I’d like to paint a picture of God’s expansive love for you. It comes from 2 Samuel 12.
Here’s the background. God selected David, an unknown shepherd boy, as the successor to King Saul to lead the Israelites. God proceeded to protect David through his encounter with Goliath and during Saul’s murderous jealousy. He gave him one military victory after another. He unified Judah and Israel under David’s single command.
David has been faithful to God through this entire journey, but once the pressure is released and David finds himself in a comfortable place, he falls. (Ever experienced this? I’m ashamed to admit that I have.) When he should have been out at war, he was home. Alone. He sees a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, bathing. He finds her. He sleeps with her. She gets pregnant. He has her husband killed (2 Samuel 11).
Let me caution you: one step away from God leads to another and another until you find yourself so far from home that you don’t know how to return.
Now the picture foreground. What will God do? He sends the prophet Nathan to confront David. Is his purpose to shame and punish David? That would be a justified response. Here’s what God did instead. He first had Nathan tell David a parable to provoke David’s outrage at the injustice of his actions. He then followed it with:
7 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. 8 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.
God’s love and caring for David stuns me. In the face of David’s sin, God presents compassion and generosity. There is no condemnation. There is only love. God called David home.
I do need to be clear that there were consequences to David’s sin. The child that resulted from this liaison died after birth. David and Bathsheba suffered this loss. The outcomes of sin remain, but forgiveness and full acceptance are available. Not only that, but a bright future is possible when walking in lock-step with God, even if the beginning is a mess. David and Bathsheba had a son soon after the loss of their first child. You may recognize his name: Solomon succeeded David as king and became wise and wealthy beyond measure through God’s blessings.
Do you realize that God will create the same picture for you? Regardless of your background, the master artist will paint a foreground of love and forgiveness with you as the centerpiece. The good news is that Jesus, God’s son, lived a sin-free life and then died in your place so that your sin may be forgiven. It can be wiped clean. When you accept this gift, you are free to move forward without shame into a loving embrace with this same God who showed how he loves so completely through David.
Begin now — your masterpiece awaits!
God, I am a sinner. I need your forgiveness. I accept Jesus’ death and resurrection as the payment for my sin. I ask you to take me in your arms and teach me how to live a life that pleases you. Thank you!