If we looked at this chapter out of context, it would give us such a different picture of David than we’ve seen in the full counsel of scripture. We could read this one chapter and view David as a super-believer. He’s written a beautiful song proclaiming God’s glory, appointed priests to minister constantly before the Lord, and then he returns home to bless his family.
Yeah, that family.
The one composed of many wives and concubines.
The one that lost an infant son who was conceived in adultery and murder.
The one where one son raped a daughter and another son killed the first and yet another sought to murder his father for the power of the throne.
David’s family makes pretty much any dysfunction in our family feel more manageable.
Whatever rebellion your children are experiencing, whatever poor choices they’ve made, whatever baggage your own sin has brought to your family, most of us can look at David and praise the Lord for our own burdens in comparison.
It would be easy, too, in light of David’s parental failures to look down on him in judgment. He made some pretty monumental mistakes.
But God called David to the throne because He had sought “a man after His own heart” (1Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). Fortunately, God wasn’t seeking a perfect man. He wasn’t seeking a sinless man, because He already had a plan for that Man from the foundations of the earth. “He [Jesus, not David] was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (1 Peter 1:20)
What encouragement to us in our failures! What a relief that we are not called to be sinless in our own power! But in Christ, God has wrapped us in His sinless perfection. In the Holy Spirit, God has given us the ability and the power to choose a better path than even David chose. “We are no longer slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:6)