The Necessity of Forgiveness Day 8 – King David’s Heart
Take a minute before we proceed with today’s devotional and think of the character traits that might make someone “impossible to reach” or “unworthy of God’s attention or love.” Even those of us who know well the gospel message often have pre-conceived ideas of who might be eligible for God’s forgiveness and redemption, and who might not. Sometimes, though, that “ineligible” person might be myself, affecting my Christian witness or testimony to the lost!
Now let’s focus in on King David, a man with a laundry list of poor decisions, yet known as a man after God’s own heart. This phrase, “after God’s own heart,” means David’s heart had similar interests, beliefs or values to that of God’s. The difference was that David’s heart, like all humans, was infected by sin, resulting in temporary lapses of judgment due to the sinful nature that warred within him (and within each of us). For David, this was highlighted in the beginning of his relationship with Bathsheba.
Upon seeing Bathsheba bathe as he sat on his own rooftop (at a time when he should have been away at war with his army), he lusted after her. This lust then ushered in both adultery and murder, clearly not traits in line with the character of God. He took Bathsheba, the wife of one of his men, and then had her husband killed when Bathsheba’s pregnancy was made known to him. He believed that, to avoid being found out, there was no other option, and took matters into his own hands.
At first glance, if we changed the names in this story and allowed it to circulate, people would make assumptions about this man’s character that would not be favorable. They would not equate his character as “one after God’s own heart,” and that would be true in this small window of his life. But, thankfully, we are not identified by our worst moments; we can stand forgiven and redeemed by a holy God. God saw beyond David’s sin and loved him. That’s great news for us today, because it shows us that God’s forgiveness is not only possible, but possible for us!
Who might you be treating dismissively today because of something they did in their past? Do you believe forgiveness is possible for them? And is there a sin in your own life that you are holding back from confessing and repenting of, and then fully embracing the loving and freeing grace of our Lord? If God can forgive, love and use a man like King David, can He not also use you? Is there anything too hard for Him to forgive? The answer is no! How foolish we are at times, rejecting the forgiveness God longs for us to experience through Christ.
David went on to do many wonderful things for the Lord after his fall into sin. As long as we have breath, there is always hope for forgiveness and for living out an effective testimony that honors the God we serve.
“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” (Acts 13:22, ESV)