Godliness with Contentment

We see two scenarios in Scripture where God bestows so much, yet appetites get the better, the struggle for power and independence apart from God overpower His perfect plan.

The first is that of Adam and Eve in Garden of Eden. God gave these two an entire paradise of good things pleasant to the touch, taste, smell–new discoveries every day. Weeks could have gone by with Adam teaching Eve the names of all the animals, exploring new corners of their home together. They talked and walked with God as easily as it was to think a thought–and yet they wanted more. Eve wanted something she thought she was missing–something she was told she was missing and Adam wanted the fruit for the same reason. God would have given them everything, in fact, he did. But they wanted more.

And so it was for David and his decision to sleep with Bathsheba. He had years God-given of victory over his enemies up until this point. This was the man who once hid in caves and acted like a crazy man to get himself out of his own sticky wicket–who now had a beautiful palace, nations under his control, wealth and wives to his heart’s content and yet he wanted more too.

It seems like David had his guard down from the beginning: laying low at home instead of joining his armies in the field in the Spring. And while everything on the battlefield seemed to be in order, it was his heart’s defenses that were unprotected. All it took was a lingering look to lead to his affair with Bathsheba, the murder of her husband, Uriah and the subsequent death of their firstborn.

We have two options: 1) Remove ourselves from the world that surrounds us 2) Learn to live in a place where there is so much at our fingertips and rely on the good Shepherd to lead us not into temptation.

God wants to give us our heart’s desire, but it’s up to us to hear the murmurings of His heart first. “And if all of this had been too little, I would have given you more.” we see God say to David through the prophet Nathan after David’s sin had come to light. You see, God loved David. We witness that love from the moment He brings David victory over a living, breathing, seething giant. There is a promise, there is an anointing, but fifteen years go by. Fifteen hard, testing years until David is finally declared king over Israel. And through all this, God’s hand is on David and this is why it grieves God so to see David’s sin with Bathsheba. When our hearts become intertwined with someone else’s, whether it a spouse, a best friend, a family member and we witness a terrible life-altering decision, we grieve. God grieves too.

Things would never be the same after Adam and Eve were banished from the garden after their decision to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They are left to feel pain, experience conflict and know what toil truly means. Things were completely different for David as well: his kingdom would be divided against itself, the authority by which he took Bathsheba “in secret” became distorted in broad daylight when we witness the terrible act of David’s son raping his half-sister.

I want more, but I am prodded, prompted in I Timothy 6:6 , “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” What does that mean?

It means coming to the Bread of Life when I’m hungry.

It means drinking the Living Water when I’m thirsty.

It means resting, hiding in the the crook of The Shepherd’s arm when I am weary.

It means allowing my mind to be renewed when my head games get the better of me.

Yet God LOVED Adam and Eve–they were his creations, his chosen ones and He LOVED David and Psalm 89: 30-33, tells us so “If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him [David], nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.”

Photo Licensed under Creative Commons by Reza Vaziri

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