Reading the Story Lived

Highlights from yesterday’s sermon on Psalm 52:

If we want to understand ourselves, our people, and our God, we must read the story that God is writing. We all recognize the bad guy in the movie who is snapping at his kids or criticizing his wife, all while telling himself that he is the real victim in the story and not the tyrant. He deludes himself and thinks he’s the good guy, but his kids and his wife see him as petty and malicious.

In this psalm the evil man is described as loving evil, lying, and deceit. Saul had become a persecutor who felt like he was the persecuted one. He felt sorry for himself. And Doeg lied to advance himself in Saul’s eyes and make David look bad. Four verbs describe what God will do to Doeg: destroy, take away, pluck out, and root out (vs. 5). But the righteous will see, fear, and laugh (vs. 6).

When the saints see God destroy His enemies, they are not to react with petty malice or a vain triumphalism; they fear God. Therefore, they can rejoice in a solemn and righteous way.

Seeing the story rightly helps us to know which character we are in the story. Are we a Saul, a Doeg, or a David? David can laugh because God will destroy the one who boasts in his mischief. Likewise, when we see those who put their trust in riches and strengthen themselves  in wickedness, we can laugh.  “Isn’t that the guy who said he didn’t need God?”

Saul did not know who he was in the story. Doeg, no doubt, thought he was the good guy. But David read his story right.

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8 thoughts on “Reading the Story Lived

  1. Hmmm… very good. We’ve been getting hit with one hard providence after another this year and one daughter especially is taking things pretty hard. Tonight was a difficult night with another loss, this time her horse trainer is moving to another state. There’s been a lot of upheaval, a lot of loss, confusion, death, hard hard stuff. I’ve been trying to use the concept of story to help her see beyond the immediate chapter we’re in. I think this exhortation to try to know which character we are will be a good help in ministering to our children. Thank you, Nancy.

  2. Nancy,
    In light of your recent priorities post, might I ask for any wisdom you might be able to pass my way? I have a 6, 4, and 2 yr old as well as a 3 month old. I’m homeschooling and feel extremely burdened that I can’t manage it all. I can’t seem to keep God and my husband my first priorities when I’m so consumed with surviving the days, trying to finish school, and feeding everyone. It seems I can’t fill their little love tanks and care for the house properly. I don’t even have any other commitments outside the home right now. The local Christian schools are very good but so expensive. We’re praying and praying for wisdom. Might you have any wisdom to offer? When I try to keep God and my husband first, or love my little ones the way they should be, I get no school done. What to do….?
    Thank you!

  3. Dear Kat and Rachel,
    We have a Christian school here which we helped start thirty years ago for our kids. They have never turned anyone away because of money. They always find creative ways to help. We have never been personally anti-homeschool, but we see great benefit in delegating certain things! So my suggestion to you is to consider visiting one of the Christian schools, finding out how much it would cost, and if there is any scholarship/aid money available. Our church has an education fund for that very purpose, to help parents in our congregation who can’t afford to pay for a private Christian school. Maybe your parents or grandparents would be willing to help.

  4. Thanks Nancy. We’ve been trying to figure out how to work out the Christian school. It’s double the cost of Logos, no scholarships whatsoever (unless you’re in full-time ministry), no church help, and our family isn’t Christian so they think we should just send them to public school. It’s still in God’s hands though! The Christian school calculates the tuition to be 20-40% of your total income. Wow!

  5. I just want to say to kat, I understand! I have been exactly where you are!! I still am, somewhat.

    One thing, (much cheaper than private school!) that my husband did for me when our children were the ages of yours, is that I had a friend come in to clean one day a week. It was such a lifesaver! Not easy to come up w/ the cash each week, but so worth it. She would come in on the day I took the kids to the library and to piano. I would also splurge and take them to lunch. I left a list of what I wanted done and she did what she could in those two hours. Gratefully, we all have good memories of those years!

    I do hope that some relief and answers come your way. We are all so different in personalities, capabilities, and circumstances, but, God is good to us all!!

  6. Kat, I amen Maddie’s great idea for a house cleaner. The other thing I would add to her suggestions is to find a like-minded friend who might want to help create a co-op. And I would commend you for staying out of the “free” government school, even though it’s costing you to do it yourself. May God bless you richly!

  7. We just started sending our son to a small Christian school for kindergarten this fall. We could not afford it initially but then my husband and I had an idea…we looked at their website, realized they needed a nicer, better site and realized by husband could use his web design expertise (his day job is designing websites) to shave off some tuition cost. So, we talked with the school and they loved the idea of a new site and someone to keep it updated each month. We got a good amount of money taken off of tuition each month for a certain number of hours spent on their website each month.

    I just mentioned this to show that it is ALWAYS worth talking to a school about potential ways in which you might be able to get a tuition cut and it always pays to think outside the box. What is a skill you might be able to offer them…bartering if you will!:)

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