A friend of mine told a story last week of her six-year-old son. AJ had always been given a spoon at the dinner table while everyone else got a fork. One evening as his mom handed him his plate with his usual eating utensil, AJ boldly, proudly and loudly announced, "I am ready for a fork." He had grown out of the spoon fed stage and was ready now for his fork just like the adults. Michele said she felt God speaking to her that this is the story of many Christians today. We are so used to having a spoon handed to us that we don't realize we just might be ready for a fork. I told Michele I was going to use this thought for the thought this week and began to look for a scripture to go with it.
The verse above from II Samuel is what I kept coming back to. At first, I thought this does not tie together in any way, shape, or form. What does a six-year-old giving up his spoon have to do with King David locking up ten of his concubines who had betrayed him by being intimate with his son Absalom?
I began to study the story before and after the verse. The verse and the story seem to be a point that has been argued by those who write commentaries. Some seem to think that David did the ten women a favor by locking them away and not killing them. Some say David was wrong to do this because the women only did what they felt was their duty. They were only carrying on their servitude to David by serving Absalom in David's absence who they assumed was dead. One commentary said that David was actually hiding his shame and his sin, and the sin of his son by hiding away the women. Another writing took David's side and said it wasn't a big deal in those days for the women to be kept from the world because women didn't have that much freedom then anyway. To be kept, to be spoon fed, was a pretty good deal for them.
I, of course, after reading all this came up with my own opinion. I thought of times in my life when sin has separated me from my King, from my God. Even though He still fed me during those times, even though He never left me, there was no intimacy with Him. The sin came between us.
I tried to put myself in those women's place. What were they thinking? I suppose they longed to have their relationship renewed with King David, and not just be spoon fed, having only a distant relationship with him for the rest of their lives. I am sure they regretted their mistakes and wished they could have taken them all back. How sad it must have been to have no hope of anything other than to live all alone until their death.
Just as AJ wanted a fork and not a spoon, I do believe many Christians are longing for just a little more than being spoon-fed by God. They hunger for a real relationship with him. Even though past sins are forgiven, there are oh so many sins we wish had never happened. We can never take back sins and mistakes from the past that once separated us from God, but we can get rid of present sins that prevent us from having an intimate relationship with Him. We are not destined to live the rest of our lives all alone, separated from our God. He is our hope!
We too must realize it is time to grow up a little and get rid of those spoons. If we are sure we are ready for the fork and solid food, if we know we can handle it, we each should boldly, proudly, and loudly announce to God, "I am ready for a fork."
If AJ had asked his mom why she had always given him a spoon, she would have probably told him it was because she didn't think he could have handled the fork yet. He just hadn't been quite ready for it. If we asked God, "Why the spoon all this time?" He would probably answer us with the verse below that Paul once gave to the church at Corinth.
- I Corinthians 3:2a
I had to feed you with milk and not with solid food, because you couldn't handle anything stronger.I just hope He doesn't add the second part of the verse to His answer when we ask.I Corinthians 3:2bNLT
And you still aren't ready.