“To err is human; to forgive divine” it’s a famous quote I remember but can’t recall who said it. Nevertheless it’s very profound truth, a truth of the Gospel. Regardless of how long you have walked with Christ, temptation will come to us all. Our precious Savior wasn’t even exempt from temptation but He was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 2:18) It’s comforting to know Christ understands our struggles, our weakness, but what’s really reassuring He is my mediator. He is the One who stands in the gap for me!
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. (I Timothy 2:5)
When no one else will stand in my defense, Christ will. If Christ is the only One who will stand with me, no one can defeat me. Our past can defeat our lives if we live there. We all have a past, made mistakes, and desire for peace in our souls. Nevertheless, it’s hard to walk with a heart of brokenness; we trip over every piece of it. As we try to pick up those pieces, we realize it’s too much too carry. We can’t lift our face, find no peace, our strength is gone, and hope is fading fast. Sin weighs our spirits down; no peace will be found until it’s nailed to the cross. A blessed person is one who’s transgression is forgiven it’s been covered. (Psalm 32:1)
His heart is labeled, “a man after God’s own heart” but David even faced failure in his life. A prophetic promise, powerful anointing, and kingshipdidn’t prevent David’s choice to accept the lure of temptation. He accepted the bait-hook, line, and sinker. Besides destroying his name, He brought reproach to the name of God. (2 Samuel 12:14) It’s not easy to walk through the consequences of sin but grace still overcomes. According to one of professors in college he said, “The three greatest temptations for those in ministry are sex, money, and power.” It’s not only godly leadership who are tempted with this dangerous trio; anyone who is in leadership must protect their lives, their name, and others. “A good name is better than riches” said the wise King Solomon. (Proverbs 22:1) A name tarnished with sin can only be changed by grace.
Can a fallen leader or minister be restored? ABSOLUTELY! It’s going to take repentance, accountability, and support from the body of Christ. We are called to be ministers of reconciliation; it’s the heartbeat of God. (2 Cor. 5:18) From the account in 2 Samuel 12:1-26, we learn some vital lessons about sin, the consequences of sin, and restoration. Secret sin will NEVER be a secret before God! So, God can’t be fooled by anyone. It’s better to come clean with God or He can send a messenger to your door! Nathan, the prophet, comes into David’s presence to reveal the truth about his secret sins. First, God rebukes David’s actions; He doesn’t support his wrong doings. (2 Samuel 12:9) Second, God reveals the consequences for his actions and the aftermath. (2 Samuel 12:11-13; 12:14) Next, repentance had to be made, David confesses and his life is spared. (2 Samuel 12:13) Lastly, the child conceived in sin was struck with illness.
If we are truly repentant over our sins; we will take the consequences. Sadly, so many people don’t understand that our actions have consequences. It’s not easy to watch the aftermath of a sinful choice we made. Whether it’s losing a job, an unexpected child, destroying friendships or the trust of your family it’s hard to grasp it. It’s truly a wake-up call! It’s not easy being the center of gossip or to hear people’s accusations towards you. It’s a hard pill to shallow but grace lifts us up and mercy helps us stand.
As David pleas, fasts, and prays for the child through several nights, the child dies. Through the whispers of his servants, David realizes the child is dead. It’s truly a sad moment but David does something quite interesting.
Then David GOT UP from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions, and changed his clothes, he WENT INTO THE HOUSE OF GOD and WORSHIPPED. Then he went into his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 2 Samuel 12:20
Realize our failures only show our humanity; a life of grace shows our humility. We can’t stand without God’s grace! So, get up from the ground! It’s time to move on! It’s time to enter the house of God and worship Him for His grace. It’s time to remove the stains, remove the clothes of depression, and enter the house of God!
Leaders are not exempt from temptation but they must guard their lives and reputation. David placed himself into temptation, he wasn’t in war. (2 Samuel 11:1) He wasn’t fulfilling his duties, he sent his men to do his work. His guard was down; his spirit was restless, and walking on the roof of the palace. As the beautiful woman was bathing, David didn’t run away from the temptation, he ran full-speed ahead towards it by inquiring about her-she is married. He didn’t stop there, he ignores the red flag. God will always offer an escape from temptation; we have to be willing to take it. Also, we must be wise to know our weakness, be accountable, and don’t place ourselves up for failure. David’s failure didn’t stop God’s promise for his life but it cost the love and respect of his family. God’s story with your life isn’t done because you failed. Forgiveness is more easily granted from people but rebuilding trust will take steps of integrity. It’s time to turn the page; God’s grace is greater than all your sins. It’s time to rise and eat!