Sunday, September 12, 2010

Manning Up

In the last post, I talked about Eli and his lack of taking responsibility as a father to his sons and how important it is that we take full responsibility when it comes to sin. Eli definitely messed up in a big way, but Eli also was willing to "man up" and take God's judgment for his lack of responsibility. Take a look at 1 Samuel 3:10-18.
Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." The Lord said to Samuel, "Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. "In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. "For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. "Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever." So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. Then Eli called Samuel and said, "Samuel, my son." And he said, "Here I am." He said, "What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the words that He spoke to you." So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, "It is the Lord; let Him do what seems good to Him."
I was reading in Galatians 6 earlier today which talks about how we reap what we sow. Eli was no exception to this, he sowed irresponsibility and God severely punished him for it. At the same time, Eli humbly realized his fault and even though he did not do anything about it, he was willing to accept God's perfect will... which in this case was judgment. The first step is to take responsibility, but the reality is that we all will fail at times. In these times of failure, it is essential that we humbly confess our sin of irresponsibility to the Lord, start taking responsibility while accepting whatever punishment the Lord brings our way knowing that it is best for us.

David was called a man after God's own heart. Take a look at how he took recognized God's sovereign hand working through someone else in 2 Samuel 16:5-11.
When King David came to Bahurim, behold, there came out from there a man of the family of the house of Saul whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came out cursing continually as he came. He threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the mighty men were at his right hand and at his left. Thus Shimei said when he cursed, "Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, and worthless fellow! "The Lord has returned upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. And behold, you are taken in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed!" Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over now and cut off his head." But the king said, "What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah? If he curses, and if the Lord has told him, 'Curse David,' then who shall say, 'Why have you done so?'" Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, "Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite? Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him.
God says that we are to honor the king, so this was clearly not something that Shimei should have been doing; however, David recognized the extent of his own sinfulness and that he was completely deserving of the things that Shimei was saying. Rather than having Abishai cut off his head (which he could have done), he spoke humbly, knowing the reality of his own sinfulness and that he was deserving of far more than just these insults being cast his way. David's sin was great, but he humbly "manned up" and took responsibility for his sin without shifting it to others (even if they were wrong in what they were doing). May God give us hearts of humility to "man up" or "woman up" and take responsibility for our own sin regardless of what others are doing. May our sin cause us to realize how great our savior is!

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