It is interesting how much our confession about someone esteemed and anointed by God can change once their sin becomes public knowledge. I was thinking about King David and how God’s Word refers to him as a man after God’s heart both before he committed adultery and premeditated murder and after he committed adultery and premeditated murder. God was displeased with David, there is no question about that.
David incurred severe rebuke from the prophet Nathan and the death of his son because of his sin. David’s answer was one of humility and deep repentance, “I have sinned against God” (2 Samuel 12:13) and from this rebuke came Psalm 51, a song of repentance birthed out of his sin. This psalm resonates with many people today as we too ask God to create in us a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within each of us.
I find myself wondering how David would fare in our church culture today after committing these acts. Some could care less because missing the mark with God (aka sin) is no big deal for those who do not uphold holy standards. There would be others who would roast him verbally and spiritually, maybe even some who once associated with him, but now shunned him in fear of their own reputation being tarnished rather than concern for his salvation or reconciliation unto the Lord.
His psalms would be discredited and discouraged for use, deeming them as lacking the anointing. Yet we know all of this about King David and I cannot think of one time that I have ever heard someone bash the Book of Psalms or declare a removal of David’s contribution because he was an adulterer and a murderer. In fact, we continue to call David as God did, a man after His heart. We revere David for his passionate worship, his integrity toward Saul and his showdown with a demonically influenced giant.
Redemption from man versus redemption through Christ
All of the behaviors I described are committed against people everyday, all in the name of Christ. People spend their time measuring the speck in another person’s eye while squinting from the log in their own, appointing themselves as the spiritual barometer and blasting anyone in their cross hairs.
Many times there is no love behind it, no intention to reconcile an individual to Christ and in some instances, there is no fault needing exposure. There is only the sound of a clanging cymbal. Some people call them trolls, I call them Pharisees. It is as if those not in the spotlight are under the impression that their sins and shortcomings pale in comparison. None of us are righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10).
God never changed His confession concerning David despite his fall. He continued to call him who he began as in the field tending the sheep before he was a king. Yet He brought correction to David and redemption came because of David’s response to His rebuke. A heart after God’s heart is not only defined by what we do well, but by how we respond after we miss the mark. I am reminded of Christ and how He conducted Himself while on earth.
Jesus did not concern Himself with His reputation before man; He associated with the undesirables while maintaining a standard of holiness and He spoke to the broken places in people, calling out destiny and dispensing restoration while instructing those who had fallen to go and sin no more.
True repentance leads to redemption
I am not saying we should not acknowledge sin and abandon accountability. Repentance is mentioned all throughout Scripture from the Old Testament to the New Testament. True repentance leads to redemption and God desires to move through His people unhindered. Any one of us can identify sin in another person’s life, but it is the commitment to see that person redeemed and restored through Christ that hallmarks our love and compassion for that person.
The Word tells us the gifts and callings are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). The potential and the calling that God sees and gives is not stripped away. It is our choice whether we will receive what He has and answer the call to come up higher into His righteousness, or reject the gifts, operate in disobedience and settle for something far less valuable while squandering our destiny.
We live under a greater covenant than David, a covenant full of grace to live a life of holiness and to come before the Lord when we need to realign our hearts and our motives. One of the greatest templates that David crafted was his transparency before the Lord and his broken and repentant heart, which God did not despise (Psalm 51:17).
Yes, he was a great worshiper and a great warrior, but his willingness to bear himself before the Lord is the mark of a great man of God and it helps us to understand a simple principle: there is always redemption when we turn away from what is not of God and turn toward the One who knew no sin.