An Honored Sinner

Post 2 of 777

This is something I’ve been chewing on recently and I thought I would share. David in the Bible is described as “a man after God’s own heart.” God loved David so much that God chose to have Jesus come from David’s line. David is one of the most admired people in the Bible (he is one of my favorites). And yet, David was a liar, fell into fear risking his family and his heritage, refused to confront or discipline his generals and his children, married many women including one already married to one of his best warriors, commanded murder, and committed many other sins. I’ve made a list of his sins (that I’m at least aware of) below along with some of the consequences.

  1. He lies to a priest while on the run from King Saul. This lie results in the death of a whole town of priests (1Samuel 21-22).
  2. Our of fear he flees to the land of the enemy Philistines despite having been commanded to stay in his home country Israel (1Samuel 22:2, 27:1).
  3. During this time of living with the Philistines he gradually loses his identity and prepares to go to war with the Philistines against his home country Israel (1Samuel 29). This results in the capture of his family and possessions (1Samuel 30).
  4. Out of fear, he does not confront or punish his general Joab for murdering two of Israel’s best generals, with one of them being a relative (2Samuel 3:27, 2Samuel 20:10)
  5. He marries many women despite the law commanding kings not to (Deut 17:17). His sins of lust will affect his children and their descendants.
  6. He sleeps with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his mightiest warriors Uriah (2Samuel 11:3, 2Samuel 23:39). Bathsheba (2Samuel 11:3) is also possibly the daughter of another one of his mightiest warriors Eliam (2Samuel 23:34) and the granddaughter of his greatest advisor Ahithophel (2Samuel 23:34).
  7. He then has Uriah killed in battle to cover for his sin, which also results in the death of other innocent Israelite soldiers (2Samuel 11:24). After Uriah’s death he takes Uriah’s wife as his own.
  8. He does not punish or even confront his firstborn Ammon after Ammon rapes David’s daughter (Ammon’s half-sister) Tamar (2Samuel 13). His lack of disciplining Ammon leads to Tamar’s brother Absalom (another son of David) killing Ammon to exact revenge.
  9. He does not confront or discipline his son Absalom after Absalom murders Ammon (2Samuel 13-14). This eventually results in Absalom deceiving the nation and creating a civil war in Israel against David.
  10. He commands a census (an act of pride) that leads to the death of 70,000 Israelites (2Samuel 24).
  11. He doesn’t confront or discipline his son Adonijah (1Kings 1), which almost leads to another civil war.
  12. He gives his son Solomon a hit list, asking Solomon to confront and kill those he didn’t have the courage to confront during his life (1Kings 2:5-9).

If David lived today he would have likely been shunned by the Christian community, especially after committing adultery and commanding the death of one of his top warriors. His lust issues and his family issues were heinous. His inability to confront those in sin led to great evil in Israel. David started so well and he did great things, but his sins were flagrant and hard to ignore. And yet… God loved (and still loves) this man deeply. One of Jesus’ titles was “The Son of David” (Matthew 1:1, Matthew 21:9) and Jesus proudly identifies Himself from the line of David (Revelation 22:16). What is the deal? David committed some of the most wretched sins out of people in the Old Testament. And yet he continued to be identified as “a man after God’s own heart.” Why?

Because David is the epitome of grace. David was a lowly shepherd boy and was despised by his brothers. Despite his unheralded background, God exalted him (2Samuel 7:8-9). And despite all of David’s sins, David was continually and genuinely repentant, always seeking God’s heart. David continually humbled himself when he was confronted about his sin. David recognized his sinful condition (Psalm 32, 51) and he recognized his need for God’s grace. He sought after God and was very real with God with his emotions (just read some of the Psalms). Even when he went his own way at times, whenever he came to his senses he always humbled himself and turned to God and worshipped Him. David continually gave glory to God. David wasn’t perfect at all, but God was still so pleased with him.

God knows we are sinners. And God still shows honor to us despite our failures. Hebrews 11 is a chapter honoring great people of faith and includes a list of leaders who severely messed up in their lifetimes (Gideon, Samson, Jephthah, David). God doesn’t exalt perfect people. God exalts people who seek Him and turn to Him and give Him glory. Jesus died for sinners. God loves the poor in spirit. God loves the humble, those whose trust is in Him and not in themselves.

God isn’t shocked when we mess up. There will be consequences for our sins, but as long as our heart is for the Lord and we are repentant then we can be rest assured that God still loves us just as much as before.