Head Lifter

Published on May 10th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Head Lifter

Head Lifter

David, the great warrior king, was running for his life…again. This time, though, the one chasing him was his own son, Absalom. Can you imagine a greater pain than having to run from your own son? This child that you gave life to, that you held as an infant, that you sacrificed so much for? Not only was Absalom gunning for his father’s kingdom, he had rallied many of the people with him. The lies that were told. The rumors that had been spread. The cat calls of incompetent leadership that David had to endure. All of them originating from his son. Even after all of these years, you can almost hear David’s heart breaking. You can feel the shame he bears as he runs from this one he named Absalom…The Father of Peace. How did things go so wrong? Where did he fail as a father? How could he be so loved in the kingdom and yet, now, be running from the very people who used to sing about his great victories?

We may not be a king but we can feel for David because we have all gone through times of great shame. Sometimes that shame is brought upon us by others. Our children may make choices that bring us shame. Our spouses may behave in such a manner that causes us to want to hide from our friends. Sometimes, though, we bring shame upon ourselves. We make sinful or foolish decisions that result in our public humiliation. We too easily trust or foolishly give away that which is most valuable to us. Have you ever felt this way? Do you remember how hard it was to face people? Do you remember how hard it was to look people in the eye? Often when we are experiencing shame our whole body feels as if it is weighted down with hundreds of extra pounds. We hang our heads, slump our shoulders, and find each step more difficult than the last. That had to be how David was experiencing life as he ran from Absalom.

Then listen to Psalm 3:3 – “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” David does not deny that his life situation is painful. He does not deny the shame. But that is not all David does. David also speaks the truth about his Lord. The Lord shields David from those who desire to do him harm. He is the one who is standing before David and protecting him from any more pain than God feels in necessary at the moment. He is absorbing many of the blows meant for David. He is David’s glory. Many of those around him may be looking at David in a negative light but God is shining his face upon David and is giving his glory to David. David may not have been the best father. He probably could have made some better decisions as king. But where David shines in his life is that he is a reflection of the glory of God. God’s glory shines so bright that it covers the sins and errors of David’s life. In our case, the work of Jesus on the cross that has been applied to our lives covers that blackness of our sin and shame.

Notice what happens. God, in his great love and compassion, lifts our heads. He fills us with his grace and dignity. His work in our lives is so complete that we have no reason to hang our heads. No reason to bear the weight of our shame. Jesus has borne our shame so that we can lift our heads to look to him and to walk in his glory. We can walk in his confidence, his love, his grace, his mercy, and his dignity. We no longer have to hang our heads. What I love most about this is that God does not expect me to lift my own head. He lifts my head and he points my eyes toward him. He assures me that he has taken not only my sin away but he has also taken all of my shame. It is a good day to be his child.

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