Revival and Reformation PT 10: "From Ashes to the Oil of Gladness!"

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Revival and Reformation Pt 10
From Ashes to the Oil of Gladness

Yahweh Shalom, O LORD our peace, we come longing to hear you this day. Remove all that will keep us from hearing, and prepare us to receive your refreshing word with joyfulness and gladness of heart for Christ’s sake. Amen.

David’s Drop (v.1). [Briefly mention Insert] After all of the success, achievements and heart-warming feats of chapters 14-20 – God drawing David close, preserving him, subduing his enemies, and the promise of building his dynasty – everything comes to a crashing, break-screeching halt in 21.1! You scratch your head and wonder, “David! How could you?!?” The Greek word normally translated as “iniquity” is anomos – no-law, without-law, lawless. And it’s where we get the word anomaly from. Sin is an anomaly. At the time of temptation and the sin, there appears to be an inner logic, but once you’ve caved in and step back, you slap your forehead and ask yourself, “What was I thinking?!?” We’ll see that David does something similar.

David’s Deed (2-6): Exodus 30.11-16
Whatever made this act a sin – it was so stinky that crusty old Joab even found it “abhorrent” (6b)!

Divine Disaster (7-17):
More importantly than Joab – God was “displeased” (7)! This verse is a summary statement of what is about to unfold.
Confession (8) – 3 Options: 3 years; 3 months; 3 days.
Confession (13) – Humbled perplexity. Plague
Confession and plea (17) – Psalm 69.5-6. The Stay of Execution, and…

Deep Deliverance (21.18-22.1)
The Way is Made (18)
The Price is Paid (24)
The Path is Laid (22.1)

The LORD makes the way to clear out his anger – that altar and God’s fire (26)! The One who burned against his people, nor pours out that fire on their pricey, costly substitute! This place, this altar, would always point to this:

“Here I raise my Ebenezer (a memorial stone of God’s rescue – 1 Samuel 7.12); hither by Thy help I’m come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood” (TH 457).

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5.8-11).

The LORD delights in exchanging ashes for the oil of gladness; his anger was but for a moment, his favor for a lifetime; weeping tarried “for a night” but joy came “in the morning”; they went out weeping, and came home with shouts of joy (thus 1 Chronicles 22-29).

The point of this should have been clear to those Israelites who were slinking and slouching and scuffling their way out of exile back to the land – and it should be clear to us:
(1) If David dropped, nose-dived, flopped and miscarried – so can you, so can I, so can we! As Scripture clearly warns: “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10.12).

(2) The LORD God declares “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 18.23)?

(3) But – Good News Alert – God can take any catastrophe, cataclysm, collapse we may have brought on our selves, and turn it into our Ebenezer stone; a joy-filled road-mark in our lives of a new adventure, a new day, a new way, a new freshness! 2 Chronicles 7.14!


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