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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fame (05/10/12)

By Graham Insley


Swoosh, twang and clang. Stones, arrows and spears flew everywhere. The muscles in Uriahís biceps strained as his shield once again raced across his body to protect against the latest onslaught. Legs nearly used, arms starting to fail and a brain befuddled by all of the noise, screaming and cries of the dying, he was unsure he could hold out much longer.

Blood started to crawl down his cheek from where the last arrow had taken off his right ear lobe. The moisture he could feel on his chest was of uncertain origin, but he knew he was in serious trouble. Head spinning, feet finally giving way as something hard crashed into his side, he turned as he fell. That was when he realised he was alone. His allies had withdrawn from the fight and he suddenly knew, beyond all doubt, that he was going to die this day.

But he didnít know why.

The above scene is not an actual quote from Scripture. But it is a description of what may have been happening in the last moments of Uriahís life, as he was left to die in battle by the orders of King David himself.

Guilty of adultery with Uriahís wife, David added further to his guilt by arranging this murder so that his own sin may go undiscovered. Imagine the stupidity of someone, so lost in the consequences of their own behaviour that they actually believe they could hide it from God? David knew better. But at that moment in his life his mind and emotions were leading him deeper and deeper into trouble.

And these infamous sins and actions, which amounted to rape and murder, are well remembered and often used to teach lessons about Godís grace and forgiveness.

The Websterís Dictionary defines the word infamous as Ďof ill report, having a reputation of the worst kind, odious, detestable...í

It doesnít matter how odious or detestable our sins are, they are not beyond the reach of Godís love and forgiveness. His heart is always to bring us into repentance and restoration. He wants to lovingly and graciously accept us in spite of our stupidity, selfishness and lust; but more, to actually heal us and deliver us from their bondage.

And that brings us to something else about King David; his heart or repentance.

Sweat started to form on the older manís brow. Hands shaking and heart beating loudly in his chest, the uncertainty was now becoming a cloud behind his eyes. Surely he must have missed something. This was the last son of Jesse coming towards him. Such a small young lad couldnít be the next king. His brothers had been much stronger and more mature. He must have missed something.

Almost inaudible, that was when the whisper came; ďDonít look upon the outer lad, Samuel. Pour you oil, for I see his heart and I am well pleased.Ē

Samuel anointed David to be king because as infamous as David was for the murder of Uriah, he was going to be far more famous for being a man after Godís own heart. And from this we learn two very important facts.

Firstly, it doesnít matter what you have done, it matters what you become. To be famous for having Godís heart should be the goal of every Christian; and when it is attained, all else fails by comparison. Nothing can compare.

And secondly, we really need to understand what that Ďheartí is; because we modern day Davidís donít understand this concept and have turned it into a wishy washy excuse for sin. We do something wrong, even hurtful to others and make the excuse ďGod knows my heartĒ; as if some inner desire justifies our actions. But it doesnít.

In our modern language we use the word Ďheartí to refer to our motives and desires; but that isnít the way it is used in Hebrew. Check out a Strongís Concordance for the Hebrew numbers 3820 and 3824 and you might get a surprise. These words, as part of their definition, say that it refers to our feelings, heart, will (meaning our personal choice) intellect and understanding.

So the Ďheartí that God saw in David wasnít just emotions and motives. It was the way He knew David would learn to think, the choices he would learn to make and the understandings he would come into.

Want to be famous? Then learn to think and act, walk and talk, after Godís own heart.

Footnote: Scripture references for this article are 1 Samuel 16, 2 Samuel 11 and Acts 13:22

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 383 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/18/12
A powerful story, with ringing truths. The very first descpritive paragraph came alive to this reader, as I envisioned poor Uriah dying before my eyes.

This was a well written, compelling and very strong entry. Nicely done.

Wow. Good job.

God Bless~
Theresa Santy 05/18/12
Nice flowing, well thought out piece. Logical, smooth-flowing, and relevant.

Nicely done :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/19/12
This is a nice essay on the two sides of David. You give the reader some great things to think about.

Be careful about remain consistent with the tense and don't slip from past to present.

I think the way you tackled the topic was creative and fresh. The stark difference between infamous and famous really helped drive your point home.
Allison Egley 05/21/12
Nice job on this.

At the beginning, I would make each word its own sentence. Swoosh! Twang! Clang! I normally preach against using exclamation points anywhere but in dialogue, but for sound words, it's the most effect way to get the point across.

You give us some great reminders here!
Joe Moreland05/21/12
Good job with this commentary. Interesting twist, beginning it with a story that leads into your study. Putting a face to Uriah first helps to drive home the message of what David did to someone who was not only a leader in his army, but also a friend to David.

I like what you did at the end, in showing us David's annointing as well. I thought at first you were going to jump to the end of his life, and show us where things ended for him, but I like the direction you went better. Good choices all around and a solidly written piece.

Nice work!
Colin Swann05/22/12
Very interesting piece of work. A good devotional on faithfulness and unfaithfulness as well as telling how even the mighty and famous people of God can fall. Paul said we had to be careful because we can fall and that we are no better than another, without God's grace to lift us.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/24/12
Congratulations for ranking 10th in level one!
Janice Quimby05/26/12
Great devotional with a lot to think about. I liked the point that the important thing is not where you have come from but where you are going. All sins, even murder, will be forgiven the repentant person.

Thanks for giving us something to think about.
Carol Penhorwood 05/26/12
Beautifully written and filled with encouragement for those of us who deal with regrets. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness and for this well done. You touched my heart.