“…his name should be Jedidiah – ‘beloved of the LORD’ – because the LORD loved him.”
2 Samuel 12:25b
A while back, I heard a very powerful talk given by Pastor Andy Stanley and his wife Sandra on parenting. One of the biggest “A-Ha’s” I got from it was in regard to the parent/child arguments that occur amidst the day-to-day challenges of life. They spoke about a crucial point that often gets ignored in fights: the process of repairing the relationship. The obvious ingredients are 1) a sincere apology and 2) genuine forgiveness. Often times there is also a consequence, such as a time-out or temporary revoking of privileges. The part that gets forgotten is the restoration – rebuilding the relationship back up to what it was before the falling out. Andy and Sandra gave the example of an argument between their son and Sandra regarding curfew. The son disrespected his mom during the argument, which left her feeling unloved and under appreciated. The act of restoration that the son needed to do after apology, forgiveness, and consequence, was to take his mom out on a date to restore the love and appreciation that was lost in the heat of argument.
David’s cure lies in this idea of restoration. I am in awe of how beautifully it occurs between David and God:
Sincere Apology: Once he finally woke up to the hurt his choices had caused, he admitted, with sincerity and transparency: I have sinned against the LORD. (2 Samuel 12:13a) He composed a Psalm dedicated entirely to expressing his authentic need for forgiveness. He wastes no time justifying his mistakes, but instead begs God, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.” (Psalm 51:1) I love how he acknowledges that the mercy is not because of DAVID’S greatness, but because of GOD’S unfailing love and great compassion. David is not putting on airs or paying lip service; this is a perfectly broken hallelujah.
Restorative Action: He also identifies how to repair the broken part of his relationship with God, saying “You would not be pleased with sacrifices, or I would bring them. If I brought you a burnt offering, you would not accept it. The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:16+17) David is KING David. He could afford a million sacrificial lambs, but this wouldn’t change the brokenness of his relationship with God. God is pleased when we truly desire a right relationship with Him. This is the way to restoration.
Unfortunately, there were consequences to David’s choices. Because of the example he set with his acts of murder and infidelity, his household later rebelled against him. His children committed similar crimes and his wives were publically unfaithful to him. David’s child that Bathsheba gave birth to became sick and died. BUT, God is good. He genuinely forgave David and allowed their relationship to be restored and grow beyond all stretch of the imagination. David and Bathsheba had more children, one of which was named Solomon. Look at how God lets NOTHING get in the way of his love for his forgiven children:
“Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved the child and sent word through Nathan the prophet that his name should be Jedidiah – ‘beloved of the LORD’ – because the LORD loved him.” (2 Samuel 12:24+25)
And it is through THIS CHILD that God continued the lineage of Jesus – God’s own Son. God allowed David’s moments of adversity to be used in accomplishing eternal good. What an amazing display of mercy and restoration!
Challenge: Take time to intentionally meditate/marvel on the depth of God’s cure. If David’s mess can be turned into this message, what’s stopping God from using my mess? (NOTHING.)
Dear LORD, You made me and you know me beyond my capacity to know myself. You love me and bless me, using even my darkest moments as material for your most awesome miracles and messages. Please keep me from withholding forgiveness from people in my life. Let me remember David’s story and crave the restoration you give freely. Thank you for putting David’s story on my heart; let it change me like it changed him. Amen.