Life does not have a “delete” key


Steve Zeisler, in a message on 2 Samuel 12-19, preached at Peninsula Bible Church:

old typewriterTypewriters have become obsolete, like slide rules and rotary telephones. I think that’s a good thing. Typing was one of my worst classes in high school. Fine motor skills are not my strength. And unfortunately for me there was no way to fake competence in typing class. We had to turn in perfect papers. Had we been allowed to make errors, I could type 60-70 words per minute, but I could only achieve half that with accuracy.
MacBookBlackNow, as you know, the modern counterpart of the old typewriter is the word processor. With a word processor, you need not print a hard copy until you’re ready to. The document exists only in computer memory, and there is a delete key, an undo command, a spelling checker, and all kinds of things to fix your mistakes before you ever print it out. It seems to me that’s a much better way to do things.

chessSimilarly, old games used to consist of real manipulatives: chess pieces, Scrabble letter tiles, and so on. You knew whether you had done well or not because the evidence was in front of you. Modern games, of course, are electronic, and if anything bad happens, you just hit the “start over” button, and all the deaths you’ve died are wiped out.

It turns out, though, that real life is much more like the old typewriter than the modern word processor.Real life has consequences that cannot be altered with a delete key.

We’ve come now in our series of studies to the long-term outcomes of David’s rebellion. David imagined himself to be a sort of god, ordering life and death of his subordinates-until the awful day when Nathan came and faced him with his sin. David’s heart finally broke before the Lord, and the interior suffering to which he had been subjected was finally relieved as he admitted publicly, “I have sinned against the LORD.” 

Now what follows is the account of David’s loss of control. Where once he seemed to be in command of everything, at the center of his own universe, now he can’t stop things from unraveling.

In the last message, we heard Nathan’s prediction to David: “Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house….” And he further predicted the rending of David’s own family. It would become a circle of violence, pride, defiant betrayal, and finally public humiliation.

Now, there is a redemptive aspect to all this. It is good that David loses his authority over everything. He becomes a man who is yielded to God rather than one who challenges God, and the good work that happens inside David is his restoration to a loving relationship with God.

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