“Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?””
2 Samuel 11:1-3 NASB
“Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that Joab led out the army and ravaged the land of the sons of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. And Joab struck Rabbah and overthrew it.”
1 Chronicles 20:1 NASB
The forgiveness of God
I have a long memory. Periodically, a remembrance of something reprehensible that I did in the past will come to my mind and I am momentarily wracked with guilt. I have to know that these feelings are attacks from the evil one, trying to tell me who I was is who I am. I take those feelings to the Lord and He reminds me that He is the One who knows who I am. I am forgiven, cleansed, purchased by Jesus’s blood, shed for me on the cross. He does not remember my sins.
As I read through the bible, I see the heart of God. When He forgives, He chooses not to remember. My sins are gone. I noticed something when I went through 1 Chronicles 20. I got to the part of David’s history where he had his great sin. The place where he took a break from battle and found himself coveting, and eventually seducing the wife of another. After failed attempts to cover up the affair, he had the husband killed.
You are that man!
Nathan the prophet confronted him with the conviction of God and David confessed his sin. His life, family and kingdom were nearly destroyed by the sin as a consequence. The result of the affair was a child who died. But the Lord forgave him. As I read through the passage I could see the view of man in 1 Samuel, and the view of God in 1 Chronicles.
God is merciful. Later on in the chapter, David numbers the people. He ignored the provision of God and sought to take things into his own hands. He sinned. In that time, he numbered the people to see how many soldiers he had for war. He showed a lack of faith in the Lord’s ability to deliver the nation Israel. He forgotten the many times when God had done so and the promise of the Lord to Abraham.
God does record this sin, not as a reminder of what David did, but as a display of God’s grace. When it came time for consequences, God gave David the choice. Either punishment from man or punishment from God.
“David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.””
1 Chronicles 21:13 NASB
As I remember the things that I have done, I also remember the things that have been done to me. Just as my own sins rear up and remind me of my past, feelings of anger rise up as I remember the wrongs perpetrated against me. Just as I deal with the reminders of my sin, I remember that I have taken them to the Lord and have forgiven them. My peace is restored.
We are seeing a nation in the grips of unforgiveness. With people there is no grace, no apology that can wipe away the rage and desire for judgement. It is a bottomless pit of despair. I am so glad that the Lord no longer considers my sin. That great mercy makes me desire to please Him with my life. Perhaps we can learn from that. I have learned that people are more open to change when they are not being attacked. They are more willing to be open hearted, to be vulnerable.
The fact that there is no condemnation causes me to seek the Lord. I rejoice on the adaption of God as He chose me. He loved me. I am more willing to bear His conviction, and not flee. He brings about the change in me.
Believers, demonstrate God’s forgiveness today. When those feelings of guilt erupt, take them to the Lord. When those memories of old hurts come back to haunt you. give them to the Lord. He will flood you with His grace. Pray for our world, that people of the Christian faith would participate in this conversation and bring the view of God.
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalms 103:10-12 NASB
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