We all have a past that needs overcoming. How do I know this? Because we live in a broken world. The story of Adam and Eve in the Bible illustrates loving relationships and goodness. That world was fractured when Adam and Eve failed to trust God and took matters into their own hands. Their relationship fell apart, consequences came front and center, death entered the picture and suddenly what was good in the present became a mistake in their past.
Our lives play out this same story over and over again. If I ask you to think of a time that was once good, can you also identify the moment it fell apart due to a poor decision? I know I can. In fact, there are a few.
That dysfunction that you feel when you are alone and staring at the ceiling, knowing you’ve let yourself and others down, that’s because of that poor decision. I don’t know if you believe in sin. It’s not a popular buzzword. In fact, we live in a world that would like to deny its existence. But here’s the thing: Anything I do that hurts me, that hurts you or has the potential to hurt God, that’s sin. Love is the filter, or should be, for all that we do. When we move away from that filter we make mistakes.
Look at the mistakes that lay in King David’s life. Here’s a quick recap for those who have or haven’t heard his story. He was king of Israel, chosen by God, and still, he made mistakes. During a time when kings were supposed to be at battle (see 2 Samuel 11), David stayed behind. While home he went out on his rooftop to see his kingdom. He was captured by a pretty face and, rather than divert his gaze, chose to give in to temptation. The king then called for her to be brought to him. No one dared say no to the king. At that time David had sex with Bathsheba and then sent her home. The problem was that Bathsheba was married to one of his loyal soldiers. Fast-forward and she finds out she’s pregnant, David attempts to cover up his sin and when that doesn’t work has Uriah murdered.
David abuses his power, lusts after and takes another man’s wife, attempts a cover-up and then murders an honest man. Still, do you know what God says of him? At the end of David’s life, after having a front-row seat to all that David has done, we are told that David was a man after God’s own heart. How can this be true?
How did David overcome such a sordid past?
David never abandoned God. He sought God’s will, and when he realized how far he had fallen from it, he repented sincerely. There were consequences for his sins. Severe ones that wrecked his family and cost the lives and well-being of his children. He paid the consequences of dreams that failed, but he never abandoned God even in the moments it felt as though God had abandoned him.
Have you made God the God of your heart? No matter what your past or present look like, Jesus can help you find hope, healing and redemption. Listen to King David’s story, as Bryant Golden shares the challenges and mistakes David had to overcome and the hope he found in God.
To learn more about the rape of Bathsheba, read “Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Seuxalized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the BIble.” When we downplay the abuse of power and take away the word “rape” from this story, we are actually playing into our limited understanding of God’s grace. No matter how horrible you think your past is, God’s grace is sufficient. You can overcome the past but only with God’s help.