A daily devotional walking through God's word together using The Bible Reading Plan at http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.
Bible Reading Plan - www.Bible-Reading.com; The Story, Chapter 12; You Version Bible app Engaging God's Story Reading Plan Days 78 through 84
What one night would you like to erase from your memory forever? What one event would you like to just take away from your past because of the consequences that have come from that one indiscretion? You know what it is. It probably doesn’t take you a lot of time to think back through your history. You probably don’t have to thumb through pages and pages of journals to think of the event you’d like to relive and do things differently.
King David had one of those days. His army went to war in the spring of the year, but he didn’t go with them. One night he went out on his roof and glanced over his city and there on another rooftop he saw Bathsheba bathing. If David had just walked back inside and gone about his business we probably wouldn’t hear about the demise of the twelve tribes or the terrible things that happened within his own family. But he didn’t.
David sent a servant to bring Bathsheba to his palace and he slept with her while her husband, Uriah, one of David’s mighty men, a brave and loyal soldier in his army, performed his duties on the field of battle. David sent her home. Soon she sent word to David that she was pregnant and the king tries to cover up his wrongs.
First, he brings Uriah home to blame the pregnancy on Uriah, but he doesn’t go home. Refusing to enjoy the comforts of home while his men are suffering the discomforts of the battlefield. Next, David tries to get Uriah drunk to then let his baser desires take hold and get him to sleep with his wife. But that doesn’t work either. Uriah is just too loyal to his men and the king’s army. Finally, for all intents and purposes, David murders Uriah by sending a secret message to his commander instructing him to place Uriah at the front where the fighting was the fiercest and then withdraw leaving Uriah to die. David even sent them message by Uriah to seal his own fate.
David thought he covered his tracks. To the army and the kingdom, it looked like he did a noble thing and took in his warrior’s widow into his palace to marry her and take care of her after Uriah’s untimely death. He thought his sin was hidden from all but he and Bathsheba. But God knew and God let Nathan, His prophet know. The prophet came to David and uncovered the sin. He pronounced the punishment that God decided. Bathsheba’s child would die.
David prayed, he pleaded, he begged. The consequences of his sin began. David repented, but Bathsheba’s child still died. His son raped his daughter. Another son rebelled against him and tried to take his kingdom from him. David watched his family fall apart as a consequence of the sin that started because he didn’t walk away that spring night in Jerusalem.
God forgave David and called him a man after His heart. Why? Because David did repent and tried to live according to the laws God laid out for His people. Did he make mistakes? Absolutely. But God still named David a man after His heart and all the kings of Israel were compared to David, the nation’s best king. David made mistakes. God forgave him. But David still suffered consequences as a result of his sin.
David didn’t blame God for his suffering, though. He understood justice and knew the things he suffered were a result of his actions, not God’s. The family problems he faced were because his children behaved as he had behaved with Bathsheba and Uriah, so how he could expect other results. David knew something we forget too often. The message that we reap what we sow doesn’t matter if God has forgiven us or not. We may still reap the harvest of the actions we have taken. Like David, we may be forgiven, but it doesn’t mean we won’t suffer the consequences of those actions in this life.
What does it all mean for us as we look at those characters like David? God isn’t looking for perfect people. He knows none of us are perfect. He made us. He knows us. He knows your faults and failures better than you do. What He’s looking for are men and women who, like David, will listen when confronted with their sin. He’s looking for men and women who, when confronted with their sin will repent instead of blaming someone else. He’s looking for men and women who, like David, will meditate on His word, do their best everyday to abide by His law, and listen to His voice.
He tells us He really only has two rules for us to keep. Love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love other people like we love ourself. If we will just do those two things we will stay out of trouble and will keep all His other commands. If David had kept those two rules that night in Jerusalem when he was out on his roof, he would have walked back inside when he noticed Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop. You see, he would not have wanted to sin against God or against Bathsheba or her husband Uriah. He would have wanted to maintain their reputations and his own.
David had that bad night and God forgave him. You’ve probably had a bad night or two yourself. I doubt if your bad night was any worse than what David did, though. He drug his whole family and nation through the mud resulting in rape, murder, incest, a divided kingdom, defeat by their enemies, finally the whole nation falling into exile. God forgave him, but the consequences unfolded before him.
Don’t let that happen to you. Obey God. Recognize He has your best in mind. He doesn’t want you to suffer the results of the harvest of sinful ways. Reap a harvest of good deeds and righteous living. It’s not impossible. In fact, God will help you along the way. Just put your trust in Him, listen to His voice, and obey when you hear Him call.