In the David and Bathsheba story, arguably the biggest scandal of the Old Testament, David gets all the attention. He’s the main character of at least 7 Old Testament books, so perhaps that’s understandable. But, the story would not exist if not for a beautiful woman taking a bath…so let’s talk about her for a few.
Laying aside the fact that David was a king and the political pressures that might have accompanied his request, Bathsheba did come when the king called her. She was married. And when she discovered she was pregnant, she was apparently complicit in David’s plan to hide the pregnancy by sleeping with her husband and calling the child his. Only, their plan didn’t work, and as you probably know, David then had her husband killed so she could marry him and no one would know their secret.
My point in retelling this story is that Bathsheba was not innocent, and she paid the price for her sin when her son died, just like David. If that’s where the story ended, it wouldn’t be very hopeful. But, that’s not where it ends. Bathsheba conceived again, and this son, Solomon, became the wealthiest, wisest man to walk the earth; an ancestor of Jesus; and was nick-named Jedidiah, meaning, “beloved of the Lord.”
I love the end of this story. David and Bathsheba messed up – no way around that. And because God is just, there were consequences for their sin. But, because He is also merciful, the consequences did not go on forever. God does not hold our sin over our heads, making us pay for the rest of our life. Instead, He forgives us, removing our sin “as far as the east is from the west”, and then goes back to blessing us beyond anything we could imagine.
Sometimes, especially in the post-Jesus’ resurrection world, God’s mercy even spares us the consequences of our sin. Regardless, though, if you’ve messed up – as I have, more times than I would ever want to admit – I hope it encourages you that you’re not doomed. God can take our failures and turn them into the biggest blessings of our lives, if we’ll just allow Him to be Him.
Have you seen God do this in your life – take a terrible mistake and work it for good? Isn’t His kindness incredible?