Taking Matters into our own Hands

February 9, 2017 by Todd Stevens | Campus Farmington Hills

When I was in high school, I was once interviewed for an article in the local county newspaper. As I talked about how I was in the school marching band, I remember thinking that didn’t sound very cool. I wanted the reporter to think I was cool, so I took matters into my own hands. I told her I played the electric bass guitar, which was true.

She then asked if I was in a rock band, which I knew would make me seem cool. So, I stretched the truth and said, “I play with various bands around town.” I rationalized to myself that it was sort of true, since the marching band did play at various football fields and parades. But I knew I was misleading her.

Even though we talked about lots of different things, which detail do you think she included in the brief article? I was mortified when I saw my lie in black and white in the newspaper. Everyone who knew me knew it wasn’t true and I looked like a knucklehead. Of course, I’d been a knucklehead all along, but most people hadn’t figured that out about me until then.

In 1 Samuel 21, Ahimelech the priest was suspicious about David arriving alone, because he should have a detachment of Secret Service agents or an entourage. “Um, I’m on a secret mission from the king. I’d tell you about it, but then I’d have to kill you.”

I’m sure David rationalized why stretching the truth was the right thing to do. Besides, he didn’t say which king he was talking about. And he kind of was on a mission from God.

The bread of the Presence given to him by the priest should have reminded him how God was present with him. But David was too busy taking matters into his own hands to think about that. “Can I borrow a weapon? Even though I’m a trained soldier – and so are all my men who you conveniently can’t see right now – we left in such a hurry we all forgot our weapons.”

The priest brought him Goliath’s sword. This should have reminded David how God had been faithful in a seemingly impossible situation. But instead of repenting, he ran off to Gath, where he again took matters into his own hands by pretending to be insane to protect himself.

What each of these situations has in common is David never paused and asked what God wanted him to do. The results of his lie were tragic. Eighty-five priests and their families were killed.

David learns from his mistake that things never go well when we take matters into our own hands, so he again began seeking God in his decisions. Eventually, like David, we all learn that life goes better when we trust God.

But, too often we forget again.

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