Formations lesson for Feb. 2: Grace - What We Do With Regrets?
January 17 2003 by Robbin B. Mundy , 2 Samuel 18:21-33; Matthew 26:69-75

Formations lesson for Feb. 2: Grace - What We Do With Regrets? | Friday, Jan. 17, 2003

Friday, Jan. 17, 2003

Formations lesson for Feb. 2: Grace - What We Do With Regrets?

By Robbin B. Mundy 2 Samuel 18:21-33; Matthew 26:69-75

News of a death is painful no matter how it is delivered; receiving such news while feeling deep regret seems intolerable.

In all of scripture there is not a more heart-wrenching story of regret than the portion of David's story our text addresses. Peter's denial of Jesus, likewise, is difficult to imagine after all the disciples experienced firsthand with Jesus. Peter's denial was devastating.

2 Samuel 18:21-33

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Two "news boys" ran to give the king the news. His troops had won the war! Ahimaaz had started last but arrived first. When King David heard the news he immediately inquired about the health of Absalom, but Ahimaaz withdrew and chose not to give the news.

A Cushite man arrived next with the news of victory. Unlike Ahimaaz, he did inform the king of Absalom's death. David's reaction was the deepest kind of grief one might ever experience. His reaction as King David was far overshadowed by his regret as Absalom's father.

Years before, David's oldest son, Amnon, had raped his half-sister Tamar, David's daughter and Absalom's full sister. King David took no action, so Absalom did. Two years later, in anger over the violation of his sister, he killed Amnon. Absalom fled for his safety and remained gone for three years. He did return, but not to his father, and David made no attempts to make amends. So, David was separated from his son both in life and in death.

News of his victory was also news of his son's death. The regret of many past mistakes and missed opportunities was immediate - and immensely painful:

If only David had taken a stand for his own daughter ...

If only David had taken appropriate steps with his son Amnon ...

If only David had taken steps to restore a relationship with Absalom ...

The grief and regret of the father was heard in the voice of the king, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!"

But it was too late; his son was gone - forever.

Matthew 26:69-75

Peter's denial of Jesus followed by the cock's crow is a wonderful example of God's grace in the face of painful and hurtful sin - rejection. All four gospels record the event, but Matthew brings into view the dramatic climax of the denial.

When addressed by a servant girl in the courtyard as a follower of Jesus, Peter denied Him with head knowledge, "I don't know what you are talking about." This first denial was to "all of them" who were present.

Then a second servant girl on the porch informed those standing near him that indeed he had been with Jesus. Peter firmly denied Jesus with heart knowledge; "I do not know the man."

And finally one of the bystanders charged him, "Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you" and Peter denied Jesus with a curse.

This is the same Peter we studied last week who responded to Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter's response was, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And in reply to Peter, Jesus said, "Upon this rock I will build my church."

When Peter denied Him the third time, the cock crowed just as Jesus said it would. Peter "wept bitterly."

Conclusion

David and Peter knew regret. They knew the agony of betrayal. They understood what it meant to "want to die for another."

Peter must have agonized a long time. I am sure Jesus agonized over it, too. And when it occurred, it must have hurt. However, when Jesus commissioned His disciples following His resurrection, He included Peter. And the words of Peter's Savior must have meant the world to him: "Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20b).

Sift through your regrets and take the action that is possible - the inner strength has already been given to you, your own doubt is all that stands in your way.

As dark as it feels and as painful as it is to deal with regret, we can discover the grace and mercy of Jesus, our Lord. When there is darkness, God creates light. When there is chaos, God brings order. And when there is regret, God offers grace.

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1/17/2003 12:00:00 AM by Robbin B. Mundy , 2 Samuel 18:21-33; Matthew 26:69-75 | with 0 comments
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