Lately I (Erick) have been reading about the lives and callings of the leaders God calls in the Old Testament. Currently, it’s all about David.
What fascinates me most right now about David’s story isn’t defeating Goliath, leading Israel’s armies, or even his Psalms (although all of those things do fascinate me). It’s been how God used David to show us something very important about His love for us. God’s forgiveness.
From 1 Samuel 23:15 – 27:12 we see David fleeing from King Saul as King Saul pursues David to kill him. We see David and Saul caught in a game of hide & seek.
In one part of the story, we see Saul coming after David, stopping to rest inside a cave. David is in the same cave hiding from Saul, but Saul doesn’t see David, and takes a quick nap. David comes near Saul, cuts off a piece of his robe, and then confronts Saul with it after Saul leaves the cave saying, “… see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you …”
David did this to show Saul that he did not wish him harm, in hopes that Saul would stop pursuing him. After this confrontation Saul weeps, and tells David that he will stop trying to kill him.
But then Saul has a change of heart and comes after David again. This time David took Saul’s spear from the tent in which Saul was sleeping. Again, David shows Saul that he has spared his life once again. And, yes, Saul tells David that he will no longer try to kill him anymore.
After this David finally flees to the Philistines, out of Israel, in hopes that Saul will not come after him into a different land.
Now, at the end of all that I think to myself, “wow, David, when will you learn that Saul is always going to be coming after you?” And I’m also thinking, “wow, Saul, wake up! David has clearly been able to kill you twice now and hasn’t. He’s obviously not a threat. Stop pursuing him.”
But isn’t this the way we are with God? Everyday we find ourselves in sin. Confessing it to God. Letting Him know that we’re sorry for going against His will and for trying to be our own Lords of our lives. That we need to put God first and let Him lead us as He wills.
And God grants us forgiveness. He tells us that He knows our wrongs and forgives them because we came to Him with a broken and burdened heart for His forgiveness. He forgives us because we are His adopted children, bought with Jesus’ sacrifice.
But what happens tomorrow, or the next day, or after our sins and sorrow from that day seem far away and forgotten? We go against God again. And he is right there to forgive us, if we seek Him.