In our quick look at some of the many lessons that could be learned from the life of King David, we have noted that God Can Use Unlikely People To Accomplish His Will, and somewhat somberly, that Sin Has Consequences. Today we conclude this series on an upbeat note by pointing out one of Scripture’s central truths: Sin Can Be Forgiven.
David’s guilt was plain in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite: he lusted after Bathsheba, he committed fornication, he abused his power as king, and ultimately, he had Uriah killed to cover up what he had done.
But ultimately, God forgave David of his great sin:
“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.’”
(2 Samuel 12.13)
The Book of Psalms records David’s words of repentance:
“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleans me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence. And do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.”
(Psalm 51.1-3; 10-12)
God was willing to forgive David of his sins, and the good news for us is that He will do the same for us if we repent. Some of my favorite verses in all of the Bible speak to this truth:
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
“…If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
(1 John 1.7)
That forgiveness doesn’t mean that all of the physical consequences of sin will necessarily go away. David’s child still died, no matter how hard he prayed about it. The drunk driver who takes a life will still face prison time, and will still have to deal with the guilt of having killed someone for the rest of his life. The pregnant teenage girl will still have to face the trials and stigma of being a single parent. No matter how hard the woman tries, she may never be able to completely undo the damage of hateful words.
But, the eternal, spiritual consequences can disappear.
Jesus died on the cross to bridge the gap that sin had created between us and God, and when He did that, He received the punishment for sin so that we would not have to. The Bible’s best-known verse, John 3.16, says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
As mentioned in the last post, our wages—what we deserve in return for our sin—is death. But thanks to Jesus, we don’t have to get what we deserve; we can have eternal life with Him instead.