“And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David…And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul,…and, behold, thou are taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.” (2 Samuel 16:5-8)
At the time of this passage, David’s rebellious son, Absalom, had taken over the kingdom, and David was on the run. He and his group of loyal followers were fleeing when a man named, Shimei, started throwing stones at David and cursing him. Shimei is of the house of Saul, Israel’s first king. He obviously hated the fact that Saul’s house no longer ruled Israel. In truth, though, Saul’s downfall was his own fault—that was common knowledge. Shimei, though, didn’t seem to care about the truth. As far as he was concerned, Saul was right, and David was wrong. Period.
Shimei followed David and his people, cursing and throwing stones. One of David’s soldiers, Abishai, offered to “…go over…and take off his [Shimei’s] head.” (2 Samuel 16:9), but David said no. He allowed Shimei to continue cursing and throwing stones.
Eventually, Absalom was killed and his revolt fizzled. The good guys—David and his people—won, and David was back in power. Shimei, the stone-thrower, now had good reason to be afraid, so he went to David, “And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me…” (2 Samuel 19:19). Shimei apologized profusely to David. Abishai thought Shimei should be put to death, but King David forbade it. He was glad that God had put him back into power, and he accepted the apology.
As a cop, sooner or later, you will likely have a “Shimei” on the sidelines of a police incident. Like Shimei, he doesn’t care about the facts of what happened. He just can’t stand the police, and he’ll use the opportunity to call you vile names. He knows he’s doing wrong, but he likes “dogging out” the police in public because he knows he can get away with it. He knows that the police have to show restraint, and he has a First Amendment right, up to a point, to say what he wants. You may not be angry enough to want to “take off his head,” but you know that, by law, he’s provoking disorder and should be arrested. Still, if he fights and you have to use force, you may end up as the lead story on an evening news broadcast, and it won’t look pretty. So, sometimes you have to “eat dirt” on this job, which is never fun.
Although the “Shimei” on the sidelines may think he’s getting away with something, in the big picture, he’s not. People have a way of reaping what they sow. Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” You may never see how your “Shimei’s” wrongdoing will crash down on his head, but the Bible assures us that somehow, someway, it will.
On the other hand, you may see it. You may arrest someone one day, then suddenly recognize him and watch his face drop when you ask, “Aren’t you the guy who dogged us out at the crime scene last week?” It’s fun when things like that happen. He may then mumble an apology when he sees that “what goes around comes around.” If he does, whether or not he really means it, you’ll probably do what David did: accept it and fluff the matter off. After all, you’re the good guy. That’s what the good guys do.
Even good guys need to receive Jesus as Saviour to get to heaven, though. If you want to see how to know for sure from the Bible that you’ll get to heaven? Then please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar to the right.
Brian Miller 6/23/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822
“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” (Psalm 5:3)
One of the most disgusting things you’ll do as a cop is go into a roach-infested residence. When you first walk into a “roach motel,” it looks and smells filthy. You can almost guess that it has roaches. As you talk with the people there, especially in the kitchen, you see one, then another. They’re on the counter, in the cupboards, and on the wall, crawling around and waving their antennas back and forth. You learn to keep moving your feet while you’re in there, so you’re less likely to leave with “passengers.”
The Bible doesn’t mention roaches specifically, but they do provide us an idea of how God is about sin—God doesn’t take sin lightly. Just as roaches are disgusting, sin is disgusting to God. That’s why Psalm 5:3 says, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.”
Imagine looking for an apartment at a certain complex. The rental agent shows you a suite. The rooms all look nice. Then you open a kitchen cupboard and see a roach sitting there. You tell the agent, “This place has roaches!” What would you do if he replied, “Well, maybe one or two?” You couldn’t get out of there fast enough! First of all, if it has one that you can see, it probably has more that you can’t see. Second, when the agent tells you that it only has one or two, he’s not taking the problem seriously.
If you’ve received Jesus as Saviour, your sin-debt is eternally forgiven. However, sin can still “infest” your life and do awful damage, so you need to take sin seriously. Sin displeases a holy God, and it what put Jesus on the cross. Unconfessed sin makes believers wrong before God and is unacceptable in a Christian’s life.
