The Old Testament reading in church today was about King David’s sins: murder and adultery. In 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15 we read about how David had killed a man named Uriah because he wanted Uriah’s wife for himself. The thing is, if you are familiar with the complete life story of King David you’ll know that he was actually a Godly man who loved and trusted in Him. We all make mistakes, don’t we?
After the death of Uriah, Kind David married his widow and together they had a son. Nathan, a prophet during this time (approximately 1000 BC), was sent by God to speak to King David about his sins. Nathan says in chapter 12:
“There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! …You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.”
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” 15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 18 On the seventh day the child died.
I don’t know about you, but after reading this passage I felt pretty horrible. King David’s sins are a reminder of our sins: the fact that we are “losers.” They also remind us that God knows about every thought we have, every action we take and every word we speak. King David thought he had kept his sin a secret but God knew about every sordid detail.
Thankfully, church was not over. It was the sermon that raised me up from the remembrance of my sinful nature. In Luke 7:36-50 we are reminded of the forgiveness of “losers.” It was at the home of Simon, a spiritual leader, and considered by his community to be a man of good standing (a “winner”), that Jesus met a “woman who had lived a sinful life in that town.” Apparently she felt that her sins were so great that when she made the decision to seek Jesus for forgiveness she wept uncontrollably. Have you ever cried because of your sins? Have you ever gotten down on the floor in anguish over the filth of your human nature and begged God to save you from it? I have.
38 As she stood behind (Jesus) at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
At this time in history people didn’t wear boots or sneakers. They wore sandals, if they wore any shoes at all. Can you imagine how dirty and dusty Jesus’ feet probably were?
39 When the Pharisee (Simon) who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Not only did Jesus know what the woman’s sins were, but he also knew what Simon was thinking at that moment. Note below that Jesus “answers” Simon, even though Simon never actually asked a question out loud.
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
It was at this point in the service that I began smiling again. I knew what Pastor was getting at because I could relate. Just like this sinful woman, I too have sinned a lot. But with the forgiveness of all my sins, I love that much more. I am grateful beyond measure, perhaps more so than the person next to me who maybe believes that he or she has sinned less. Because remember this my friends, whether you choose to believe it or not, we are all equally guilty of our sins. We are all hypocrites, liars, cheaters and fakes. We all want to be winners, or maybe already see ourselves as such. But in the eyes of God, without the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, we are the biggest of losers.
We then sang the following song, which I hope brings as much truth and joy to you as it did to me. May the peace of God be with you always.
How Can I Thank You, Lord
How can I thank you, Lord, for all your loving kindness,
That you have patiently borne with me in my blindness!
When dead in many sins and trespasses I lay,
I kindled holy God, your anger every day.
It is your work alone that I am now converted;
O’er Satan’s work in me you have your pow’r asserted.
Your mercy and your grace that rise afresh each morn
Have turned my stony heart into a heart new born.
Lord, you have raised me up to joy and exultation
And clearly shown the way that leads me to salvation.
My sins are washed away; for this I thank you, Lord.
Now with my heart and soul all evil I abhor.
Grant that your Spirit’s help to me be always given
Lest I should fail again and lose the way to heaven.
Grant that he give me strength in my infirmity;
May he renew my heart to serve you willingly.
O Father, God of Love, now hear my supplication;
O Savior, Son of God, accept my adoration;
O Holy Spirit, be my ever faithful guide
That I may serve you here and there with you abide.
-David Denicke, 1603