Do you remember the story of David and Bathsheba? David was the King of Israel at the time. One day, from his palace roof, he saw Bathsheba taking her bath, and from that moment on he wanted her, and what he wanted he took. Of course, the inevitable happened, she fell pregnant. To hide his adultery he brought her husband, Uriah, back from the battlefield so that the conception would be seen as his. The only trouble was that Uriah took a vow of abstinence while he was home on leave. David then took the next step and had Uriah placed in the frontline of battle. He even had the troops withdraw to leave him stranded. So, adultery had led to murder.

Some time later, Nathan the prophet exposed David. In the face of his sin David admitted his guilt and sought God's forgiveness. All those around him probably felt it smelt a bit, but in truth, David's standing in the sight of God remained secure, even though he was a murderer.

In the Bible, John the apostle writes, "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers." John's point seems to be that a friend of God is a friend of others.

The problem with this idea is that no one does what God wants them to do? David certainly didn't; he was anything but friendly. I tend not to do what God wants me to do and neither do you. Most of us literally break 8 of the Ten Commandments, some of us 9. David was a 10, but was still God's friend. Mind you, if we are an 8 we need to remember that we are murderers and adulterers in spirit - we all know about lust and hate. So in truth, we are all 10s.

What the Bible seems to be saying is that a person who is God's friend tends to be a friend of others. Total obedience, perfection, is not what God expects of his friends, but rather orientation; a friend of God tries to be friendly. If we have discovered God's mercy, forgiveness and love in Jesus then we tend to be merciful, forgiving and loving. If like David, our path in life is stained by selfish ambition, and like him we throw ourselves on the mercy of God found in Jesus Christ, not only are we forgiven, but slowly and surely we become forgiving.


[Pumpkin Cottage]