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The Uncanny Morph

Published on

July 18, 2022

Definitely one of my most beloved characters in The Bible: Elegant in Worship, Dexterous in Warfare and Inspirational in Leadership. The King David became God’s recommended curriculum for Leadership, Worship and Fellowship in Scripture. This guy was the real McCoy!

As a teenage boy, he was already slaying beasts, killing giants and racking up points on the popularity polls. He had become so popular that the older women began to sing of his greatness, while stacking it against the meagre laurels of the incumbent King. The more incredible detail about this Teenage Sensation was that he stayed humble through it all. How do you become so popular, successful and admirable at such a young age, and stay humble?

And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. — 1Samuel 18:14–15

This evaluation came right after the famous battle of Elah in 1 Samuel 17, where he had just became a National hero. If there was ever a time when David had the license to throw caution to the wind and allow his desires a free rein, this was the time! Yet, David behaved himself wisely. He did not become puffed up with the overwhelming accolades that came with his recent landmark achievement. He behaved so wisely that the King Saul was afraid of him. King Saul would have loved to have an occasion against David; something that would give him a justification for a quick elimination of David. But David did not take a step wrong… He behaved himself wisely, humbly and with tremendous discretion. His life evidently demonstrates, that the demand for wisdom and humility is highest, when the ovation around our trophies is loudest!

Heaven’s evaluation of this man is that he is the human component right after the Divine Heartbeat! What a man!!

If there was ever a man who seemed to have transcended the nagging pull of the beggarly elements of this world such as pride and lust, it was David. He could have taken a selfie with the most revered Prophet in Israel after he was anointed in the “presence of his bronimies”, shared the shot on IG and begun weaponising that moment of exaltation against his Family: He instead chose to remain “sendable” by his Father to the battlefield at Elah. Rather than walk into the Palace with an attitude that exuded “I’m your imminent replacement”, he instead came to be of genuine service to his King and became covenant friends with his son, Jonathan (the expected successor and supposed rival).

This man David was such an example!

But there is a plot twist…

Fast forward several years down the line: David is now King David, the 400 discontented vagabonds he once led in the wilderness are now the Mighty Men of David and high ranking officers in The King’s Army… what more? King David is backsliden!

The Prophet Nathan approached the King and narrated quite an intriguing story of how a poor peasant man owned a little female lamb that he had nurtured so dearly. Yet, a much richer man, who had a large amount of cattle, cast his eyes upon this small lamb, dispossessed the poor man of his lamb and went ahead to kill the man.

Upon hearing this story, the King was enraged and demanded that such a man be brought to justice immediately and be put to death… then the Prophet turns around to say to the King; you’re the evil man in the story!

David burned with anger against the man. “I solemnly swear, as the Lord lives,” he said to Nathan, “the man who did this certainly deserves to die! And he must pay back four times the price of the lamb because he did this and had no pity. — 2 Samuel 12:5–7 (NIV)

“You are the man!” Nathan told David.

This has got to be the most dramatic “reality check” moment in Scripture. Not just for King David, but for everyone reading this piece right now. A reality check to teach us that the path that leads to reprobacy is cushioned with roses of deception and an assumption of uprightness.

How did David become this man?

I believe Prophet Nathan used the metaphor of a lamb in the story for a reason. He knew David’s history with the sheepfold and understood how personal David would take it. David saw himself as the Shepherd he once was, and attempted to avenge the lamb by administering justice to the wicked man. Almost like how he would rescue the vulnerable lambs from the mouths of the beasts in the wilderness. Only that, this time, he was the beast in the picture. God had used his faithfulness with the sheep as a basis for trusting him enough to lead the people of Israel. However, he had now turned to the predator of the people he was anointed to protect.

How do we morph so dramatically, without even noticing?

Remember the impressive list of admirable virtues and qualities we earlier examined? How he overcame the pressures of lust and pride. What happened to that man? Something major happened to him and it had gotten so bad, that Prophet Nathan literally painted a picture of David, showed David the picture and David’s verdict over his own character, unwittingly, was that the man in the picture deserved to die… not knowing he was the man in the picture! How do we become so far removed from a realistic evaluation of our true states that even when we see a picture of someone with our exact features, the self delusion prevails to such a degree that we still do not even recognise ourselves and how far down we have fallen.

David had the opportunity to respond in meekness and grace to a man overtaken in a fault (Galatians 6:1–2 KJV) as painted by the Prophet Nathan, yet he responded in absolute arrogance and self-righteousness. God gave him the gavel of judgment over his own case, and he meted the highest sentence! He said the man deserved to suffer 4 times as much! Guess what? David lost 4 of his own lambs (children) to this indiscretion; The first child he had with Bathsheba, Tamar (rape was equivalent to death in the Old Testament), Amnon and Absalom! His Family never remained the same.

This, my friends, is scary!

I’m glad the Wisdom of Scripture chose King David to embody this fearful dimension. If it was someone else, we may not have taken notice… but how many of us can truly say we have more virtues than David. David’s name is forever etched in the eternal monuments in heaven and even the Sun of Righteousness is known eternally as the Son of David. David is not our mate in consecration and sheer zeal for the Kingdom, yet he fell victim of this precarious syndrome. This is to shut every mouth and bend every knee in acknowledgment of our overwhelming need for God’s Mercy in our daily pursuit of God’s abiding presence.

This tendency displayed by King David is what I call the Cognitive Hypocritical Dissonance, (CHD). It is a spiritual condition that describes the delusion that comes from a false assumption of uprightness: It often leads its host to a place they become so deluded by their assumption of uprightness that even when they see the true state of their heart, they couldn’t recognise it.

The primary sponsor of this syndrome is an irregular evaluation of the state of our hearts. The big question is this; What’s your heart becoming? You may be the Meekest Man on Earth today and morph into the Angriest Striker of The Rock tomorrow… Moses has a lot to say on that! If Romans 12 is anything to go by: It suggests that we can be transformed into Christ’s nature by renewing our minds, then we can deduce that it is also possible to morph into a hideous version of ourselves by the numbing of our minds to the constant evaluation of the Holy Spirit.

Having daily spiritual evaluations, is the only guarantee that you would notice a slight detour from the path of Righteousness while it’s still only marginal. Any attempt to push your evaluations beyond the 24hr mark, raises the magnitude of the potential detour to the power of the time taken away from your last evaluation. Chances are that a dramatic reality check like David’s, may be God’s last chance at salvaging your reconnection to Him.

This is why when the same King David writes us an admonition in the following verse of Scripture, we all ought pay a lot of attention:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. — Psalms 139:23–24

Every day, we need to be “brought back to God” in Fellowship and Communion. The gap cannot afford to be widened by presumption. You can be steadfast and immovable, if you do your daily check ins where the weakness of your flesh can be supplanted by the Power of the Holy Spirit to do God’s Will. That’s the only prescriptive cure to the ravaging menace of the Uncanny Morph; Cognitive Hypocritical Dissonance (CHD).

Have a refreshing week ahead.

Dami Oguntunde

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