"He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me. The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not acted wickedly against my God. For all His ordinances were before me, and as for His statues, I did not depart from them. I was also blameless toward Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity. Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness before His eyes." 2 Samuel 22:20-25
Can you believe that King David wrote this? The fact that he was able to say the he had "cleanness" before God's eyes is amazing to me considering the blood that was on his hands. If nothing else, this should be a huge encouragement to us - especially those who feel like God could never forgive them for their sins. Need I recount David's sins? Including (but not limited to) lust, adultery, and murder. That hits a lot of the 'major' sins we think God could never forgive us from.
As I read this passage I was amazed at David's understanding of God's forgiveness and His grace and mercy. I mean he was a guy who understood it! He realized that his standing with God was not based on his sinlessness, but rather on his acceptance of God's grace and an attempt on his part to 'keep himself from his iniquity' (v24b). David seemed to have mastered the art of repentance. Just through reading many of the Psalms he wrote, you can hear a cry to God from a deep place in his heart asking God to pull him through and to "create in [him] a clean heart"(Psalm 51:10). Psalm 51 is full of these pleas that show an understanding which reaches far ahead of David's own circumstances. He rightly says that, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit" and that God will not despise "a broken and contrite heart" (51:17). That small statement speaks volumes! In that day and age, the way in which you came to God was through sacrifices, and here David was saying that God looks on those as a way to Him but beyond that He requires true repentance. Repentance of the heart and the spirit.
David's view of God creates a deep desire in my heart to know and understand God in the same way. As I read through the Psalms and through 1 & 2 Samuel and see David's life unfold before my eyes, I see a man who knew God and who loved Him. He valued His relationship with the Lord above all else. Sure, David messed up big time (several times) but yet to the very end his relationship with the Lord was held intact because of his view of God.
What is your view of God? Is He just some dictator who sits in the sky judging and manipulating people? Or is He only a being of love without justice, loving everyone without judgement which isn't really love at all? Or maybe, in your mind, He doesn't care. There are so many interpretations of who "God" really is, but if they aren't founded and shaped by who the Bible says God is, they're wrong.
David knew God because he spent time with Him. He sought out His presence. He took refuge in the Lord. He trusted the Lord. He listened to His voice. David's outlook on life was changed because of the time he spent with God and, the amazing thing is, we can do the same thing.
"O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heat take courage, all you who hope in the Lord."
Psalm 31:23-24 A Psalm of David