“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” – Acts 13:22 (NIV)
I love the fact that God called David of all people, “a man after his own heart”. In fact, God chose him and appointed him ruler over Israel, because of this. Why is this relevant/important? Because God, being God, knowing ALL things including what was to come – chose David and identified him as a “man after his own heart”. If you don’t know the full story see I Samuel chapter 16 and then II Samuel chapters 11 and 12 for context.
In the story David is chosen by God to be Israel’s new king. After many successful victories, David ‘falls’. Long story short, he lusts after a married woman, sleeps with her and gets her pregnant, befriends her husband (one of his own soldiers) and then puts a plan in place to have him killed in battle. David’s plan succeeds and the other man is reported dead. Then this ‘man after God’s own heart’ lets the wife mourn briefly, then marries her to ‘cover up the affair’, she has the baby and they continue with day to day life as if nothing has happened! See you haven’t seen a real Lifetime movie until you’ve read the Bible!
God then sends his servant Nathan to confront David regarding the situation, as well as, to pronounce the punishment that God has set forth, which is not a light one at all:
Samuel 12:7-12 (NIV)
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own. This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
After all this, there is no denial, no excuses, no lying, and no running away. David simply responds as follows:
This response, is genuine, basic, straightforward and true. In his words of confession that “he has sinned against the Lord”, David not only acknowledges his sin, but he shows agreement with God by calling what God has deemed as sin to be sin. It is this very reason that God seeing David’s heart, and knowing exactly what sin David would commit when he appointed him as king, that God still considered him to be ‘a man after his own heart’. David wasn’t perfect, sinless, or above temptation. He was a regular person, just like you and I, who in the midst of his sin, set forth a great example of what it means to live as a child of God – one who agrees with God and acknowledges sin for what it is.
When we fall, we often react the way David initially did – we overlook, hide, ‘cover-up’, manipulate, pretend it didn’t happen, and go on with life. Oftentimes, until we too, are confronted, whether by someone else, by the Holy Spirit, or by God’s Word, we don’t acknowledge that we have sinned against the Lord.
One of the things God has been convicting me about lately, is the fact that irregardless of how I ‘fall’ or sin, that I have to always acknowledge the fact that sin is sin. I MUST agree with God. I can never say that something is NOT sin that God has already deemed as sin – whether its lying, cheating, adultery, fornication, stealing, homosexuality, jealousy, pride, or gossiping.
Step #1 when we fall – is to agree with God and acknowledge our sin. With this comes His forgiveness and mercy. The New Testament reiterates the concept when it speaks of the importance of ‘confessing’ our sins, which in simple terms also means to ‘acknowledge’ our sins. This is all too important, yet all too rare these days as our society and the world we live in has deemed so many things that God declares as sin to be right, positive, harmless and acceptable. As even some of our fellow Christians fall prey to adapting the world’s viewpoints, beliefs, and practices, it is all the more important as a believer to stay in His Word, and saturate our minds with the ‘truths’ of his Word so that we can clearly identify sin.
The beauty of this acknowledgement/confession/agreement with God is that when we do this He forgives us over and over again! As Nathan told David – “The Lord has taken away your sin, you are not going to die”. Sometimes we don’t even grasp how amazing it is to be recipients of God’s love, forgiveness and mercy. The fact that sin in general is punishable by death, but yet God chooses to forgive us continually.
This of course does not mean we go completely unpunished when we sin. If you know the rest of the story and how the rest of David’s life goes, then you know that although he is forgiven, he still bears the exact consequences of his sin as named by Nathan. Forgiveness doesn’t exclude us from the God’s chastisement of us as His children. My point here is not to go into a sermon on sin and repentance, as that is a study session in and of itself. However, my point here is a simple reminder of what God has been reminding me of lately: agree with God by acknowledging ALL sin as wrong, especially when I’m the one doing the sinning.