The bible clearly identifies men who although were upright made huge life altering mistakes, one’s that would have doomed them to hell if it were not for the grace of God. The funny thing is that these are the teaching moments God will use to direct us back to him.
Here is an example of one among many.
2 Samuel 11-12
David and Bathsheba
1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
And to this we say dang! David’s moment of passion and lust led to an undoable mistake. For a moment he tried to scheme his way out of it.
He sent for Uriah to lay with Bathsheba but he refrained out of respect for God and his fellow soldiers.
11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”
From here David becomes more desperate for a cover up.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
It would seem at this point that David can breathe a sigh of relief….
2 Samuel 12:1 MSG
But God was not at all please with what David had done, and sent Nathan to David.
9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”
At this point I would not know if I could go on. If messing up royally had a picture next to it David’s face would surely be there. From here we ask how do we get pass messing up so bad with God and live a normal life.
See below how David proceeded.
15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth[b] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
At this point David is desperate and his servants take note.
18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”
20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
From this we learn that because the mistake has been made we cannot undo it, but we can choose how we will mourn for it and how we will recover. David repented and turned back to God and proceeded into what God originally called him to do. He did not forfeit his purpose through this mess up. God did forgive him and his legacy was restored through Jesus. Did he from that day forth have no more trouble? No! Even Jesus advises us that we will have trouble, no one is exempt.
From here we have to ask ourselves, “Does what I did define me?” and “Can God use me after this.”
Remember that ultimately we have a choice. We can choose to let trouble dictate our lives and future or we can like David confess it, repent, and move on.
David never failed to get into the presence of God and found safety there.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.Psalms 16:11 NLT
Take note that in God has shown a path but it up to us to walk down it. The benefit is knowing that he is with us.
Here is a departing word from the Lyrics of Tenth Avenue North’s You Are More.
You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade
This is not about what you’ve done,
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you to
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.