Move ‘PAST’ your ‘FAILURES’ to be ‘USED’ by God: So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die." (2 Sam 12:13-14)
After enjoying tremendous successes in the battlefield against the enemies of Israel, David encountered temptation, and he let himself be conquered by lust. God’s word describes this battlefield of the mind as follows: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. (James 1:13-16) David succumbed to his fleshly desires, became enticed and committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then arranged to have her husband Uriah the Hittite murdered.
"But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord" (2 Sam 11:27) God sent His prophet Nathan to David after he had committed adultery and murder, as God wanted David to be aware and repent of the heinous crimes that he had done. With the help of a story, Nathan was able to drive home the seriousness of David’s crime (2 Sam. 12:1-12). This is where David distinguishes himself from many other people – he confessed his sins immediately before Nathan, and Nathan declared that God “also has put away (his) sin” (2 Sam. 12:13b). To err is human and to forgive divine. God forgives our sins when we confess them to Him openly and turn away from our misdeeds (John 1:9). "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again" (Prov 24:16)
This story of David teaches us how we too can move past our failures to be used by God again in His kingdom for His glory:
- Confess our sins openly before God. David acknowledged his transgressions without any reservations (2 Sam. 12:13). "For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight" (Psalms 51:3-4)
- Seek forgiveness from God and those we have hurt in the process. "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies" (Psalms 51:1)
- Pray to God that others may be spared from the consequences of our actions. "David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground" (2 Sam 12:16)
- Finally, recognize that the consequences of our sins have to be endured. Even though David fasted, pleaded with God for the life of his child and lay on the ground for seven days without any food or drink, the child died (2 Sam. 12:16-18). The sword never departed from David’s family line (v. 10). His own son Absalom rose against David in rebellion, and openly committed the crimes that David had done in secret (v. 11-12; 16:21-22).