Chapter 12 - The Trials of a King
What was he thinking? How could David fall for the oldest trick in the book? Lonely night, can't sleep, beautiful woman and … well, you know the rest of the story. How sobering to see such a man of God fall so dramatically that he would not only sin morally but then arrange for the death of his lover's husband.
I see two warnings in this chapter:
(1) Sin can get us all. If Satan can find David's weakness then certainly he can find mine. Vigilance is required of all God's people, and although David finds forgiveness he suffers greatly from his sin. It's easy to throw stones at David, but perhaps even more sobering is his encounter with Nathan and his damning words, "You are the man." As we come to this chapter in The Story let's not forget that each one of is The Man. We are all guilty to some degree of egregious sins and we should all be asking that same question of ourselves - "What was I thinking?" Sin can creep up on us ever so covertly and before we know it we are trapped! The apostle Peter, who also knew how quick a believer can go form hero to zero, shares this wisdom: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
(2) Sin can be easily ignored. It seems as if David is able to file away his sin and live quite comfortably in blissful ignorance. Isn’t it amazing how we can rationalize, compartmentalize, and disregard sin in our own lives? Sin can be so subtle and so deceptive. David had relegated his sin to the deepest, darkest corner of his mind that it took a prophet and a little story to bring to light the seriousness of the sin he had committed. Perhaps it is as equally dangerous to ignore sin than to have committed the sin itself! May the Lord reveal to all of us those sins we have been able to silence.
In spite of the warnings I also see a blessing. David confesses and finds forgiveness. His relationship with God actually seems to deepen as he struggles with sin. In God he finds a compassionate Shepherd, a caring Father, a forgiving Savior. Intertwined in this chapter are the heart-felt Psalms of a man who wrestles with the tension of seeking God and pleasing himself. That is what separates David from the rest of the pack - he wrestles and doesn’t give up. His life is a constant struggle and I learn that what may be most important is to stay in the battle.
Life is a spiritual battlefield. We will win some and lose some, but we must always invite God to both our celebrations and our hardships. And amazingly he will accept each invitation and His presence will always make things better!