"Responses" by Laura Rice

Our response when confronted about our sin is a significant clue to the condition of our hearts
before others and God.  When John spoke Sunday evening, he sought to illustrate the different
ways we may react.  He succinctly told of 6 scriptural scenarios.

Adam and Eve were disobedient. Their responses were classic: Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. They were grieved by the consequences God pronounced but failed to truly repent. The story of Cain and Abel clearly shows, again, a man warned and bent toward sin, who when confronted arrogantly deflects his actions and even moans and complains about God’s meting out of consequence.

King Saul was the most clueless about his sin.  He is proud of his accomplishments as a warrior
and seems to easily ignore God’s instructions about offerings.  His arrogance and bitterness follow him forward throughout his life.

These 3 recountings have the same theme. No one wants to take responsibility for their sin.  Each has a wrong view of God and of the severity of disobedience.The next 3 stories demonstrate God’s desire for us when we sin. Judah, the fourth son of Israel and Leah go through some trials in order to own his sin.  He had previously attempted to save his brother Joseph when the other brothers were intent on killing him.  He had compassion.

This is many years before he sins against Tamar.  When she does confront him he takes responsibility and even makes full retribution to her for the denial of a husband.  I see again
his heart of compassion and his taking responsibility for his actions. David was already set up for sin when he doesn’t join his men at war and steps out of his palace and sees Bathsheba. Then when he is tempted by Bathsheba’s beauty he takes what he wants and even has her
husband killed when her pregnancy is realized. 

It takes the prophet, Nathan, to voice the truth of what he’s done, but David quickly repents before God. Then there is the short story of the tax collector who knows who he is and what he has done, and then repents. This is contrasted to the Pharisee who thinks highly of himself.
The moral of these stories is:  Keep our hearts open to hear from God; read the word to stay in touch with what God desires from us both in word and actions;  allow God to examine our hearts; and allow others to expose attitudes and deep ungodly leanings in us; remain humble.   

I have done all of what the first 3 stories have showed.  I definitely have hidden my sin from God and others.  I have learned that is a miserable way to live.  Blaming my sin on someone else or on circumstances left me feeling nervously deceitful.  Coming clean may be hard but there is a great relief in agreeing with God.  I have also been warned by God before I chose to sin.  Though that seems like a no-brainer (to listen to Him), temptation and bondage are powerful.  Our hearts can be incredibly deceitful. I have learned to repent and forgive quickly.  We know God will help us through because this is His will, to be in right standing with Himself and others.