I want to cover a couple of other points before we move on with our look at the life of David. First, I’d said to think of the devil as a big dog on a short leash – God limits what he can do. If you think things are bad in this world now, imagine what it’ll be like after Christ removes His Bride the Church and the limitations are taken off Satan’s power. That thought alone should have us frantic to warn others before it's too late.
To give only the merest hint of what that time will be like, take a look at this short excerpt from Revelation: “Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world” (Revelation 8:13b, NLT). Nonstop terror for those “who belong to this world” – which is precisely why these people were left behind. After all, what did Jesus say when He was questioned before Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36, NIV).
As the old hymn says, this world is not our home. So we shouldn’t be surprised when we don’t feel comfortable or fit in here. We’re not called to fit in; we’re called to stand out. To be different. In our former neighborhood Larry and I were the couple never invited to the neighbors’ parties. While we all got along just fine, they still knew we wouldn’t care for their party plans. We were different.
Secondly, I’d said the devil was busy because he knew his time was limited. Jesus Himself spoke of a time when Satan would be cast “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons” (Jesus speaking, Matthew 25:41b).
Here’s the point I want to drive home: hell was never planned for people. It was, as Jesus plainly said, “prepared for the devil and his demons.” While the fate of Satan and his demons is sealed, people have a choice. And while no one sets out to choose hell, the fact is, rejecting Jesus as Lord and Savior is doing precisely that.
“For God so loved the world,” Jesus said in John 3:16a (NIV). That’s me, you and every person who has or ever will draw breath. So the next time you hear someone talk about God “sending” people to hell, gently correct them. Tell them, “No, God doesn’t send any person to hell; they choose it.” Then back it up with the very words of Christ from Matthew 25:41.
All that said, let’s move back to David. Take a moment to reflect on what we’ve looked at about his life. What stands out? If we’re honest, it’s his affair with Bathsheba and the terrible consequences that resulted.
But what about God? He forgave it and forgot it. He didn’t bring it up again. It was over. And he wants us to treat people like He does. When a person sincerely repents, forgive him and don’t bring up the past.
Let’s say Cassie takes a dollar from Mom’s purse. Mom catches her; Cassie admits what she’s done and tearfully tells her mom how very sorry she is. Cassie isn’t just mouthing words; she’s devastated that she’s broken her mother’s trust.
What does Mom do? Accuse Cassie of taking it every time she can’t find something? Tell all her friends that Cassie’s a thief? No! Mom forgives her daughter – even though there are consequences for what she’s done – and they start anew with a clean slate.
David didn’t deserve the clean slate God gave him, but He gave it anyway. Not a one of us deserved the clean slate we were given when we repented and turned to Jesus Christ, but He gave it anyway.
God forgives and forgets. He doesn’t air our dirty laundry to anyone. He doesn’t hold it against us. He lets it go. Do for others what Christ has done for you.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates