I have been reading and praying through the book of Psalms over the last couple of months. As I read these prayers from King David’s heart, I began to wonder about David as compared to other kings of Israel. David was called “a man after God’s own heart”, yet he had committed adultery and murder. He was a sinner; what made him any different from other kings of Israel, who were rejected by God?
Saul didn’t kill everybody or everything that God told him to. Saul didn’t kill, David did. But, listen to Saul’s first response to Samuel’s rebuke, “I saved them for God, but we destroyed the rest.” He made excuses. He lied. And he lost his kingdom. He never again sought the Lord.
Contrast that with David’s first response to Nathan’s rebuke about his sin: “I have sinned against the Lord.” That was it. No excuses, no explanations, just acknowledgement and repentance. Yes, there were some terrible consequences David still had to pay, but God immediately forgave his sin. David went on to be “a man after God’s own heart”.
Sin can make you hard and bitter, it can separate you from God. Repentance brings life back to a dead soul, it restores the relationship with God.