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Naked Without Shame
Have you ever wondered how you would have reacted were you in the same situation as some biblical character? Well, that’s how God’s Word works. See, He sets us up in different situations and then presents us with a particular scripture, or group of scriptures, to teach us and guide us along our Christian paths.
Just for example, I am going to set up for you a situation that might call for the story of David, found in II Samuel, chapter six.
Ronald grew up in very small town in South Virginia. He was the third of four boys and was rather “slow,” or so they said. He wasn’t diagnosed with severe dyslexia until long after he’d finished high school, by the skin of his teeth of course. Over and over, as an adult, he still heard the words ring in his ears often, “You’ll never amount to anything. You’ll have to dig ditches and mow lawns to eat.”
But the older he got, the more his pride grew. Ronald made up his mind that he would find his place in the world and excel beyond that of anyone in his family. And so it was. By the age of twenty-five, he’d gone from a ranch hand to ranch foreman. By age thirty, he’d saved enough pennies to buy, breed and sell enough livestock to buy his own ranch. He continued to work as a foreman to pay his taxes on his ranch, continued to save his pennies, and purchased enough livestock to begin making a handsome profit on his own ranch by his thirty-third birthday. When he turned forty, he had made and invested enough money to become one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in South Virginia.
He had very good reason to be proud of himself. But Ronald went overboard. He took full advantage of being the only one of the four brothers to become financially successful. He very bluntly let them know that they were wrong about him and, in so many words, insisted that they acknowledge his accomplishments with respect. They, of course, disappointed him and distanced themselves from their proud brother. Though he was hurting deeply inside for the love of his family, his pride would not let him see his own poor judgment. He’d neither forgiven, nor was he able to acknowledge his own overabundance of pride.
Ronald’s wife, Sherry, came home from shopping one day to inform him that one of the cows appeared to be sickly near the entrance to the ranch. He did his best to nurse the cow to health, but she continued to get weaker over a few days time. Suddenly, all the cows that he’d kept in the pen with her became sick as well. The veterinarian suggested keeping the sick cows separated from the rest of the herd, gave him enough antibiotics to treat all of the sick cows, and could guarantee him nothing.
Sure enough, all of the sick cows died and he was out a hefty sum of money. Over a period of only a few weeks, he’d lost over thirty percent of his cattle. “It will take five years to build back what we’ve lost,” he complained, “and that’s not including the fact that I’ve still got cows coming down sick.” Yes, within three months, Ronald, the great, proud, self-made rich man lost everything he had, including the ranch and his shopping-crazed wife.
At forty-five, he had nowhere to go and no money to get there. He could go back to being a foreman and start all over again. But, unfortunately, nobody needed him. He had nowhere to turn except back to the family that he’d neglected to speak to in over five years. One of his three brothers took him in and helped him get on with the city’s street crew... digging ditches. “I never meant it, Bro, when I said you’d be digging ditches. I swear. Man, we were just kids. You know how kids are. You’ll get back on your feet. I know you will!”
One day, as Ronald walked away from his work to get a drink of water, one of his co-workers offered him advice on making the job a little easier. “These guys don’t cut you any slack. They’ll run you in the ground if you let them. If you’ll run that thing in reverse, you only have to go over the spot once. But I see you going forward first, then backing over it.” Ronald nodded his head in thanks and turned to go back to work.
“Hey, wait a minute. Name’s Buddy. Where do you and the family go to church?” Buddy followed him back to the worksite and listened as Ronald told his story. By the end of the day, he’d made a great new friend and received an invitation to attend the church he’d grown up in.
That Sunday, Ronald sat in awe of the young preacher’s enthusiasm and wit. Word by word, he was taken in by the love and forgiveness he witnessed in the story of the prodigal son. He wondered if the same God this man mentioned could do any of those things for him. Then suddenly, as though the preacher had read his thoughts, “There is nothing so bad that God does not offer you forgiveness. There is nothing too big for Him. There is nothing you can do that will cause Him not to love you.” At the end of the service, Ronald made his way to the altar and received Jesus as Lord of his life.
As he grew in the Lord, forgave all those whom he needed to forgive, and learned to be content with his life, he began to notice the favor of God at work for him. One day, a man called him to ask him if he’d work as a foreman to replace someone who’d chosen a job that was physically easier. Of course, Ronald eagerly took the job, but not before time spent in prayer. “Let my work, my life, and my money be to Your glory, Lord.” And so it was...
He was so thankful for the things the Lord had done for him financially and planned to work his way back up, if the Lord was willing. He was thankful for the repaired relationships with every member of his family. But most of all, he was thankful for his salvation. The greatest mark of his character to replace that of pride was the joy of being saved.
One day, as the thankfulness ran over the rim of his heart, Ronald cried out at the altar. He praised the Lord with great streams of tears. He was overwhelmed with thanksgiving and was oblivious that anyone was watching him as he cried. His ex-wife had remarried and the couple had been invited to attend that morning’s service. “I can’t believe you did that. Do you realize how foolish you looked up there?”
“I am not ashamed of my love for God, Sherry.”
Now, I hope that Sherry realized the error of her ways and came to repentance. Better yet, I hope that when the Lord chose to open II Samuel, chapter six to him, that Ronald said, “Forgive her, Lord, for she knows not what she’s done.” But something tells me, besides the fact that Sherry was obviously too old to have children at her age and she and Ronald never had any, that she would go on to never have children. Something also tells me that Ronald probably got remarried to some widow with four boys and took them in as his own. But I’ll let you decide how the story ought to end.
© Joyce Pool
II Samuel 6:
 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.
 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.
 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
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Reader Count & Comments
Sarah Balk Bond
03 Sep 2004
You have an awesome gift, your story gave me chill bumps. I forgot it was being told, it was like being there. May God continue to bless your diligience in writing!
02 Sep 2004
Treava, when we give our all to Jesus, we will look foolish to the world. The fool says in his heart, there is no God! Being called a fool, because of God, is an honor! Well written!
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