Asbury United Methodist Church
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March 7, 2018

I ran across a humorous trivia question earlier today that I can’t wait to pose.

          When does the insurance industry get religion?  It’s when they can avoid paying a claim due to an event being ruled an act of God.

          So, this begs another question: what is an act of God?  Well, the insurance industry has done a pretty good job of defining this as well!  You might say they have a vested interest in pursuing acts of God because such events can in fact, allow insurance companies to give a pass on settling a claim in many cases.

          Here we go: A natural catastrophe which no one canprevent such as an earthquake, a tidal wave, a volcaniceruption, or a tornado.  Acts of God are significant for tworeasons: 1) for the havoc and damage they wreak, and 2) because often contracts state that acts of God are an excuse fordelay or failure to fulfill a commitment or to complete a construction project. Many insurance policies exemptcoverage for damage caused by acts of God.

          (Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.)

          Where am I going with this?  From the dawn of time it seems, when people don’t know how to make sense of something or if an event is overwhelming and there is a need to find someone to blame, God becomes an easy target!

          Old Job even weighed in on the act, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lordgave and the Lord has taken away (Job 1:21a NIV).”

          Speaking of calamity, Job knew what he was talking about.  In very short order, he lost almost everything he had, except a contentious wife, whom on at least one occasion, I am sure caused Job to question God’s munificence!

          Nonetheless, Job remained faithful stating, “…may the name of the Lord be praised (Job 1:21b NIV).”

          Moving right along, everyone knows the story of King David and his entanglement with a snowball rolling downhill!  He’d sinned with another man’s wife, causing her unwanted pregnancy.  He then had the husband of said wife killed to erase the sin!

          David had considered the possibility that he’d cleanly gotten away with it all until his chief priest Nathan called him out on it. 

          “Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes (2 Samuel 12:7a & 9 NIV).’”

          David was busted!  To his credit though, he owned up to his errors and he took full blame for this catastrophe!  

           “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord (2 Samuel 12:13 NIV).’”

          Generally speaking, I have found the shorter the apology, the better.  David used only six words. 

          All of us have the tendency to meander through an apology.  But here’s the rub, usually the longer the apology, the more we try to wipe mud on others.

          Well, if you had not done so and so, I would not have strayed.  I am sorry for my part of this mess, but you have blood on your hands too! 

          It feels as if we can lighten the load on our shoulders a bit if we can, at least partially, take someone else down with us.

          Again, David only used six words.  Furthermore, he would later go on…and on in Psalm 51, lamenting his sorrow and his shame for this grievous indiscretion.  After reading this Psalm, we can kind of feel sorry for this guy!

          My point is that he took full responsibility.  It was no act of God, that caused him to go sideways.  David prepared himself to accept the full weight of the consequences that would be handed down to him.

          “Nathan replied, ‘The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die (2 Samuel 12:13b NIV).’”

          Later, David would be fully reinstated with the Lord (2 Samuel 12:20).  And, we can too…be fully reinstated with the Lord, if we simply rip the band-aid off, drop all embellishments and own our guilt.

          The reward is a cleansing of the soul.  The reward is recovery. 

          Money cannot buy recovery of the soul!  This is nothing short of new life in Christ!



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