And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel… (2Ch 17:3-5)
The Lord slips in an interesting point in the record of Jehoshaphat regarding King David. God notes that there were good “first ways” in the life of David. That naturally implies that there must have been some not so good “second ways” as well.
The dividing line for the first and second ways must be the incident with Bathsheba and Uriah. This sinful and treacherous event was certainly a turning point in David’s life. God mentions it as the key failure in his life.
Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. (1Ki 15:5)
Although forgiven and restored to God after confessing his sins of adultery and murder, David never fully recovered from this fall. His home was racked by division, immorality, murder, and indecision. This as in stark contrast to the “first ways” of his life when he had walked in innocently and purity.
Let us take a moment and glean from what we know about the life of David to discern two lessons about first and second ways.
LESSON ONE – Sin leaves its marks
It scars. It makes a lasting impact upon our lives. Avoid it. Guard your life from sin and temptations so there will be no “Uriah” points in our own lives that would mark a “First” and “Second” ways division on our own lives.
LESSON TWO – Do not “throw out the first way baby with the second way bathwater”.
Do not write off a person’s good “first ways” and influence in your life because they have a “second ways” moment. If it was a good and godly influence with proper biblical principles that helped you in your walk with God, do not let the devil rob you of those truths and principles.
I hear too many times that when men of influence fall, people that once loved and followed them reject all the great truths and principles that the leader had promoted and taught. They say, “If that is what ?______? really is, I want no part”. But the truth was truth and the right was right. Those that reject the “first ways” of a person because of an event or his “second ways” are the losers.
This would apply to preachers we have known, parents, spouses, or godly friends and leaders that later let us down. Always remember the good “first ways” of an individual as you would want your good ways to be remembered.
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