S (Scripture): 2 Samuel 11:25 David said to the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing upset you. There is no way to anticipate whom the sword will cut down. Press the battle against the city and conquer it.’ Encourage him with these words.”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for him. 27 When the time of mourning passed, David had her brought to his palace. She became his wife and she bore him a son. But what David had done upset the Lord.
O (Observation): David lusted after Bathsheba, had her brought to his place, and had sex with her. King David did all of this while she was married to Uriah. David got her pregnant and had Uriah come home from battle, assuming he would have slept with his wife. This would make it look like Uriah impregnated his own wife. But Uriah wouldn’t lay with her while his compatriots were fighting a battle. So, David had Uriah sent to the front of the battle lines, where he died in action.
The verses I included above are King David’s words to the commander of the army in response to the commander’s sorrow over the loss of Uriah. David refers to Uriah’s death as “this thing” in v. 25. As if to say, “Well, death happens in war.” Like this was some kind of accidental death. The translation says, “Don’t let this upset you.” A more literal translation is “Do not let this be evil in your eyes.”
But we know what happened. David had Uriah sent to the front lines…where his death was imminent.
King David got his girl, but he didn’t think what he did was evil in the sight of the Lord.
Note the parallel about being upset in v. 25 vs v.27. In v. 27, we see that this action “upset the Lord,” or more literally…”what David had done was evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
A (Application): How easily we fool ourselves. How easily we blind ourselves.
We construct viewpoints and situations in which we excuse ourselves for wrongdoing. How easily we slip into this mentality.
This is why being a Christian is not just about avoiding sin. Christianity is not about an accounting of sins vs good deeds. If it were, we would all be in the negative side of that equation.
Being a Christian is about knowing that God has overcome the power of sin, which means that we are released to follow our callings in this world. This means that “each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done” (that’s a quote from Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy). Each of us has worth and value, even the deepest of sinners.
This message of greatness coming from a humble or checkered past is the message of redemption that the Gospel promises. So don’t beat yourself up. Repent, but allow the Lord to redeem you right now, right where you sit, and be grateful…grateful that God is giving you another chance right now to make a difference in someone else’s life.
You will pay consequences (guilt, shame, maybe even jail time for offenses committed)…by that doesn’t have to be the end of your story. Follow David’s story and understand the torment that he suffered, but also know that “of David” God would make his house. The church today, including Christ himself, share David as our ancestor…. bringing Gospel into the midst of brokenness.
Where have you witnessed redemption?
P (Prayer): Lord, take me…o take me as I am! Amen.