One thing all human beings have in common is failure. King David was no different. One day, from his balcony, he saw a woman named Bathsheba bathing. He saw, he looked, and he kept looking. Then he sent for her and committed adultery with her. Some time later, Bathsheba informed the king she was pregnant. At first, David tried to cover up his sin by bringing her husband home from battle so he would think he fathered the child. When that plan failed, he had Bathsheba’s husband killed in battle and took his wife as his own.
Yes, David failed big time but that wasn’t the end. It was a moment when all could have been lost, but it wasn’t. With God, failure never has to be final! No matter how bad, how wrong, or how ashamed you may rightly feel, God is there for you. Even though you knew better, God is willing to meet you. At times like these we need to turn to God like David did. Will there be consequences? Sure. Will there be pain? Of course. Does it have to ruin your life forever? No, absolutely not. It is interesting to note that it was God who referred to King David as “a man after my own heart.” And this was after the Bathsheba episode. David was also the measuring stick against which God compared all future kings. It’s not just that God forgives our past failures. He forgets them as well. It seems that He is more interested in where we are, at any given time, than where we have been.
But the difference between the old David and the new David was seen in the way he handled his sin. Although in denial for a long time until he was “outed” by God through the Prophet Nathan, David dared to come clean with God. His response was “I have sinned against the Lord.” He then threw himself upon the Lord’s mercy and compassion.
As a pastor, I frequently see people trying to cut deals with God. This will never work. God provides a way to be forgiven, but it’s not by trading a few good deeds or promising to make up for what you’ve done. Sin must be owned up to. It must be openly confessed. It must not be justified or blamed on people or circumstances. And then it must be followed by genuine repentance—a conscious turning away from its root causes and determination to not live that way again.
Some of your greatest experiences with God will come after you’ve let Him down big time. We forget that He is rooting for our improvement and recovery from sin and is more than willing to hasten it by His forgiveness and restoration. Don’t ever give up on yourself. God certainly won’t.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship