Carefully Crafted, Easily Shattered
Tuesday - July 21st Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: 2 Samuel 11:1-5
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:17-20
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
In May, two kids in a Shanghai, China museum were playing around and accidentally shattered parts of a hand-blown glass castle on display. Curators valued the beautiful and intricately designed work of art at $64,000 U.S. dollar. They hoped to bring the Spanish glass-blowing artist back to repair the damaged castle, but that was not possible due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The artist had spent hundreds of hours creating the detailed artwork. It took mere seconds for the kids to destroy what he built (every parent's nightmare). Similarly, we can work hard to develop our character as we walk with the Lord day-by-day. We can establish a sense of trust with those closest to us. Family, friends, co-workers, and others can acknowledge and desire to emulate the same quality of character in their lives that they see in us. BUT, it can all come crashing down with one failure. It only takes one misstep to break our trust with others.
While not a perfect man, King David had walked with God through both mountain top and valley experiences. He was known for his integrity, his trustworthiness, and his strength of character. He was a man described in Scripture as a "man after God's own heart." In the opening verses of 2 Samuel 11, King David is at home in his Jerusalem palace while his armies are off at war. Just that fact is unusual. Kings in that time would be with their men in battle. The story that unfolds as he is on the roof of his palace and sees a woman bathing privately on her rooftop leads many Bible scholars to believe he is bored with battle. David isn't where he should be. He is vulnerable to his passions.
David chooses to have the woman, Bathsheba, brought to him and he commits adultery with her. Sometime later, she informs him she is pregnant with his child. He brings her husband home from battle, gets him drunk, encourages him to sleep with Bathsheba, so the man will believe her child is his. That doesn't work. David then sends the man back to the battle, has his crucial general put the man in a position of danger in action, and has that general abandon the man. His death will appear to be a casualty of war when, in fact, he is murdered by David.
David's life is never the same. The consequences of his actions are brought to light by God through the prophet Nathaniel. One night's impure thoughts and actions led to adultery and murder. King David, a man of character, shatters his stature and trustworthiness with his family and nation. God deals with him. David's sin has far-reaching consequences. David confesses his sin to God and experiences His forgiveness. David's trustworthy character had been built over a lifetime and was shattered in moments.
The story of David's fall stands as a warning in Scripture for us today. It is important to allow God's Spirit to mold us and shape us. We celebrate what God does as He makes us more like Jesus day-by-day. When we live and love like Jesus, people see a trustworthy character. That character takes years to form. If we are not careful, it can be shattered in a day.
Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." As David surveyed the rooftops in Jerusalem, it appears his heart was not guarded. He allowed himself to dwell on impure thoughts toward another man's wife. The adultery that followed came directly as a result of his unguarded heart.
As you go about your day today, guard your heart against dwelling on the wrong things. Don't let impure, greedy, or arrogant thoughts linger in your mind. What we harbor in our hearts will come out in our lives. All that has done to develop and shape your character can be quickly destroyed with sin that destroys the trust others place in you. What was carefully crafted can be easily shattered! Guard your heart today!
We must be aware that a trustworthy character can be shattered as quickly as a glass castle!