One of the little nuggets of truth that I discovered over the last few weeks has been through a study of the Old Testament, specifically of David. I am pretty sure that most of us know some of David’s history. Especially his history with a woman named Bathsheba. But there really is more to David than Bathsheba. The Lord chose David, to be King following Saul because the Lord described him as a “man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). When we read about David in his early years one can certainly see a man, who trusted completely in the Lord, when all odds seemed to be against him. He was pursued relentlessly by King Saul who tried to have David killed. But there are some moments in his life that show me, show us, that even a man after God’s own heart can make mistakes and not allow them to define him. A few of David’s not so bright spots for us to read about happened when:
➢ He should have been at war, He took another man’s wife, Bathsheba, slept with her and she became pregnant. After several failed attempts to get her husband to sleep with her to cover up the sin, he had her husband killed (2 Samuel 11).
➢ He was a man who really did not like confrontation. He did not discipline his children and disorder ruled in his house because of it (2 Samuel 13-15).
➢ He sinned against the Lord when he decided to number Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 24).
Through David’s mistakes we can learn that in the midst of bad choices and wrong actions, God is able to clean us up and move beyond them, if we allow ourselves a belief system built upon the Promises of His Word.
Here are some of my nuggets of truth that David has taught me;
➢ While David needed to suffer the consequences of each of his sins against the Lord, he never blamed the Lord, or anyone else for that matter, for his sin. He took responsibility for his own actions. I must also take responsibility for my own actions.
➢ When confronted with his sin he simply repented. He acknowledged his sin was indeed sin and asked God to forgive him. Sometimes it is hard to admit that a desire I may have might be a sin against the Lord. I must learn to accept what is sin in God’s eyes and admit when I partake of it.
➢ He allowed God’s anointed to speak into his life and confront those areas of sin. How many times have I become offended when a Pastor has a message of truth from the Word that I would rather not hear? It’s not comfortable to have my toes stepped on….but oh, it is so necessary.
But do you want to know the greatest nugget of truth I learned from David? I can hardly stand it! It gets me so excited I just want to climb to the top of a mountain and shout it out! (And I have climbed a few small mountains and don’t really care for the challenge of it. But this is so freeing I just might be willing to do it.) I discovered it in 2 Samuel 22. The chapter begins with:“Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said; “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies” (2 Samuel 22: 1-4). While I love how David expresses Who God is to him, and yes, these verses are great nuggets for us to remember in our days of testing and trials. We can put our confidence in our Lord because He is our Rock, our Deliverer, our Strength and Shield. He is our Savior, worthy of Praise and able to save us. Such great truth, but my revelation came when I read how David expresses who HE was to God… if we continue to read on to verse 20 we read: “He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me; And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity. Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness in His eyes” (2 Samuel 20-25).
Now, let me tell you, when I first read this verse all of David’s prior sins ran through my mind. How could he possibly say that he had kept the ways of the Lord? How could he call himself blameless? Kept himself from iniquity? Huh? I can review all those chapters and read his own words of admission, of guilt for his "iniquity." Leave it to me to want to point out and remind him of his past"failures". If I don't allow myself off the hook I certainly can't allow another, right? And then it hit me. The Lord opened my eyes to see what I have been missing. David was a man who truly understood repentance and restoration. He was the man who told us that the Lord removes our sins as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). He also said that the Lord forgives all your iniquities and redeems your life from destruction (Ps. 103 3, 4). He didn't deny what he had done but he completely believed that as soon as he repented God removed his sin. The sin was gone and David was able to do something I have a difficult time with and that is forgive himself and let the sin go. Which brought me to this question; If God can forgive and let me (us) off the hook, why can’t I (we)? Rather than take God at His Word we look in the mirror and our sin stares back. Maybe it’s because we have not totally allowed ourselves to believe that God is true to His Word. Maybe we don’t see God as our Deliverer, our Strength or our Savior. But He wants to be, if we would only allow Him total access to our hearts. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that “as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Whatever I think about myself is what I am bound to become. I want to become everything that God declares me to be. I can't change the past but I can change the thoughts I have about it. I may look in the mirror and see a few wrinkles on my face, but I surely don't want to see the wrinkles from my past.
So, what do you see when you look in the mirror? What thoughts of yourself do you carry in your heart? Maybe it is time to put your trust in Christ, Who can take the sins of the past and wipe the slate clean so you can live a life blameless before Him. Maybe it's time to remove the frown. :)