Thursday, June 19, 2014

Peter & David

Recently as I read the account of Peter's denial of Christ, I was struck a similarity between him and David.  Often we forget that these great men of the faith were but men, after all.  We read of David as King, as a mighty man of war, and as a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22).  We read of Peter as the chief among Christ’s apostles, even of the 3, Peter, James & John; Peter is also the one on whom Christ will build His Church.  Yet we sometime elevate them too far, beyond the Scriptural descriptors.  Soon they are more than men to us.  Yet both Peter and David had as great a series of failures as they had successes.  David in his murder of Uriah and adultery with Bathsheba; Peter in his denial of Christ and of the truth of the Gospel in Galatians 2:11-14.

These great men were of the same cloth as I am.  In a moment I may be found in grave sin - even to the denying of my Lord.  Yet He knows our frame, that we are but dust (Psalm 10-3:14).  And Christ indeed knows the danger we face - Look at what He tells Peter in Luke’s Gospel, "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail" (Luke 22:32) In the same verse where He predicts Peters failure, Christ offers encouragement to Peter, beforehand, that he will be of use to his Lord when he does return to Him, to be an encouragement to his brothers.
Finally, an oft quoted verse of Scripture in 1 Peter is made all the more incredible, and encouraging - when we consider it in light of what we've been discussing here.  Recall that it was through this very trial Peter writes us an encouraging note, "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you".  Peter, saying this to us, upon the furnace of such trials as his very denial of Christ, reminds us that God indeed cares for us.  Peter's faith having been strengthened, now strengthens us and many others throughout the millennia since his letter was sent.  Verse 75 (of Matthew chapter 26) tells us that he went out and "wept bitterly".  I am reminded of the Psalm 126:5-6,
Those who sow in tears, shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him.
Lord - Help us to love you always and obey - but when we fail - help us to be brought back again to You and to encourage our brethren.

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