The Heart in Transformation: The Life of David
Rev. Dr. Mark Raeburn Johnston
“There were two men in a certain city, one rich and one poor…” so begins the prophet Nathan as he relates his story to King David. “The rich man had flocks and herds without number, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb which he bought and nurtured, so that it grew up very much loved along with his children. Then an occasion arose when the rich man entertained a guest. But unwilling to take one of his many sheep from one of his many flocks, he took, killed and used the poor man’s lamb for his guest!”
When King David heard this awful report, he demanded to know who the rich man was, declaring that punishment for such a crime would be immediate and severe!
Then Nathan looked the King straight in the eyes and proclaimed, “You’re that man!”
With those words, David was brought to repentance for his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
Seduced by King David during the absence her husband, Bathsheba became pregnant.
To hide his sin, David successfully contrived Uriah’s death during the siege of Rabbah, then married Bathsheba. In essence, David murdered Uriah to take Bathsheba. You can read of this terrible crime in First Samuel, chapter 11, verses 1-18.
There is an interesting irony in the name of Uriah. Uriah’s name literally translates as; “The LORD is my light” and indicates the transparency that comes with a true knowledge of God.
Whereas David chose the darkness of deceit to cover his adulterous affair, his hidden sin was seen and exposed by God! How true the Scripture that proclaims;
“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)
The child born through adultery became ill and died. And with that death the innocence of King David, the courageous shepherd boy who fought giants for the living God, seemed to die as well.Sin wars against God and destroys the soul! When sin is continuously entertained as a guest, it eventually becomes a master! Godly character requires that we give no place to this enemy of love and life!
David cried out for peace with God as captured in the 51st Psalm which says, “a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise!” That peace may have arrived with the birth of Solomon, whose name means “peace”.
There is a tradition that says it was Bathsheba who composed and recited Proverbs 31 as an admonition for Solomon, who was blessed with a life free from the warring tribal factions that so plagued his father’s reign! The peace that comes through God’s forgiveness is instructive for each of us today.
Let’s keep our peace with God as faithful warriors against sin! In so doing, we will dwell in God’s living light!