Hey Karina Speaks! readers. I’m back! Sorry for my hiatus. How is the summer reading going for you all? I have to admit I’ve lost steam. I’m halfway through 2nd Samuel, so I need to catch up!
To be honest, I get pretty disheartened when I read about some of David’s actions. It’s like when you’re watching an action movie and you just need to pause because you know what’s coming and you can’t take the tension anymore. (Maybe I’m the only weirdo that does that…)
Anyway, how does a man after God’s own heart lie so often? (1 Samuel 27 comes to mind) And sleep with so many women? (8+ wives and at least 10 concubines.) Ugh. I’m not trying to oversimplify these choices. I know there were political motivations for some of the marriages, and ample justification for lying when he was running for his life. But still, that doesn’t make it right. And then there is the murder of Uriah and sleeping with Bathsheba.
But David is not the only one. There are so many prominent Christian leaders we can name that fell in one way or another: just Google it!
I read an excellent article that references a study done of men in full-time ministry who fell into a morally disqualifying sin. There were some common characteristics among them (I’m not sharing all of them – check out the article for the full list):
– No personal accountability.
– No more daily time of personal prayer, Bible reading, and worship.
– An it “would never happen to me” mentality.
How many believers do those characteristics describe? Yikes!
“Therefore let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation].”
– 1 Corinthians 10:12 (AMP)
None of us is exempt from the pressures and temptations that these men and many others have succumbed to. Men, women, full time pastors or just regular people, we are all sinners in need of a savior. That’s why Christ died for us!
And, whether our sins are made public or just remain between us and God, we all miss the mark. Jesus said that if we look lustfully at someone, we’ve committed adultery with them in our hearts (Matthew 5). In the same passage, He equates being angry with a brother with murder.
In the eyes of God, our thoughts are reality.
I have a newfound appreciation for the Psalms of David. Reading them in conjunction with the account of David’s life – his zeal, his love for God, his sense of honor, his humanity, his sin – they come to life. David really knew God. He wasn’t afraid to admit his faults and his utter dependance on God’s mercy.
I leave with you Psalm 51- David’s prayer after he is confronted by the prophet Nathan about his adultery with Bathseba:
Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.
Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.