Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Tell-Tale Heart

In elementary school my best friend had a super sensitive conscience.  If she did anything remotely wrong...even if it really wasn't a big deal, she would get very upset.  Tears would fall and apologies would be profusely made.  I often look back on those times and wonder if that is part of the innocence of a child that God has called us to maintain.

1 Samuel 24:5 - It came about afterward that David's conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul's robe.

"Conscience" is actually translated from the Hebrew word used for "heart."  Most translations leave "heart" in the text, but a few, as seen above, change it to "conscience" in order for it to make more sense (Parallel Bible).  However, "bothered" is defined in the Hebrew as "to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill" (Strong's H5221).  It makes much more sense when paired with "heart" instead of "conscience" for the lexicon explains that his heart "palpitated most vehemently and struck his internal breast."  I've had that feeling once or twice - you know you've done something wrong and your heart feels like its going to jump out of your chest - you can even hear it beating extra loudly  *thump thump* * thump thump*  

David had a chance to kill Saul here and he didn't.  Instead, he simply cut off the edge of Saul's robe.  Doesn't really seem like he did anything wrong does it?  But it bothered David "because it was an affront to Saul's royal dignity" (Henry).  Saul was still king and David shouldn't have done anything to disrespect his authority.

Henry makes a great point here: "It is a good thing to have a heart within us smiting us for sins that seem little; it is a sign that conscience is awake and tender, and will be the means of preventing greater sins."  If it doesn't bother us to lie or cheat on a test/taxes or disrespect authority...then how do we know it would bother us to murder or steal or kidnap?  Each time we sin and it doesn't bother us, it builds up an immunity to our conscience.  We are putting a wall between our heart and our actions, making it easier and easier to sin.

I challenge you today to let your heart, your conscience speak to you!  Don't ignore it!  What are you doing that your heart is telling you you shouldn't?  Listen to that *thump thump*  *thump thump* and let it break down the walls of indifference.  Every little sin should bother us until we make a change!

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