Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37:24, NLT
David. David was the chosen King. Anointed to be King as a young boy, at the surprise of his brothers. His brothers who all believed they should be chosen. They were older. Stronger. David was just a shepherd boy. A runt.
David. The man with a colored past. An adulterer. Who covered up his sin by sending the woman’s husband to be killed. A murderer. Yet, still chosen.
The writer of many Psalms. Both beautiful and angry. He was hunted by men who believed he should pay for his past. Who believed he was unworthy to be a king. No good. That God had made a mistake.
Saul believed God had made a mistake. But David and God knew differently.
See, David had failed in many ways. He knew he had. But, prior to his writing of his many praises. His many songs, he has his reckoning with God. He came clean. David confessed his sins.
But God was not at all pleased with what David had done, and sent Nathan to David. Nathan said to him, “There were two men in the same city—one rich, the other poor. The rich man had huge flocks of sheep, herds of cattle. The poor man had nothing but one little female lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up with him and his children as a member of the family. It ate off his plate and drank from his cup and slept on his bed. It was like a daughter to him. “One day a traveler dropped in on the rich man. He was too stingy to take an animal from his own herds or flocks to make a meal for his visitor, so he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared a meal to set before his guest.” David exploded in anger. “As surely as God lives,” he said to Nathan, “the man who did this ought to be lynched! He must repay for the lamb four times over for his crime and his stinginess!” “You’re the man!” said Nathan. 1 Samuel 12:1-7
Nathan proceeds to tell David all he had done, letting him know what God planned to do about this sin David had committed, and David replies in this manner: “I’ve sinned against God.” (verse 13). David confesses. God forgives. David then sins no more.
And here in the Psalms we see that no, David doesn’t die just as God promises in verse 14, but he is tormented. Just as the Word promised, He was punished by God. His son died, and later on his other turned against him. He did not live a life without trials. However, he did something that was especially important-he did not sin again. He did not repeat his past. And God never brought it up.
It’s why he was known as a “man after God’s heart.” He vowed to be holy. He vowed to live a life that God would be proud of. He wanted to live a life that was worthy of the lineage of Jesus.
See, David understood this:
Turn from evil and do good,
and you will live in the land forever.
For the Lord loves justice,
and he will never abandon the godly. Psalm 37:27-28, NLT
God gives us the opportunity to ask Him for another chance. He gives us the ability to walk in righteousness again, not because we are good. Not because we even deserve it, but because HE is good. And see David? He was called a “man after God’s heart,” because he knew what it was like to be separated from Him. To live tormented by the pain he had caused God for not doing what He had asked, and he never wanted to do it again. He only wanted to do good. He decided to turn around, and walk a different way.
And people didn’t like it. They didn’t like that he could make mistakes, and still be seen as “good.”
You know why? Because we judge the past of others. We judge people based on their choices, not on their hearts. The Bible tells us this: The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
It’s true. We judge. And appearances are not just what others look like. We judge the past. We judge failure. We judge mistakes. Whether they are overcome or not. We hold onto the sins of others as if they define that person forever. Even if they repent and never do it again.
But there is good news. God doesn’t do this. No, once we do as David did, no matter the sinful deed-big or small. When we say, “God, I confess. I sinned against you.” He offers us forgiveness. In fact, God will have compassion on us. He will trample our sins under His feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! (Micah 7:19)
We may be slandered. We may be mocked. We may still have our sins held onto by people. We may be cast out of certain places. People may not believe we have changed. May continue to only see us as a mistake, but it doesn’t matter, because God knows we are after His heart, and because of this, we can continue to do good anyway.