“LORD, Let Your Will Be Done!”(II Sam. 12:15-24).
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Some people say this quote is anonymous, but others attribute it to the Lutheran theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.
Whoever the author is, it is an eye-opening prayer which Christians often undermine.
There is no doubt that prayer is the key as scriptures tell us to pray without ceasing. But does prayer influence an unchanging God to change his mind? The answer is “yes and no.” There are some prayers that changes nothing and there are some prayers that changes something. But we need the wisdom to know the difference.
God struck the child that Bathsheba bore to David with illness. Prophet Nathan had told David that part of his punishment for killing Uriah and taking his wife was that the child will die.
So while the child was battling for his life, David “pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the night lying on the ground. The elders in his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.”
But when it was confirmed to him that the child was dead, he “got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshipped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.”
His behaviour did not make sense to his servants. They asked him about his queer behavior and he answered them: “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept. I thought ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live. But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.'”
We may faultily conclude that “the wages of sin is death.” But that’s not true in this case. This child could not have paid for the sins of David and Bathsheba. Parents would not eat sour guavas and the children’s teeth will be on edge. “The soul that sins and does not repent is the one that deserves death.
In the case of David, when the prophet accused him, he repented. He said, “I have sinned against the LORD.” The prophet told him, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.” Poor innocent child, paying the price for the father’s incontinency!
Dear friend, like we said earlier, prayer is important in our Christian lives, but while we pray we must pray for discernment to be wise enough to know the difference between what can or cannot be.
Apart from that, God works in mysterious ways. His ways are not our ways and his plans are unfathomable.
“David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him…”
This Solomon who became the wisest and wealthiest king the world has ever imagined! God’s ways are not our ways! God slaps on one cheek and kisses on the other cheek.
When David was gathering materials to build a temple for the LORD, the LORD told him among other things, “…you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies in every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my name…”(I Chron.22:6ff).
Dear friend, yesterday we read how the Lord Jesus Christ told the widow, “Don’t cry.” By so saying he raised the widow’s son and returned him to her. Today we read how God killed one son and comforted the mother with another son who has since become a household name.
Our God is a God of comfort. He will not leave you in that painful situation without comfort. Keep trusting, believing and hoping. Better days are ahead. Besides, whether in good or bad times let us be ready to go to the house of the LORD and worship him.
Prayer of the day and week: Holy Spirit help me to know the difference in the plan of God for my life. Amen!
Welcome back to a new working day and week! Have a blessed day and week! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.