In HOPE

  In HOPE 8.34 

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David Timms  

 


Ministry Resource

Barbara Brown Taylor's Bread of Angels (Cowley, 1997; 164 pages) provides a collection of twenty-nine sermons that dig beautifully and thoughtfully into various stories in Scripture. She frequently sees an angle that most of us miss and her insights (one of my favorites is "The Problem of Miracles") prove heart-shaping. This is not just a book for preachers but for anyone who needs a fresh meal from Scripture instead of warmed left-overs.

Hope Happenings

The Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC) was established in 1986 to develop resource-sharing relationships among the libraries of private academic institutions in California. Hope International University celebrates its 10th anniversary as a member and Terri Bogan, our Reference and Instruction Librarian, now begins her sixth year on the board of directors.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

 

"David did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and did not turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life,
except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." (1 Kings 15.5) 


Real Heroism

David was a man's man. As a young shepherd he tamed the outdoors, protecting his flocks from lions, bears, wolves, and other dangers. When Goliath, "the uncircumcised Philistine," threatened to terrify Israel into submission, David killed him with nothing more than a river-stone (albeit with laser precision to the head) and a lethal swipe with the giant's own sword. As King of Israel, David ruled with power and polish.

This rugged, handsome, fearless, and brilliant military strategist would make a good President these days in most people's eyes. Calculating and creative, methodical and musical, shrewd and sensitive; the perfectly rounded leader.

Except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Actually, that was no small matter. In short order, David violated three of the ten commandments -- do not covet, do not commit adultery, do not kill. Despite his genius and greatness, David harbored a fundamental flaw.

We're inclined to dismiss David's "slip" because our heroes often have clay feet; private lives that fail in the public spotlight. Infidelity and impropriety hardly tarnish our heroes who lie and deny their way through most scandals.

But David stands out as a real hero precisely because of the way he responded in the aftermath of that sordid episode.

Nathan the prophet, subtle and smooth, told a story of a poor man whose only lamb was commandeered by a wealthy bully (2 Samuel 12:1-4). David, inflamed with anger at the injustice, demanded that such a bully be executed! "You are the man!" said Nathan, perhaps with some tremor in his voice.

Would David lie and deny? Would he justify and excuse his actions? Would he protect himself with more violence?

In perhaps the most poignant moment of his life -- faced not with Philistines or foxes but with his own inner demons -- David confessed his guilt and condemned himself to death. God, with grace, did not require David's life, though Bathsheba would bury her firstborn.

Our culture worships power, courage, fame, and success. We want to emulate those who excel in these areas. They are our heroes. But David's most heroic moment came in admission and confession. His decision to accept blame, to acknowledge guilt, and to receive consequences outshines all his military conquests and royal achievements.

True heroes continue to model such humility, honesty, and integrity. May we be among them.

In HOPE --

David

 

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2008) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.