The Power of Conviction--Christian commentaries

In chapters 9-12 of the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel we are told the story of King David staying at home during war and spying a beautiful young woman bathing. She is married and her husband is one of Davidís men, away at war. He summons her and lies with her; she conceives and sends a message to David notifying him of her condition. David immediately summons her husband from the battle field, entertains him with food and drink, and sends him home to lie with his wife. But the soldier refuses to enjoy such pleasures while his comrades remain at battle, and sleeps at the gateway of the palace rather than go home.

Plan 2 has David sending a confidential note by the soldier to his commander, instructing him to place the soldier in the position of the hottest battle and withdraw from him that he might be killed. It is done and David marries the widow after an appropriate time of mourning.

God is not pleased and sends the prophet Nathan to convict David by telling him the story of a rich man who had everything he could desire, yet took the single possession of a poor man as his entertainment. David expresses his rage for such a thing, not realizing he is the man.

It is amazing that David who truly loved God and could see God's provision in his life from the slaying of the bear and the lion as he kept his fatherís sheep, the victory over the giant Goliath with the throw of a single stone, and Godís protection during the time he fled from King Saul, could stoop to sin to cover sin and stand before God's prophet condemning less flagrant deeds of another. (David had not confessed his sin willingly, acting as though God would wink at what was hidden from man. When confronted by the prophet Nathan, David was repulsed by the mirror of his own character and responded as though righteous himself. Only after conviction of his imperfection with Nathanís words, "You are that rich man" did David repent from his sin.)

Why, after such hypocritical act would God declare David a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)? Perhaps it is because David did not live in his sin after conviction? The record is that David was a good King after that time. There is no indication that David later condoned adultery or murder. This is important as David was chosen to lead his people and did not damn them by continued sin or participation in sin by condoning in others his own proven and disclosed weaknesses.

We are also chosen to lead. And we must not let our people be damned by our lack of temerity. We are a royal priesthood called to declare the good news. And even when tainted by sin we must repent and move forward with our confession and witness. Many of us have thought that one day when our lives are in order, we will be the witness God has called us to be. Then we will tell others about Jesus; and no one will be able to point a finger at the sin in our lives. Perhaps a new location where none are aware of past sin and there is no fear of being labeled a hypocrite? Or the memory of past sins will be erased by the passage of time? That may never be: what God casts into the sea of forgetfulness, Satan records for future reference.

Witnessing is like accepting Christ. Realizing we cannot make ourselves better, we start where we are--not perfect but willing to share, we must cease protecting our reputations and stand on God's promise that there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus {Romans 8:1}. No matter our past, we are God's. Despite our appearance of frailty, we are protected while in His service. Knowing that we are protected from the accuser {Job 1:6}, we should move smoothly and swiftly into our calling--there may be no other to do the job we have been called to do; there may be no other willing; our people need us, and we must not damn them.


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