God proclaims His affirmation of David, He calls him "a man after my own heart."
Is this the same David who slept with his friends wife, while his friend was out fighting to protect David's kingdom? Is this the same David who had his friend killed to cover up the fact that his adultery had led to pregnancy?
Murderer, adulterer, man after God's own heart...
Now God is no dupe, He was aware of David's crimes; God even forbids him from building the Temple because of the life of bloodshed and warfare. (1 Chronicles 22:7)
I have heard many a sermon on the need for contrition, (one of my favorite Psalms is the 51st which arises directly in response to David's brokenness over his horrible actions) but I believe there is another lesson in this man's life as well.
It is true that David models repentance, and an earnest desire for godliness in the midst of a life marred by sin, but what if we shift the focus of our storytelling from David, to God? What happens to our story? What echoes might we hear then?
What is going on in the heart of God?
While God was not blind to the evil in David's heart, He chose to interact with David's good. God saw what was best about David, not what was worst...
This speaks volumes about God's character!
I regularly read 1 Corinthians 13 as either a ringing indictment of my failure to love, or as an exhortation to that love. How instead if we read it as a description of God's character?
God is patient, God is kind, God doesn't rejoice with evil, but rather with truth! God doesn't keep a record of wrongs, God perseveres in love and goodness, and His love always wins out over evil and human brokenness!
David's story then becomes, not a revelation of David's heart after God which we must emulate, but rather a canvas on which God's heart is displayed for us which we should wonder at!
When God looks at you, He doesn't look at your failures and sins, but at your sincerest efforts! We discount our earnest desire for God because of the presence of sin. God instead discounts the presence of sin because of our earnest desire for Him!
Because of God's goodness it is not the presence of sin that defines us, but rather the presence of righteousness!
In short, God is not disappointed when we are a pile of ash with only a negligible spark of holiness within, rather, He is overjoyed at the presence of the spark! He guards it, cherishes it, and works with it. He longs to nurture that smallest glimmer of faith and righteousness and to fuel it, and breathe on it until it flames!
As Scripture says, 'a bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.'
If you are a bruised reed, barely standing upright, or a smoldering wick, barely lit, God will not cast you aside, but rather work with joy to encourage the life that is present within you!