David is called a man after God’s own heart. For most people, though, that statement comes with a giant asterisk. Even though David was a man after God’s own heart, he still committed some major sins. Those sins are an asterisk on his life. However, David’s response to those sins continue to show us what it means to be men and women after God’s own heart.
Two of David’s major sins are recorded in the Bible. First, he slept with Bathsheba and had her husband killed to cover up the affair. Second, David took a census of his fighting men, trusting and boasting in his own strength instead of God’s. Both of these were major violations with steep consequences. Because of his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah’s murder, David faced turmoil in his own household until the day he died. Because of his sin in taking a census, 70,000 Israelites died from a plague.
In spite of the consequences, David responded well in both instances. Instead of turning his back on God and stubbornly pursuing his own path, David eventually confessed to God, he eventually came back to his heavenly Father. David shows us that sin is inevitable for all of us; what makes us men and women after God’s own heart, though, is how we respond to that sin.
Sin damages our relationship with God. When we sin we have wronged God, we’ve hurt him and put a barrier in our relationship. Confessing resolves that hurt and removes the barrier. God already knows we’ve sinned so confessing to him isn’t for his benefit but for ours. Confessing repairs the damage caused by our sin and allows us to keep moving towards God.
The depth of David’s sin was matched and overshadowed by the depth of his love for God. It may have taken some time, but eventually David returned to God and was honest about his sin. David confessed his sin to God, took responsibility for his actions and then took steps to draw nearer to God.
Hopefully we can avoid some of David’s most egregious sins and their steep consequences. When we do sin, though, hopefully we can model David’s pattern of confession. That pattern will keep us connected to God and prevent from wandering off too far.
What helps you confess your sins to God?