“Do You Know Who Stole My Hog?”

    When the frost was heavy and the calendar read November, all of our neighbors prepared for hog killing time. The fat had to be cooked, the intestines cleaned, and the meat quartered and salted or smoked.
    One neighbor killed his hog early. It was a cold night in October and after the kill and gutting, he just left it hanging for tomorrow’s work. During the night, someone stole his hog. All tracks were covered and no apparent clues were left as to who the thief was.
    The farmer was a wise old bird. He never mentioned the stealing to anyone, including his family. Weeks went by and nothing had been said about anyone stealing a hog. One day a neighbor who lived a couple miles away happened by. After some small talk, the neighbor said, “Did you ever find the one who stole your hog?”
    The farmer looked him square in the eye and said, “Just did!” The bible says, “Be sure your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
    King David can testify to this truth. When Israel was at war with the Ammonites, the Bible says, “David tarried still in Jerusalem.” He was restless that night and as he walked on the roof of his castle, he saw a beautiful woman bathing herself”. (Stop the camera here.) David could have had any eligible woman in Israel. He was the king. His word was law. He inquired about the woman. The information he received was direct and simple. Her name is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah, the Hittite. Uriah is on the front line battling against the enemy.
    James writes, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:13-15; NIV).
    A number of the Ten Commandments now come into play. “Thou shall not commit adultery . . . nor covet thy neighbor’s wife” (Exodus 20:14,17). To be convicted would mean “death by stoning”.
    The sordid story continues. “And David sent messengers and took her; and she came in unto him “And he lay with her; (Stop Camera) the plot thickens. David must somehow cover his sin for “the woman has conceived and told David, I am with child”.
    King David, who slew the giant Goliath (I Samuel 17), now, turns to “cover his sin”. David had Uriah sent home, and in a pretense he debriefed Uriah about the wars and sent him to his own house. The following day, Uriah told David he did not sleep with his wife that night, knowing his fellow solders were at war. He slept on the door step.
    David tried another trick, by getting Uriah drunk and telling him to “go home and make merry with Bathsheba, your wife.” When that failed he turned to break another of the commandments of God, “Thou shall not kill”.
He sent word to Joab, his field commander that when the battle gets hot, withdraw from Uriah the Hittite, that he may be smitten and die. Joab later reported, to the King “Uriah, the Hittite is dead.” Now the King can relax for ‘the sin is covered’.
    According to the prophet Isaiah, “Sin separates us from God” (Isaiah 29:1-2). Time passes and God dispatched Nathan the prophet to make a house call on the king. Nathan simply told a story of two men in one city; the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing save one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished up . . . And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock, but took the poor man’s lamb, killed it and dressed it and made merry with his guest. “What should be done with such a man”, the prophet asked? The King was angered, and said, “The man who did this must surely die.” Then Nathan said to David, “THOU ART THE MAN!
    A History lesson was then given. God anointed you king over Israel . . . Delivered you from the hand of Saul . . . Gave you the Master’s house . . . and Wives in thy bosom . . . etc., etc. “You killed Uriah, the Hittite with the sword”. Now the verdict is harsh. “The sword shall never depart from over your house. The new born babe will die, I will raise up evil against you in your own house and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbors.”
    Then David said, “I HAVE SINNED!Read the whole story in II Samuel chapters 11-12. Now read Psalms 51 – word by word.
    King David pleads for mercy and forgiveness. Life after Bathsheba was horrible. “The wages of sin is death” and David died a thousand times. The one great lesson must be learned, GOD’S FORGIVENESS DOES NOT TAKE AWAY THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN. Pay day some day. Without his grace we have no hope.


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