Family Calamity and Restoration
Wednesdays with Beth
I wonder if it just happens to ring a bell with anybody. Anybody besides me had a little family calamity? Maybe in your family of origin? Maybe in the family that lives under your roof right now. Some of us may not have spoken to some family members in years because of a calamity.
But I want you to understand from scripture that there is family calamity all the way from Genesis to Revelation... and there is healing for us. There is shame that God wants to tend to in our lives and I want you to see a little bit of the process of what a family calamity was like that we could say over -- we need this from time to time -- that we would be able to look at a situation and go, "Now that's just about as bad as it gets." Maybe ours was not quite that bad.
I want you to begin with me in Second Samuel chapter seven because there are some words that the man after God's own heart uses that gives us a little reference point from which this will all go. He says this -- this is at the pinnacle moment of his kingdom and his rule when he is really gotten -- somehow absorbed the reality that he is in the lineage of the kingdom that will never end; that God has chosen his line, chosen his lineage and he says these words, Second Samuel seven, verse 18:
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
Who am I? And what is my family that you have brought me this far?
I wonder if any of us have had a long enough journey with Christ to say, "Listen, if you would have told me I would be here today and half way sane, yet alone in a place like this studying God's word together, let alone where you're still deciding to get up in the morning after all you've been through..." Can any of us say, "Who am I oh, LORD that out of your graciousness to me you have brought my family and me this far -- this far!"
Please understand with me that for anything God does, the enemy is going to attempt to counterfeit. God is a God who wants to bring us to such a place that our lives become a living testimony, that it could only be him. He wants to remove every other excuse, every other reason for how far you have come except that he is God and that he himself did it. He is after that glory.
But I assure you, you have an enemy. Someone who is scheming to take not only you down but our entire families with us; the enemy of the family, the enemy of every single institution God has built up and ordained. And he is vicious and he is relentless and he wants to bring us to a place where we could say, "How could it have ever gone this far?"
Can anybody besides me say today, "You know when that situation started I never intended to end up here." Anybody? "I had no thought that sin would take me here. That flirting with that particular situation would end me up here. I had no idea that this is where this thing would end."
I need you to hear from the scriptures today, it's not over yet. Are you living and breathing? Are you drawing breath? Let me tell you, no matter what the enemy has done, no matter how far he has taken this thing, it is not finished and God has come to bring some healing and some understanding to this thing that you and I are going to call "Family Calamity."
I want you to turn with me now to Second Samuel chapter 13 and sit tight for just a moment. We're going to build seven statements over the course of our two-part series about family; family restoration and this thing we're calling "Family Calamity." It starts right here, I want you to jot this down then we're going to start looking into the scriptures to see how it will shape up, how it will take on almost a video quality; we'll be able to just watch this whole scene play out in the family calamity of the man after God's own heart, who did not cease to be the man after God's own heart throughout this entire ordeal.
I want you to jot that down because some of you were thinking, it only happens to people like me. Some of you have decided, you've identified yourself somewhere in the trash category and you're thinking to yourself, this kind of thing only happens to people like me. That's not so! That's not so! Family calamity is no respecter of persons. It does not prefer the poor to the rich. It may be that the rich have a better ability to cover it but that may also mean that it takes them longer to deal with it.
If we can keep it covered and we can keep it together on the outside, sometimes we won't deal. If it is obvious and out there, sometimes we have to. So in some respects they could stay in their bondage longer than the poor because they can get away to some extent with covering the entire thing.
But let me tell you, any family can have calamity. It is no respecter of race or creed. Today's happy family can be tomorrow's tabloid.
One reason why when we check out our groceries and look at some of the covers to those rag sheets we think to ourselves, you know one reason why I don't want to get any joy out of that is because it can be my family tomorrow! A friend and I have teased that we're afraid to turn on the TV lest we turn on to some talk show like Jerry Springer and there is our family! And worst yet, we're right there with them and forgot we did it! Can you imagine?
And I began trying to recount in my memory the things that just my family of origin had been through.
I think this is important because I think very often we look at other people that seem in a worldly sense to have it all together and I assure you, do not think that here. It would be extremely inappropriate and misguided. I can't even tell you, we don't have the time to recount everything my family of origin has been through but I'm going to tell you a few of those things. I want to share with you as I do that here recently something interesting has happened.
Back in my Bible study in Houston, a couple of years ago, my in-laws started coming, and they had never been to Bible study before and had some friends that wanted to attend with them. So they decided that if they were going to attend with them that meant they better go; actually take them to it since that's what they were coming to do.
So as God will do and as his word will attract, they became addicted to the study of the scriptures and have come ever since. But you can imagine that it's changed everything for me. Because I could use some material.