Friday, July 6, 2012
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Blindfolds have usually been a hindrance in my life. I mean, I think the first blindfold I ever remember having on was when I was little. I was at a birthday party and we were playing, you know, like Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Now, I've never been real coordinated, so you put a blindfold on me and spin me around a few times, I usually ended up pinning it on the hostess. Anyway, it's great to be the laughing stock at the birthday party.
Now, I got to be a teenager, they put me in this trust walk where my un-blindfolded friend was leading me around blindfolded through water, into walls, and into trees. And then even as a grownup at parties, all I know is that when they blindfold me I know I'm going to end up looking like the village idiot.
But blindfolds? They aren't always bad. I mean, think about that famous statue you can see at the Supreme Court. You remember Blind Justice? She's holding the scales of justice, upholding the law without being able to see faces, or expressions, or wardrobes, or appearances. Well you get a better verdict that way.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Bible Wears a Blindfold."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God. It comes from 2 Samuel 12:1. It follows after David, the king, has committed his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and then his conspiracy to have her husband murdered and the conspiracy to cover that up. It says, "The Lord sent Nathan to David." Well, this is not going to be a very exciting mission, because it is the Prophet Nathan's job to confront the king, David.
He tells this parabolic story about a man who took a poor man's flock away from him, symbolizing what David had done. And then Nathan said to David in verse 7, "You are the man who did that. This is what the Lord God of Israel says, 'I anointed you king over Israel, I delivered you from the hand of Saul. The sword will never depart from your house because you despised Me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own."
Now, Nathan's got a tough assignment here. He has to impartially apply the laws of God to his friend, his king. The one called "the man after God's own heart" David. But like Blind Justice, the Bible makes no distinctions when it comes to God's standards. The Bible wears a blindfold.
I was discussing divorce and how the church should handle that with a pastor friend of mine, and I'm not going to begin to solve that issue here. But I did say to him, "You know, I had a feeling that if we just read the Bible and didn't know anybody, we'd have a pretty clear view of what God wants. Then someone we care about comes along and it kind of gets us confused about what the Bible says." And I told him, "I think the problems start when a verse gets a face."
That's true in a lot of areas. Today in Christian circles, we're accepting of so much more stuff - stuff that we wouldn't have touched like say ten years ago. Our sociology often decides more than our theology decides. Our culture decides more than our Christianity. We can only enjoy the full blessing of God if we insist on the high standards of God.
And I've got to tell you, it's tempting not to when there's a face - especially somebody you care about - in front of the verse. But it isn't really love to lower the standards of God to make some temporary situation more comfortable. Those standards are not there to destroy people; they are the path to personal happiness. No matter how it looks, we must apply the Biblical guidelines with gentleness, not judgment; with love, not legalism. But we cannot dilute the Word of God for any person, for any situation. Not even King David could get such a compromise.
To rightly represent a holy God in this anything-goes world, we have to always be sure of the Bible's ways of life and stand on those.