Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bound to Life

May 23, 2017

The Biblical stories of King David portray a man who by all appearances continually fails to live up to his reputation as "a man after God's own heart." He started well, but after killing Goliath, becomes the leader of a guerrilla band of brigands shaking down the locals for protection, before moving on to king, adulterer, and murderer. In 1 Samuel 25:29, Abigail, the beautiful and wise wife of the foolish Nabal, is begging David to reconsider his determination to exact revenge for the snub he has received. Very much aware of current events, and that if he can continue to escape Saul's clutches, David will someday be king, she pleads and bribes with gifts and with flattering words. Almost at the end of her entreaty, she ingratiated herself to him when she says, "The soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling."

Although this is little more than typical royal flattery, having been spoken of David, it also applies to his Descendent, Jesus Christ, whose soul was bound in the bundle of life when death could not hold him as he rose from the grave and ascended to be seated at the Father's right hand. The day will come when all his enemies, all the spiritual powers aligned against him, shall be cast out as a stone from a sling. The Good News is, what is true of Christ is true of us as well, for as St. Paul loves to say, we are "in him."

When life gets precarious, when it feels like the foundations are shaking and everything is coming unglued, it is good to know that our lives are bound, tied securely in God's bundle of life, with The LORD himself. Jesus put it this way: "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28). 

Do not fear. If you are trusting in Christ, though the mountains tremble and the earth be cast into the sea, you are securely bound in God's bundle of life. You are not alone; others are bound with you. You are not in danger; you are securely tied to the Lord himself, like Odysseus lashed to the mast of his ship so he would not fall prey to the sirens' song. Your voyage may be rough, but you will arrive safely home. For that, we can all give thanks.

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