People may say, “Well, we sin every day,” as if that is an excuse to harbor sin. “Since we sin every day, we might as well enjoy it.” Well, sin is still disgusting to God. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Even one known, unconfessed sin will hurt the fellowship between you and your Saviour. You can’t just let sinful behavior stay in your life, any more than you can let “just one roach” remain in your residence.
Worse yet, unconfessed known sin hardens your heart and invites more sin—almost like an infestation—in your life and the lives of those around you. After Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he not only was guilty of sin, but his heart was hardened against God. When God asked him, “Hast thou eaten of the tree?” (Genesis 3:11), Adam replied by accusing God, “The woman WHOM THOU GAVEST TO BE WITH ME [capitals mine], she gave me of the tree.” (Genesis 3:12). One sin led to more sin.
You’ve probably seen white powder along the baseboards of some residences. That’s roach powder. When people use roach powder, they’re saying, “We won’t let the roaches win. We’ll fight them.” God’s “roach powder” for sin in a Christian’s life is confession. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). If you find a roach in your home, kill it. If you need to use roach powder, use it. You may need to use it more than once, but keep using it so the roaches won’t dominate in your home. Likewise, if you have some known sin, confess it. Ask God for help to stop. If you still struggle with it, keep confessing and praying for help. Don’t let the “sin” roaches win. God, by his grace, can help you, so that sin won’t “infest” and dominate your life. Get into the habit of confessing sin and trusting God to help you win victory over it: “my heart trusted in him, and I am helped.” (Psalm 28:7).
If you’ve never seen in the Bible how to have an eternal home in heaven by receiving Jesus as Saviour, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.
Brian Miller 6/17/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
In police work, you see how sin can ruin people’s lives, including officers’ lives. So you need to learn not to play games with temptation. Sin can ruin your marriage, family, career, and reputation. You may have heard of Samson and Delilah. Samson was a man who had a lot going for him but was ruined because he played games with temptation.
God blessed Samson with amazing strength and used him to win many victories against Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. You may know cops who could play the lead in a movie about Samson. Their arms are so big that they look like they need specially-made shirts. It’s great to have guys with that kind of muscle on your side, especially when you’re up against a group of thugs.
Samson had a problem, though. He kept company with sinful people. Ephesians 5:11 warns, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” That doesn’t mean that a Christian shouldn’t talk with lost people; it means that a Christian shouldn’t fellowship with their sin. It means that you don’t go to the sinful places they go: the bars, casinos, or even the after-work “watering hole” with the guys.
Judges 16:4 says, “And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.” Delilah was a Philistine. Samson never should have gotten involved with her, but he didn’t want to obey God. He kept company with her and ended up falling in love with her.
Delilah didn’t love the true God, or Samson—her loyalty was to the Philistines. When the lords of the Philistines offered her a reward to find out the secret of Samson’s strength, she was happy to oblige. Delilah asked him how he could be bound. He lied and told her that if he were bound with seven green, undried cords, he’d become weak. So she tied him up with them, and he snapped them. She pouted at him for lying to her. Then she asked him again how he could be bound. He replied that if he were tied with new ropes, he’d become weak. So she tied him up with new ropes. He snapped them, too. She pouted at him again for lying to her and kept asking him how he could be bound.
Samson was obviously having fun teasing her, but he was playing a dangerous game. He was strong and likely used to being in control, but he wasn’t in control here at all. Maybe he thought Delilah was just asking these questions to be flirtatious. Not hardly. She was on the Philistines’ payroll. She knew how to use her feminine charm to get what she wanted, and he was obviously clueless. Reading this story, you almost want to say, “Duh, Samson, why do you think she keeps asking about your strength?”
Finally, her persistence paid off: “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart” (Judges 16:16-17). Samson told her that he had a vow before God and part of it was not to shave off his hair—that’s what she wanted to hear. She had him doze off, and a man came in and shaved his head. He woke up and found out that “…the LORD was departed from him” (Judges 16:20). God’s blessing was off, his strength was gone, and Delilah walked away with the money. The Philistines put out Samson’s eyes and bound him with fetters in prison. Samson played with temptation one time too many times, and now his life was in shambles.
Don’t think you can’t be entangled, enslaved, and eventually, ruined by some certain sin. It can ruin you like it did Samson, so don’t toy with temptation. If you’ve never seen in the Bible how to be sure that heaven is your eternal home, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.
Brian Miller 6/1/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church ~ 4431 Tiedeman Road Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 ~ 216/671-2822