People often make terrible mistakes. For example, King David committed adultery with Bathsheba. When she was pregnant, he tried to cover it up. When that didn’t work, he had her husband, his close loyal soldier, murdered.1 God was not impressed with David. The baby died and three of his other sons at various stages lost their lives (according to David’s own judgement of four lambs for the one, 2 Samuel 12:5-6). David confessed his sins and turned his heart towards God.2
Later, the Lord was angry with Israel and incited David to take a census of the fighting men. The punishment was that seventy-thousand people died.3 Did David give up, lie down, or disappear in a fog of self reproach and self denunciation? No, good came from the bad. He repented of his sin, and the angel of the Lord told him to sacrifice on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.4 The plague stopped and he proclaimed, ‘The house of the Lord God is to be here [the temple], and also the altar of burnt offering.’ 5 That was the site where the temple of God would be built by Solomon.
As Ruler of the universe, God has the ability to use bad things we do to accomplish His greater purpose. Listen to what He said about David, ‘I have found in David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 6 Why did God give David such a glowing testimony?
David did not reject God, slink away and sit in deep depression. He accepted forgiveness and retained his confidence in God. From then on he made all the preparations that were necessary for his young son Solomon to build the temple.
- Testified, All this I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and He gave me understanding in all the details of the plan’ (28:19).
- That included the plans for the division of priests and Levites, for their work in the temple, all the articles for their duties (28:13), and the plan for the cherubim of gold that sheltered the ark of the covenant of the Lord (28:18)
- Thus he gathered the priests and Levites and organised the priestly duties, the singers, and the gatekeepers for the temple (24:20; 25:1; 26:1 following).
- To accomplish it all, he provided large amounts of gold, silver, bronze and iron (1 Chronicles 22:14).
- He also motivated the people by ordering them to help Solomon (22:17) and be devoted to God (22:19).
- He did not neglect to pray for his son on whose shoulders rested the immense responsibility of building the temple (29:19).
Due to forgiveness of his sin, David continued in his relationship with the Lord.7 God is willing to forgive if we are willing to confess. As with David, He will lead us to achieve the goals He wants us to fulfil (to glorify Him). That is the miracle of God: there is always hope.
- 2 Samuel 11:1-21
- Psalm 51
- 2 Samuel 24:1-25
- 1 Chronicles 21:18
- 1 Chronicles 22:1
- Acts 13:22b
- 1 Chronicles 29:10-13