Discover His heart: He draws us to repentance and forgives our sins
When bystanders are interviewed after a robbery or an attack, each one gives a little different account of what took place. Some focus on the victim, some see only the robber and others will give an accurate description of clothing worn. The observers focus on the part of the altercation that means the most to them, the part that captures the heart. Our hearts will generally dictate our focus. In our reading today, David had a heart condition, and it obviously directed his focus.
@ 2 Samuel 11
David > gentle shepherd > giant slayer > great warrior > brave king > God’s own heart > adulterer……What? Say it isn’t so! How does this happen?
“In the spring of the year, when Kings normally go out to war…David stayed behind.” (1) Spring was the time for kings to pursue and to conquer with the blessings of good weather, not too cold, not too hot. The leader of Israel was on assignment to regain the land that was promised to Abraham. It was not the time to rest on any laurels or bask in the glow of past victories. David neglected his duties, and that neglect resulted in a tangled web of sin, murder and cover-up. Sir Walter Scott’s famous saying certainly would apply to part of this scenario, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
At any point in this painful account, David could have changed the outcome. Perhaps he could have practiced the eye bounce method when he first saw Bathsheba on her roof. He could have spent some time with one of his many wives or concubines. He could have confessed his sin immediately and bore the consequences like a man. But the problem began when he failed to do what he had been purposed to do. While it may be a stretch to expect David to have admired his neighbor’s hydrangeas rather than the bathing Bathsheba, he really should not have been in this position in the first place. Before there was lust, murder and deceit, there was a heart problem.
We’re not privy to what caused David’s heart problem, this man who had been described as one after God’s own heart (I Samuel 11:14). Perhaps he was fatigued from all he had endured up to this point, and isn’t this when the enemy often attacks? David would have been better served to ask God for strength to go to battle. Perhaps he felt entitled to a little R & R or a little something extra for all his past goodness. Pride is the precursor to a downfall (Proverbs 16:18). There was a reason David stayed behind, and this begs the question, am I doing what God has purposed for me to do or have I put myself in a position to compromise?
The good news in this story is that David repented of his dreadful sins, and God forgave him. Sadly, the repercussions of his acts were widespread and long-lasting, all of which could have been avoided if, in the spring of the year, David had gone to war. As I walk through each day, where does my heart direct my focus? And if I should sadly find myself on the edge of compromise, do I look for the hydrangeas or do I see the harmful thing. Tough questions, but worthy of the asking.
Moving Forward: Today I ask the tough questions to keep me true to my purpose and to keep my heart focused on Him.
Tomorrow @ Psalms 54-56