The magnanimity of God
And . . . Bathsheba his wife . . . bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him. And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord. 2 Sam. 12:24-25
As I read this passage, it hit me just how magnanimous the Lord is. Think about what David had done. He had committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed to cover it up. He had, as the prophet Nathan put it, "given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme." Imagine if your son or daughter did something so terrible that it completely spoiled and ruined your reputation before others for the rest of your life. Would you forgive them, even if they repented? And if you did, would your son or daughter know it?
That's exactly what God did with David (ver. 13). Not only did he forgive him, but he set his love upon David and Bathsheba's second son, Solomon. And the Lord made sure to communicate his approbation to David. After all that David had done to God and against God, the Lord wanted to make sure that David knew that he still loved him.
But this is not a special case: this is the way the Lord is with all who come to him by faith. God saves sinners; that is the gospel. He doesn't save those who make themselves good enough or those who somehow managed to stay away from the more heinous sins. And God doesn't hold our past over us, either. He puts our sins away forever. As the prophet Micah would say, "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" (Mic. 7:18-19).
Praise God for the gospel of Jesus Christ! Let us love God for it, and let us also demonstrate his grace and mercy to others, beginning in our own families. Let us demonstrate the magnanimity of God to our children and our friends and our brothers and sisters in Christ. As the apostle Paul put it, "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour" (Eph. 5:1-2).