been native African preachers coming from Africa as missionaries to evangelize Europeans. Some of the few Protestant churches in Europe which are having success are led by missionaries from Africa. But it’s just rare to find any sizable flock of Christians in Europe who are really solid in their faith, especially those containing folks of the younger generations.

So I sit in my church with my tea here in Austin and just look at the members as they head off with their kids to Sunday school or file in for the service. I enjoy being around the atmosphere of faith. And I look at people and I often wonder, “Will these folks still keep the faith when it’s not cool to be a Christian? What if conditions change and Christianity becomes besmirched and out of vogue, as has happened in so many places over the last few generations?” It’s rather like what Jesus said to His disciples, “Will you also go away?” (John 6:67)

danish fishersI can more or less speak Danish and I think I’ve been in every city or town in Denmark of any size. But one of the more moving and foreboding TV series I ever saw was many years ago called “The Fishers”.  It was a chilling, eye opening saga of the virtually extinction of Danish Christianity around 100 years ago or more, as seen through a changing of generations among Danish fishing families. It showed the simple sincerity but also inflexiblity of the older generations and the legitimate aspirations of the younger generations just to be allowed to listen to the radio or for the younger women to be allowed to cut their long hair. In a generation Christianity had a drastic drop off in Denmark and it never really came back to any extent.Danish prayer group

Denmark today is mostly a nation of contented people with a social system that’s the envy of many nations. But between 1900 and 1950 it had a steep falling away from Christianity or faith in God, becoming a model for humanism and “just being nice”. And they are; they are very nice people. But for the most part, they’re often strongly anti-faith and anti-spiritual. I have many Danish friends and I respect their society for how it is. But my species —faith-filled, Spirit-filled Christianity—is by in large extinct there. And this is true of many if not most other northern and western European countries.

Will that happen here in Texas? The Bible says that before the second coming of Jesus, there “will come a falling away first”. (II Thessalonians 2:3) For those who’ve traveled Europe or even many parts of the US, they know that’s already happened. For now, I enjoy my Sundays with my Whooping Crane friends. I hope they’ll survive and thrive. I’m trying to do my part to help. But like Jesus said, “When the son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Was David a failure?

King David-flattenedSometimes if you go to church, it’s like the verse that talks about, “choose the good and refuse the evil” (Isaiah 7:16), ha! I sure better explain that. The church I’ve gone to for the past months is pretty good and I’ve gotten a lot out of what I have heard there much of the time. And maybe I haven’t really heard anything that most folks would call “evil”.

Last Sunday was a good sermon and then the preacher started talking about King David. Immediately after mentioning King David the preacher started talking about David’s experience with Bathsheba and adultery. David sees Bath- Sheba Bathing James Tissot (1836-1902 French) Jewish Museum, New York, USAWell, that did happen. But it got me thinking about how many times I’ve heard King David mentioned and then in the next breath the conversion goes off on his relationship with Bathsheba.

In some ways that’s both sad, very imbalanced and a disservice to people who are trying to learn about the Lord. Essential David is considered Israel’s greatest king. When Samuel told Saul the type of man who would replace him as the king of Israel, he said “the Lord has sought him a man after His own heart” (I Samuel 13:14). In other words, God called David a man after His own heart, a pretty strong commendation and very rare within the Bible.

davidPsalmsDavid was not just some kind of warrior hero, a brutish macho tribal leader. Have you ever read the Psalms in the Bible? They are mostly written by David and they contain some of the most intimate personal prayers and contact with God that can be found anywhere in the Bible. David’s prayers, and the sometimes immediate answers he would get, have been often the most read material in the Bible. David’s pouring out his heart to God, his expressions of love for and devotion to God are unsurpassed and indescribable in their tenderness, sincerity and humility. And the people of his times knew this about David and recognized his special relationship with God and his love for Him.

Davids-Mighty-Men3When David was getting old, he still wanted to go out to battle with his troops, as he had always done. But it got to where they told him that he needed to stay back from the battle, “that he quench not the light of Israel.” (II Samuel 21:17) His troops and officers literally called him “the light of Israel”, in his lifetime. I don’t know of any other person in the history of ancient Israel that this was said of. So for us modern folk to first think of adultery when we think of king David is just really far off from the way God’s Word depicts him. It might almost say something more about us and our ways of looking at things than it does about David. Usually most people are quicker to find fault than they are to value virtue, don’t you think?

“David, the adultery”? How about David, “the sweet psalmist of Israel“? (II Samuel 23:1) How about the fact that Jesus was called “the Son of David”? (Matthew 21:9) Which He was. Both Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph, her husband traced their lineage directly back to King David.

I wonder what the results are of preachers who always immediately feel they have to dwell on David’s relationship with Bathsheba like that. Does it turn away people from reading the words of David? Does it make them think less of what are priceless words of admonishment and instruction in how to keep a clean heart and to worship the Lord? That would be devastating to influence the faithful to turn away from the words God gave King David and which are published in the Bible, simply because at one point in his life David made that major mistake and sin with Bathsheba.

To me, of all the characters in the Old Testament, King David is one of the ones I learn the most from. If there ever was a sinner saved by grace, it was David. If there ever was a man who loved God and who God used and loved and “made something out of nothing”, it was King David. Many if not most of us know we are a mess and are useless and hopeless without God. David is an example of God’s mercy, love, forgiveness and ability to “do above all that we can ask or think”. (Ephesians 3:20) It’s a real shame when preachers turn us away from the example of David and to think of him as a failure. I hope you have gotten to know the specific words of prayer and love that David gave us in the Psalms. They are almost certainly the best sample we will ever find of how to pray, how to worship and how to love and understand God.