Have you ever been reading your Bible and had the most seemingly insignificant verse stop you in your track and bring tears to your eyes? That was the case this week as I was reading through the book of 1 Kings.
There I was, just reading through the story of good kings and bad kings and wars, when the enormity of this verse caught me completely unaware.
1 Kings 15:5 says, “For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.”
Did you catch that? God’s word says that King David, the one who coveted another man’s wife, seduced her, caused her to commit adultery, got her pregnant, tried to weasel his way out of his situation with deception, intentionally led a group of soldiers into a situation where he knew some would die, and then tried to cover it all up; that David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep the Lord’s commands except that one time.
Wow. That’s a pretty BIG except.
For a minute, I wresteled with my feelings about this. I mean, I’m a big fan of King David. He’s one of my favorite people in the Old Testament for many reasons, but to make the claim that he had done right and had followed all his life, except… That seemed a little bit of a reach. I mean, that’s a LOT to just dismiss.
And, then it hit me. God wasn’t dismissing it. God had forgiven it.
You see, the “except” had to be there because unfortunately just because our sins are forgiven doesn’t mean that we may not still have some consequences, scars, or evidence of them in our lives. It does mean that the minute we confess them to God, repent and turn away from those sins, and ask for his forgiveness He looks at us like they never existed.
Psalm 103:9-13 reminds us, “He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor his anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”
Do you know what that means?
That means, when God looks at you He sees His forgiven, beloved, righteous, chosen, redeemed, holy, daughter.
Even if there is a BIG “except” in your story.
So, sweet sister, this is what I want you to walk away with. We all have an except in our story. We all have sins and failures that we wish weren’t a part of our past.
But, we can’t let our story stop before the except.
If David wouldn’t have cried out to God for forgiveness and repented of His sins, David’s story would have never had an “except”.
David could have run from God. He could have become weighed down by guilt and shame. He could have walked away from his faith because of the mistakes he’d made. He could have quit on God.
David’s story would have listed all of those sins and failures and that would have been the end of it. But, because David chose forgiveness, he was covered in grace, mercy, and love. His story was redeemed and now when we read about David, we see him called a man who had “had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life.”
Friend, I don’t know what your “except” is, but I know that it isn’t too big for God. Don’t get so caught up in the past that you stop moving forward.
Don’t let the faults, failures, or sins in your life or in your past keep you from an intimate and deep relationship with your loving Heavenly Father.
If you’ve got a big “except” in your story, then deal with it. Confess it to God. Repent and turn away from it. Accept the forgiveness, the grace, the mercy, and the love your Father offers you. Then Keep Going.
Father God, You don’t dismiss our faults and our failures. You love us to much to let us stay in that place. Instead, you offer us forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love if we call out to you, admit what we’ve done, turn away from it, and turn to you.
You are such a good Father. Thank you for the way you love us. Thank you for making a way for us to keep going past our “except” and to walk in relationship with you. We love you.