Monday, July 28th, 2014
Valiant! Like David (Part 31)
David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.'
2 Samuel 12:13 (NKJV)
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me...
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart--
These, O God, You will not despise.*
Psalm 51:1-3,17 (NKJV)
Most Christians know about David's sin surrounding Bathsheba. Some Christians know about David's sin surrounding a census.** God shares the good king's mistakes--so we may learn from them. Because through it all, God loved David and blessed him immensely. Consider these lessons:
1) No sin is too large for forgiveness: David committed adultery (resulting in pregnancy) and tried to conceal it by the premeditated murder of Bathsheba's husband, Uriah: an uncommonly good man. Nevertheless, 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9).
2) Sin carries consequences: Concerning Bathsheba, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household' (2 Samuel 12:11); 'Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah's widow bore to David' (v.15). Concerning the census, 'The Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell' (1 Chronicles 21:14). Even so, it's better to suffer temporarily on earth than permanently beyond it.
3) If you mess up, fess up: 'I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin' (Psalm 38:18). 'David said to God, 'I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing' ' (1 Chronicles 21:8). In Jesus' day, a tax collector said, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' (Luke 18:13). Heart-felt contrition invites God's mercy. Brain-inspired coverup invites God's wrath.
4) If we are contrite (deeply remorseful) and repentant (turning away from sin), God chooses to forgive and forget: 'As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him' (Psalm 103:12-13).*** David's subsequent blessings stand in perpetual evidence: 'Your house and your kingdom shall be established forever' (2 Samuel 7:16).
5) It's never too late to repent, like the sinner on the cross next to Jesus. When he confessed his sin, Jesus was faithful and just to forgive him his sin and cleanse him from all unrighteousness: 'Today you will be with Me in Paradise' (Luke 23:43).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: on this side of Heaven, no one but Jesus is sinless. So when you sin, don't give up, don't cover up and don't try to work your way out of it. Instead, be transparent, be contrite and repent. Make amends if you can. Accept the punishment God decrees--with thanksgiving.
'For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives' (Hebrews 12:6). But here's the good part: God will press a reset button, Jesus will clear your screen, and you can start again, and again and again. (God doesn't keep score.)
To Be Continued...
* 'What does it mean that God will not despise a broken spirit and contrite heart?' (brief article): http://www.gotquestions.org/broken-spirit-contrite-heart.html
** David's sin surrounding Bathsheba: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Samuel+11-2+Samuel+12%3A1-15&version=NASB
** David's sin surrounding the census: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%2024&version=NKJV
*** Psalm 103: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+103&version=NKJV
*** Concerning God's choice to forgive us and forget our sins, consider also: 'I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more' (Hebrews 8:12); 'For I, even I, am He Who blots out your transgressions for My Own sake; And I will not remember your sins' (Isaiah 43:25).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Valiant! Like David series.