I love the way, that so many people use David, as the perfect example of one who humbled himself, and repented so perfectly of his sins. The problem is, that what they perceive, is usually mistaken. For example, David did not immediately get right. There was a season of time that David was defiant, like almost every single person I ever met who fell. God in his perfect patience, sent Nathan at just the right time. but it David lived almost nine months in denial and cover up. David was definitely not immediately repentant. You could see his angry spirit in the way he first responded to Nathan.
The story Nathan told David was actually about him, but David thought it was about someone else and was harsh and judgmental. Perhaps, Nathan knew David would be self-righteous and defiant, so that story was the way of breaking him down. David was still struggling and going through his own personal demons. Most men who fall, go through the very same thing. We think they’re not repentant when in truth they’re just not ready. God is patient, even though we often are not, because we want them to be immediately repentant while they are still in survival mode. Survival mode is dangerous; that’s why they need us not to abandon them more then, than ever.
Another misconception is that somehow David told the whole world about his sins. Didn’t happen. God told us. The only place we see David confessing sin was to God. David did not get up and announce to everyone what he had done. As far as we read in the Bible, David confessed only to God. He didn’t call the mighty men together and confess to them. He didn’t call his counsel together and confess to them. He didn’t call the nation together and confess to them. He didn’t go on the Internet and tell everyone what he had done. I’m certain there would’ve been a “Do Right, King David” group in his day. It might have been a whisper campaign saying, “David should do right” or crying out for David to get “justice.” What a bunch of Pharisees. What they’re really saying is, “let’s play God and do things the way we think they should be done,” and then acting as though they’re doing it on behalf of God. David’s confession was private, and God made it public in His time. David’s sorrow over his sin was between him and his God. David’s punishment was the consequences that he lived with for the rest of his life.
Like David, I too live with consequences of my sins, just as almost every fallen person I know. They aren’t consequences God inflicted, but rather that are inflicted because of the sins. David was not open about his sins to everyone, nor did he try to defend himself to every critic. In fact, David never mentioned his sins specifically. I never see David publically confess to adultery. I never see David confess to conspiring in the death of Uriah. In fact, David never talked about his sins like people infer he did. Inquiring minds are the ones who want to know the details, or should I say, twisted minds. We want David to say it. We want the words to come out of his mouth so our sordid little ears can hear him say what he did.
People love to put David up as some perfect example of restoration, but they are misguided because it did not happen in the way they like to make it seem. David’s example was the way he responded to God, not the way he responded to everyone else. Model of restoration? Yes, but not man’s model. David was God’s model of restoration because of the way he restored his relationship with his God; BUT it took some time before he was broken. We want men to get right with men, but God wants men to get right with God. Certainly, we ought to do our best to make things right with those we hurt, but in the end all we can do is try. We can’t spend our life groveling, nor does God expect that of anyone. David did not grovel before man, but he repented before God.
It’s time we learned the truth about restoring people. Our churches are allowing unjust people to put too much pressure on what they do with fallen individuals; especially fallen preachers. We listen too much to what they say because we are watching their sordid sites and we shouldn’t be. Instead of preaching against those sites as we should, we let our people have their minds influenced by the nonsense being perpetuated by people who couldn’t care less about truth. Preach grace my friends, and all the rest will take care of itself. Preach forgiveness. Preach mercy. Preach restoration. It’s time we did things, God’s way not man’s way. (DH)