Imperfect Devotion

This week, I shared with the congregation my thoughts on God calling David “a man after my own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14)

I believe that in David’s case, the thing that made him “after God’s heart” was that he not only repented of his sins but actively grieved for the repercussions his sin had on others. David was truly focused on the sheep God had given him, which drove him to say things like, “But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.” (2 Samuel 24:17, ESV)

David mourned the deaths of his sons Amnon, Absalom, Adonijah and his unborn child with Bathsheba. But he mourned them because he knew that these deaths were the results of his sin. David understood that no sin is victimless or private. As Nathan told David, “For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.” (2 Samuel 12:12, ESV) Our sin has repercussions – relational repercussions.

And it doesn’t matter if the sin is a ‘relationship sin’ like cheating on your wife or abusing your kids. All sin affects others.

During the message on Sunday, I mentioned how in the past I have done things that have destroyed people. Not a week goes by that I don’t think of the lives that my life has affected. I cannot claim to be perfect, because I am far from it. There are things in my life that I can never take back – lives forever changed because of my sin. Yes, those people made choices too; but that doesn’t relieve me of responsibility. Not a week goes by that one of those lives doesn’t echo in my inner thoughts.

But here’s the thing. You have to accept responsibility, grieve the repercussions of your sin and then get on with God’s agenda for your life. Too many people use their sinfulness as an excuse for laziness.

Think about THIS ONE for a moment. After the death of the infant he had with Bathsheba, David went back to her and “comforted her.” In other words, he went to the woman who had been the original sin at the beginning of the story, accepted his responsibility as her husband and as the king of Israel, and he conceived another child with her.

That child was Solomon, whom God called Jedidiath or “the beloved of YHWH.” Solomon is ultimately the ancestor of Jesus.

What’s more, David’s sin led to the death of three other sons who would have probably been terrible kings.

So, if David hadn’t stepped up to the plate and owned the responsibility that came from his sin. If he hadn’t been willing to invest his life in the relationship with Bathsheba and Solomon, all of history would have been changed for the worst.

Would God have done the same thing with David if David hadn’t been willing to own the responsibility for his sin and grieve the repercussions in the lives of others? Would God have turned David’s family tragedies into the imperfect beauty that it became?

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