Everyone sins. (Eccl. 7:20) There is no exception. Let’s look at an example of a big fall into sin by one whom God had previously called ‘a man after His own heart’. (1 Sam. 13:14) That man was King David…
Heretofore, God helped David establish his throne in Jerusalem and unite all of Israel under his rule. God rains His favor over King David – even so far as to granting him an eternal dynasty:
…the LORD will make you a house…And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. 2 Sam. 7:11 & 7:16. ESV
There is no physical house or throne that will last forever. God is referring to the eternal kingdom of Christ Jesus, whose earthly body will be from King David’s lineage. It is the ultimate honor for King David. And the favor of God just keeps following him.
But, one warm spring night, King David decides to cool off on the roof of his house. Once there, he spies some gorgeous gal bathing herself on the roof of a house below his. (David also happens to be married at this time.)
He is smitten. He finds out that this woman is named Bathseba and that she is wife to Uriah, one of King David’s handpicked soldiers.
David buries his spiritual self, and allows his flesh to come forth and take command. He has Bathseba brought to him for an adulterous tryst. That rendezvous leaves Bathsheba pregnant. And how does our previously virtuous King David handle that? He has Uriah sent to the front lines of a battle where his death is all but guaranteed.
When Bathsheba’s prescribed mourning period was over, King David marries her and she bears him a son. And foolishly, they think that they have pulled one over on everybody. Uh-oh:
But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord. 2 Sam. 11:27 AMP
You can’t pull the wool over God’s eyes. He sends His prophet Nathan to King David to deliver His judgment:
Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD to do evil in His sight?’ 2 Sam. 12:7 – 9. NKJV
This mighty man of God is standing before his Creator, being accused of adultery and murder – both crimes being punishable by death according to Mosaic Law. Nathan delivers God’s penalty. He tells King David that his house will be troubled for the rest of his life and that what he had hoped would remain hidden would be replayed out in the open for all to see.
(And indeed, David’s first child with Bathsheba falls ill and dies. One of his son’s rapes his half-sister and is killed by the half-sister’s brother in revenge. And then that son publicly commits adultery with David’s wives, plots a violent takeover of his father’s kingdom, and is then killed during the attempt.)
King David confesses and repents of his sin. God answers through Nathan:
“The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.” 1 Sam. 12:13 NASB
Our God is such a loving and forgiving God. However, even though He blots out our sin, we are left to deal with the consequences caused by that sin. Sin is so destructive – hurting God, the victim, and the perpetrator. Yet there must be consequences or everyone would sin with cavalier.
God told us that sin (disobedience) brings with it a curse. (Deut. 30:19, 20) And this curse carries the consequences of breakage in both circumstances and relationships.
But praise be to God that He does forgive: …you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love… Neh. 9:17 ESV
Why? It’s because it is the only way that we can heal. If you don’t have faith in God’s forgiveness, you will not forgive yourself. The subsequent guilt and shame that you heap upon yourself will lead to self-hate, which severs your love-connection with God. God loves you so much that He never wants you to be without that love.
And it is the only way that He can heal within the context of His relationship with you: I, I am he, who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Is. 43:25 ESV
For His sake – so that the love between you and Him remains.
He guarantees His forgiveness: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr. 7:14 NKJV
But first, we have to approach Him and confess and repent:
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness} and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. 1 John 1:9 AMP
And if the best way to please God is to follow His word, to model Him, then we too should practice forgiveness…
After all, the only reason you would not forgive is if you are still keeping hate in your heart. And hate cancels out your love for God and for everyone else. Love and hate cannot coexist. And this is a big thing with God. Jesus said: For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matt. 6:14, 15. ESV
God cannot connect His love to you if you are practicing hate. And when you hate, you are practicing judgment. You are not supposed to judge.
God judges. He has to judge unrighteousness, because He is pure righteousness and cannot abide with that which is not. The ultimate reason that God judges His children, is to keep them on a path that will usher them into eternity with Him:
…when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 1 Cor. 11:32 ESV
God’s judgments are ‘love judgments’. Man’s judgments are nothing of the kind. When we judge, we blame. It comes from our self-centeredness, our need to be right about our point of view. It is a form of hate. And Jesus warns against this:
DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out to you. Matt. 7:1, 2. AMP
People generally ‘act out’ their inward suffering. That’s why they don’t deserve our judgment. They only deserve our compassion: Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you. Eph. 4:32 NASB
Forgiveness begins in the mirror, so that we can break down any barriers that we have erected between God and ourselves. When we extend that forgiveness outwards, it will complete our relationship with God and with others – ultimately completing our relationship with ourselves as well.
Forgiving is the highest act of giving. It is where we give our love away – regardless of whether we think the object of our love is deserving or not.
And who doesn’t deserve love?
Good night and God bless.